By Hassan Zaggi
The Middle Belt Forum (MBF), has advised the Nigeria Military to remain impartial and not take sides with the terrorists herdsmen currently killing people in some local government areas in Southern Kaduna.
The group, however, condemned the killing of innocent people in recent days and called on the members of the public to cooperate with the military in halting the deadly activities of the terrorists.
In a statement signed by its National President, Dr Pogu Bitrus, the MBF said: “We call on the military to ensure they do not take sides with invading terrorist herdsmen forces that are leaving trails of blood and gloom as they engage in deadly attacks on Southern Kaduna and other Middle Belt communities.
“For peace to return to these attacked areas, the cooperation of the members of the public and impartiality of the military are critical in defeating these forces of evil that have wreaked devastating havoc on our people.”
The Forum, however, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to, as a matter of urgency, discharge his responsibility and protect communities under attack in the middle belt region.
“The MBF wishes to draw the attention of the Federal Government under President Buhari that the corporate unity of the nation is being threatened by these premeditated attacks, as no country can survive these unprovoked assaults for long,” the statement reiterated.
The MBF further called on members of the state and federal lawmaker representing these areas under siege to stand up for their people, insisting that, “without walking together for the common cause, the dawn for a new day will take a long while to come.
“As a socio-cultural group serving as an umbrella body for all ethnic nationalities in the defunct Northern Region, the Forum shall irrevocably continue to work with other socio-cultural organisations in Southern Nigeria to bring about the required restructuring of the country in order to pave way for justice and make Nigeria a truly great nation where all shall realise their full potentials.”
While picking holes in the recent statement made by the President’s Spokesman, Garba Shehu, the MBF said: “Appraising the content of the statement that was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, it is rather unfortunate and tragic that those who should stop the horrifying human carnage would attempt to turn the truth on its head.
“For over two months now, Southern Kaduna has been consistently reduced to a horrible gloomy cynosure of barbaric killings that have culminated into loss of lives and destruction of many communities, including kidnappings, among other criminal activities by terrorists.
“For the Presidency to issue such a statement when hundreds of people have been asininely slaughtered and thousands sacked from their homes and now in Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps shows that it is either ignorant of the reality on ground or have chosen to toe the path of falsehood.
“The ongoing bloodshed in Southern Kaduna has been characterised with decimation of both the populace and communities strictly for conquest and occupation. From Chikun to Birnin Gwari, from Kachia to Sanga, the bloody signature of massive killings are there for all to see.
“Many communities in Southern Kaduna have been sacked and several hundreds of innocent citizens killed, with increasing spates of attacks threatening the security of the area.
“The criminalization of self-defence by government has turned Southern Kaduna people into easy targets for terrorist herdsmen to gruesomely murder and destroy many communities.
“The recent killings of no fewer than 12 persons in Kafanchan on Friday’s night and last weekend’s gruesome murder of 38 people in Southern Kaduna within a span of four days is a pointer that the area is becoming the nation’s dark axis of death that has attracted national and global outrage.”