Victims of 2011 violence in Southern Kaduna have asked the Federal Government to pay up the N4 billion compensations earmarked for them.
The victims, under the umbrella of Southern Kaduna Muslim Ummah Development Association, SOKAMUDA, made the appeal at a press conference on Wednesday in Kaduna.
The association Chairman, Ahmad Yandeh, said the victims had been abandoned and forgotten since the crisis that occurred seven years ago in which over 1, 000 Muslims were killed.
“It is an incontrovertible fact that the April 2011 Post Election Violence which took the typology of ethno religious cleansing (genocide) in some parts of Southern Kaduna had led to the death of over one thousand Muslims.
“The forceful displacement of over 25, 000 families from 38 settlements and the complete destruction of their dwellings, places of worship, farmlands, livestock and other means of livelihoods,” Mr Yandeh said.
According to him, the federal government promised to pay a compensation of N7 billion to the victims but only released N3 billion through the Kaduna State Government.
“The Kaduna State Government promised repeatedly to prosecute the culprits but up to now to no avail.
“Presently, the victims were denied rights of return to their places of abode, notably; the people of Matsirga were denied access to their farmlands which are currently trespassed by their aggressors,” Mr Yadeh said.
He added that the violence had “left behind huge humanitarian challenges facing the survivors made up widows, orphans, Internally Displaced Persons who were robbed of their homes, means of livelihood and places of worship.“
The chairman noted that in spite of the detailed investigation of the “genocide“ by Judicial Commission of Inquiry and Presidential Panel and issuance of white papers by both the state and federal government, “no one has been prosecuted for their role in the mayhem.”
“We acknowledge the efforts of various organizations, local and International, various Stakeholders such as NGOs, CSOs, CBOs, Foreign Embassies, and NASS Committees etc for the sundry efforts in peace building and mediation efforts in southern Kaduna.
“We also wish to recognize the laudable efforts of the Federal and the Kaduna State Government for beefing up the security architecture in and around Kafanchan and do hereby, appeal to for the extension of the same to other parts of the area.
“We commend the Kaduna state government for the establishment of the permanent Peace Commission in the State with the aim of addressing all issues in the State,“ he added.
Also, “ In line with Government Reports and White Papers on Post-Election Violence set up by both the Federal and State Governments, Persons indicted should be Investigated and reprimanded accordingly to serve as a deterrent.
“There should be fair trial and prosecution of all those found involved in the attacks and killings of people in all parts of the State.
“ There should also be adequate compensation and rehabilitation of the victims to alleviate their sufferings.
“ This needs to be given prominence and a comprehensive long term program needs be put-in place to guarantee the restoration of all lands, assets and properties of victims.
“There are essential needs for more grazing areas; watering points and migratory routes.
“Government should also provide essential services that will help the nomads improve their economic activities and ensure efficient and effective management of Pastoralists and farmers‘ conflicts.”
He urged the state government to empower traditional institutions to ensure check and balances within their domain, so that they can be held accountable for any breach of peace and extrajudicial killings in their areas.
“Known cattle routes (Burtali) should be retraced, re-demarcated and cleared.
“Existing Grazing Reserves without gazette should be gazetted and be provided with ranching and other facilities to encourage the herdsmen to reduce unnecessary movements.
“This would reduce frequent conflicts between farmers’ community and the herdsmen.“
The SOKAMUDA chairman, also appealed to governments to consolidate the permanent security formations in the entire Southern Kaduna, to safeguard the lives and property of citizens from ethnic militias.