Southern Kaduna Massacre: Battle of faith
Four weeks ago, (December 24, 2016) Nigerians and indeed the international community woke up to hear the shocking and devastating news of mass slaughter of hundreds of innocent people in Southern Kaduna, a predominantly Christian area, by supposed Fulani herdsmen. Reports said that over 800 people, most of them women and children were killed and 57 injured in attacks of 53 villages. No fewer than 16 churches were burnt alongside the destruction of 1,422 houses and farm produce worth more than N5.55bn.
It is sad that the Federal and Kaduna State governments have continued to drag their feet and failed to take prompt and appropriate actions capable of nipping these cruel acts in the bud. We are however consoled that some concerned Nigerians and international bodies have expressed outrage at such man’s inhumanity to man. They include: the Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, who is also the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, the Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna.
While Archbishop Kaigama has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to break the silence, adopt stringent and proactive measures to end the killings in Kaduna, the Most Rev. Obinna has condemned the killings, calling them an attack on the Christian faith. “Their (southern Kaduna people) only offence is that they are Christians like the Igbos and that is what attracted the hatred of Muslims who want to exterminate them”,
Others who have condemned the killings include: the National General Secretary of CAN, Dr. Musa Asake, CAN Secretary and Chairman in the 17 southern states, Joseph Ajujunwa and Prof David Eberechukwu. Meanwhile the United Nations and our National Assembly have set up investigations into the incidents.
Pertinent questions that quickly come to mind with regards to these killings are: Why that massacre in Southern Kaduna? Why were Governor El-Rufai and President Muhammadu Buhari unperturbed and so slow in responding to the distress call from the dying people of Zangon-Kataaf, in Kaduna State? Were they waiting till the crisis spreads and engulfs the entire nation? How come that the adherents of one religion slaughter those of another in a pluralistic society and people at the helm of affairs look the other way? Why have such religious killings escalated since El-Rufai took over as governor, starting with his clamp down on churches by forbidding them from mounting loudspeakers during preaching?
To our mind, what happened can only be understood from the point of view of Islamic expansionism, the 20th century unfinished Agenda of Othman Danfodio to deep the Koran in the Atlantic Ocean, which is the agenda of Boko Haram insurgency. It is sad that such a dastardly act was taking place in Southern Kaduna and everywhere in the country remained calm, no uprising, and hardly any official reaction from government. Even the President of the country couldn’t do anything concrete as expected in situations of this dimension.
In the past, it was sporadic killings but this time, there is everything to show that it is a planned and methodical extermination of Christians as evidenced by the magnitude of the mayhem. The attack by the so-called Fulani herdsmen (better identified as Islamic Jihadists) is a clear indication that war has been declared in Nigeria and the Federal Government is not worried.
Yes, government seems to give the killings tacit approval by its silence. Government’s way of handling the killing of Christians by Muslims does not give us cause to believe that Mr. President is committed to national security, good governance or takes the unity of this country seriously. As it stands, many Nigerians don’t believe we have a government but a lawless country where anyone could commit any crime and get away with it once he is highly connected. In these crimes of enormous proportion, nobody has been arrested, prosecuted or convicted. When arrested at all, government does not waste time in discharging such criminals for “want of evidence”, as was the case with the Muslims suspected to have killed the wife of Pastor Agbahime in Kano last year.
It is most condemnable that it is the same Muslims whose war cry/slogan when they were slaughtering farmers in the southern-states was, “Their land or their blood, that now seem to be chanting” “Their religion or their blood” at Southern Kaduna, in a country that belongs to all of us. We therefore call on the Federal Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, to rise up to the challenges and prove to the world that government does not give any tacit support to Muslims to exterminate Christians in Nigeria.