PRESS RELEASE | Posted Saturday, March 8, 2014
Senator Isaiah Ballat: A loss to Nigeria, but particularly to Southern Kaduna
Atlanta- Georgia ( March 3, 2014):
n February 6, 2014, the Southern Kaduna Indigenes Progressive Forum ( SKIPFo) declared its intention to take the Governor of Kaduna State, Governor Yero, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the peoples of Southern Kaduna. On behalf of Southern Kaduna in Diaspora (SOKAD), we wish to officially declare our support for what the group intends to do. It is about time the ethnic cleansing agenda in Southern Kaduna was brought to global awareness and justice. While the devilish atrocities of Boko Haram in the North East of Nigeria has attracted international focus, the gradual cleansing of the peoples in the middle belt of Nigeria, and of Southern Kaduna in particular, is barely given a passing mention, and yet, it is older than Boko Haram, and is as vicious as Boko Haram's murders. Both the Federal and state governments have done little to solve the problem. If a group can't get justice at home, in a globalized world, it is proper to seek justice internationally.
For a long time, the peace loving people of southern Kaduna State have pleaded, in vain, with the Kaduna State government, through several of its administrations, to stop the wanton killings and maiming of the peoples of southern Kaduna by the nomadic Fulani pastoralists. After careful examination of the logistics, the strategy and execution of the killings, SOKAD has come to the conclusion that it is quite clear that it is a coordinated plan to cleanse the indigenous peoples of southern Kaduna from their ancestral lands to pave the way for both the nomads and their sponsors to occupy. We have lived with the nomadic pastoralists for decades until now, when there is a systematic and coordinated push by northern Fulani Muslims to extend their domination southward. The people of that part of the state did not state the war, they are victims of it, and are simply defending themselves.
The current state administration is both complacent and party to the genocide and ethnic cleansing and Southern Kaduna in the Diaspora is in full agreement with those, especially SKIPFo, who seek to take Governor Yero to the International Crime Court.
It will not be the first time that a state governor has been taken to the ICC. Governor Jang of Plateau State was taken to the court in 2009 by the Hausa-Muslims settlers of Plateau for genocide, ethnic cleansing and killings. He was forced to defend himself and his government. He was exonerated because it turned out to be a case of barawo da sauri maraba. We would like for Governor Yero to have his own turn to defend himself and why the Kaduna State government is allowing the pogrom and ethnic cleansing of ethnic minorities of his state to persist for so long.
In its press release, SKIPFo catalogued the atrocities by the ethnic cleansers on the peoples of Southern Kaduna, even though it was a partial list, the atrocities are too many and gruesome to recount here. There is no person of conscience reading about the atrocities, will not agree that Kaduna State government is complacent. There is no legitimate government- democratically elected or not- administrating a state where a section of its citizens is systematical, gradually, but surely being slaughtered like animals for years, and has not even as much arrested the perpetrators, has not compensated the victims, and offers no protection, can claim not to be complacent.
SOKAD and others have always argued that the Hausa Fulani nomads are always the initiators of any crisis in Kaduna State, and that other ethnic groups either defend or retaliate, but the state government has always denied this claim. We know that the southern Kaduna peoples are peace loving agrarian people, who are welcoming to all Nigerians; and we have always cited the incidents in other Middle belt states, and the Boko Haram siege in the north-east, to support our claim.
We take this opportunity to sympathize with, and pray for, the people of Benue state who were raided by 700 Fulani nomads on February 17, 2014; more so, with the Tor Tiv and his family, for the defilement of his Palace. Our prayers and sympathy also go to the people of Bauchi and Adamawa States for all the pains and sufferings they have had in the hands of Boko Haram, especially the recent devilish acts on school children. We wish to assure the victims of such hellish acts that the acts are the work of the devil, and that your God is a true and powerful God, who does not need the hands of mortal beings to kill for Him: He is capable and loving.
It is on this note that on behalf of southern Kaduna diaspora, join this brave group- SKIPF0- in taking Governor Yero to ICC, and call on other organizations in the state and beyond to join with them to make a case for the indictment of the Governor of Kaduna. SOKAD wants to go further and include in the indictment, the Kaduna State commissioner of police, and all the legislators (National and State). Our Representatives have failed us. Though our southern Kaduna legislators can be indicted through the ballot box, it is proper to have them as co- defendants in this case.
We thank SKIPFo for taking this initiative and bold step and pledge our cooperation and support. The lives, identity, and destiny of the Southern Kaduna peoples are at stake.
Dr. Likita Aminu (President, SOKAD-USA)
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