From Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
Sequel to the ongoing killings in many communities across the country and in particular the recent one in Kajuru, which has claimed scores, Reverend Gideon Para-Mallam of the Citizens Monitoring Group (CMG), which works with Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, said the nation is gradually sliding back into the medieval times.
He also said the recent killings are just a “sad” confirmation of what was predicted to happen after the general elections.
Para-Mallam disclosed this in an exclusive interview with our correspondent in Jos, the Plateau State Capital.
“Totally unacceptable and unconscionable. These killings shows that Nigeria is gradually sliding back into the Medieval ages. What a tragic national story our Nigeria is fast becoming.
According to him, “Some people had speculated that the killings of innocent farmers by the herders will resume soon after the elections of February 23rd and March 9th, 2019.
“Therefore, what we are witnessing now is becoming a very sad confirmation of that prediction.
He said, “When the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria spoke on the Kaduna killings last week, he came up with a narrative which suggests that the people are not willing to sheath their swords and are some how not helping to see the killings ended.
“It’s so strange; how could the President who should have condemned the killings and provide a future roadmap of ending the killings, not just in Kaduna State but all of Nigeria speak so feebly? He asked.
“How could he not have offered hope and a vision of peaceful co-existence? It’s shocking and disappointing.
Speaking about the role of the Kaduna State Government, the Reverend who is also the founder, Gideon and Funmi Para-Mallam Peace Foundation, said, “On their part, the Kaduna State Government imposed curfew, which by now we all know does little or nothing to stop the atrocities?
According to him, “The same Governor was quick to take the press to show the world how the Adara people killed Fulanis a few days back and yet now he is conspicuously missing in leading the same Press to go and show the same world how Fulanis are killing the Adara people?
“Daily Trust Newspapers in one of their Editorials just a few days to the Governorship elections of March 9th, 2019, almost certainly predicted a revenge attack by the Fulani herders on the Kajuru Farmers unless something fast was done to douse the tension.
“A proactive government one thought would have heeded this warning but alas, we are back to the killing fields of what Kaduna State is fast turning into”, he lamented.
The current attacks has been playing out since the attacks of February 10th, 2019, on the Adara people and their subsequent reactions. Both attacks and counter-attacks are all to be roundly condemned.
“The basic question remains; where is the Government? Are they truly helpless when it comes to preserving the safety of lives and properties of her citizens? Para-Mallam asked.
“I am weakened and broken inside but not discouraged. The efforts at genuine peace building must continue. It is important the people themselves rise up and work to find peace”, he maintained.
“I wish the Government could be an impartial umpire. However, one cannot in good conscience claim this to be the case.
“Beyond the government there are people of goodwill and conscience. This is the time for all to join hands and talk and walk the journey of peace. Genuine peace makers in Kaduna State and Nigeria, including the global community should rise up for the sake of God and the humanity He has created. May we all arise and do our best”, he stressed.
“Listening to some of the Adara people they feel they are up against the Fulanis with their sophisticated weapons on one hand and also against a State Government which seems to have taken sides against them on the other hand. One wonders, is the the Federal Government similarly being influenced in that direction – which seeks peace without the ingredients of Justice?
“Otherwise, how do you explain how several Adara prominent leaders who have been arrested and detained, including the Wazirin Adara who is next in position to the late Agwom Adara also now in detention? He further asked.
“His arrest and detention is coming on the heels of the kidnapping and killing in October 2018 of the Agwom Adara. This is unexplainable.
“Where are the Fulani Ardos and other leaders of the Fulanis not in similar detention?
“Are both the Federal and State Government comfortable with this naked injustice?
“At the personaI level, I really would appeal that something drastic be done immediately to end the killings first. Ironically and in truth, it is only the Government with the instrument of State power that should do this; end the killings through proactive steps for sustainable peace.
“Second, there is need to seek justice for the victims for both sides of these attacks. Then thirdly, with the humanitarian crises which is a reality, needs to be addressed; side by side with points one and two.
“There is need for a two-prong strategy for peace building – which combines peace and justice. This should be our ultimate goal.
Para-Mallam who is a peace advocate further stated that,
“Then, I have this nagging question and suggestion – what stops the President of Nigeria from re-enforcing and resourcing this security challenge by asking the Armed Forces of Nigeria to draft troops from Plateau and parts of Southern Kaduna – under Operation Safe Haven to Kajuru LGA?
“This Operation Safe Haven hasn’t been perfect but it has proved a track record of maintaining the delicate peace in the troubled communities of Plateau State and parts of Southern Kaduna.
According to him, “Their operation in providing safe havens for all in the community needs to be considered so they could take charge of security in Kajuru and Kachia LGAs.
“In the end, I still believe peace is possible in all of Kaduna State and Nigeria if there is political will and honesty of purpose which is rooted on the principle of social justice for all in our society”, he further stressed.