7 Important things you should know about crisis
Southern Kaduna has become a killing field and Fulani herdsmen have been rightly blamed for it all
Save for the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East and the restiveness in the Niger Delta, no other crisis has dominated social media chatter and the front-pages like the killings in Southern Kaduna.
Here are 7 things you should know about what's going on in the South of the Crocodile State:
a) Killings on a large scale in Southern Kaduna aren't new. But there have probably been under-reported in the past.
According to House of Reps member, Baballe Bashir(APC-Kano), the killings in Southern Kaduna have been going on for 37 years. In the past, the affected communities have been Kafanchan, Zangon-Kataf, Godogodo, Gidan Waya and others.
b) The killings in Southern Kaduna border on religious extremism.
Like Boko Haram, reports say the attackers burn churches and and slay Christians with chants of "Allahu Akbar".
The perpetrators of the killings are Fulani herdsmen.
Southern Kaduna is dominated by Christians. Those who have been killed are mostly Christians.
This is a religious war as much as it is a criminal and ethnic one.
c) As many as 1,000 persons may have lost their lives since this latest round of crisis in Southern Kaduna commenced.
In December of 2016, the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan in Kaduna State disclosed that as many as 808 people were killed in 53 villages across the four local government areas in Kaduna where the crisis is at its worst.
According to Christian leaders in Kaduna, 1,422 houses and 16 churches had been burnt by Fulani herdsmen in Southern Kaduna as at December, 2016.
The local governments most affected are Kaura, Sanga, Jama’a and Kauru.
d) Between January 6 and 9, 2017, the killers struck Tachirak, Adu and Tsonje villages of Kagoro town in Kaura Federal Constituency of Southern Kaduna, killing 13 persons.
e) The attacks in Southern Kaduna have occurred in spite of the 24 hour curfew in place in the affected areas.
There's also heavy military and police presence in the affected local governments.
However, the attacks have continued unabated.
The Christian community in the State alleges that no Fulani herdsman has been arrested for their crimes.
f) In December of 2016, the local press reported that Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai decided to compensate the Fulani herdsmen in order to get them to stop their acts bordering on genocide.
The Governor reportedly said the herdsmen behind the killings aren't Nigerians.
El-Rufai was quoted as saying: “Some of them were from Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Senegal. Fulanis are in 14 African countries and they traverse this country with their cattle.
“So many of these people were killed, cattle lost during the crisis that followed the 2011 election and they organised themselves and came back to revenge.
"We took certain steps. We got a group of people that were going round trying to trace some of these people in Cameroon, Niger republic and so on to tell them that there is a new Governor who is Fulani like them and has no problem paying compensations for lives lost and he is begging them to stop killing.
"In most of the communities, once that appeal was made to them, they said they have forgiven. There are one or two that asked for monetary compensation. They said they have forgiven the death of human beings, but want compensation for cattle. We said no problem, and we paid some".
El-Rufai would later say that his comments had been taken out of context.
g) President Muhammadu Buhari who is also Fulani, has not been too keen in intervening in the crisis in Southern Kaduna, saying through his aides that the State has a Governor who is handling the crisis.
Last year, the Catholic Church rejected a N100M donation from the State Governor.
The money was meant for the reconstruction of worship places destroyed in the affected areas.
In rejecting the donation, the church said the money should be used to compensate those who have been rendered homeless by the crisis, instead.
According to the Catholic leaders, “The herdsmen and their ilk turned the towns into killing fields and killed mostly women, children and the elderly who couldn’t run for cover.
“The level of barbarity was such that pregnant women got their wombs blown out and massacred before their children. And these innocent children were not spared either.
“This level of viciousness was never witnessed even in the brutal tyranny and regime of Adolf Hitler. What is most intriguing is the level of sophistication of weapons like AK 47, machine guns and many other deadly instruments of death which were freely used".