Former Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial district, Shehu Sani on Tuesday lamented the killings in Southern Kaduna, saying that President Muhammadu Buhari should act before it is too late.
He said the ugly development shouldn’t be given another name, but it’s terrorism against the people of the area with Christians as worst casualties.
Speaking with correspondents in his office in Abuja after an award event, the former lawmaker and human rights activist said there can’t be mindless killing and bloodletting in the Northern part without people like him coming out to condemn openly.
“My history is the history of struggle against injustice; against oppression; against marginalisation; and terrorism. Our country today is going through a difficult moment.
“People have been killed by terrorists and bandits, particularly in the Northern part of Nigeria and particularly in the North West. “Women and children have been slaughtered.
“Mourning has become a daily affair. This award today is a challenge to each of us to call the government to account and to lend support in ending this mindless daily bloodletting. So much blood has been shed in the northern part of Nigeria.
“There’s terrorists and insurgents in the Northeast, bandits in the northwest part of Nigeria. Ethno-religious violence has consumed the States even within the middle belt like Benue.
“Peace and stability are important ingredients in national development and National prosperity of any nation. The greatest legacy that should be left behind by President Muhammadu Buhari is leaving behind united, peaceful and one Nigeria. The one our children can grow in and the one that we can all die in peace. It is important for people in a position of authority to understand that until the lives of people matter, nothing else matters.
“It doesn’t matter the length of roads you constructed or bridges or airports or railway stations and people are being slaughtered every day, it makes no sense. Human lives are more important than any infrastructural development.
“It is important for us to unite as a country, both Muslims and Christians to stand up in defence of unity. And to stand up and challenge terrorists and bandits who are a danger to our country and a serious threat to our lives.
Speaking further, he said the government should protect the citizens if it doesn’t want them to protect themselves.
“Those people who are opposed to self-defence should provide security and safety for the people. The failure of the security apparatus to protect the lives of people begets the idea of self-defence. Nigerians have the capacity and ability to defend themselves.
“I have said that when the security apparatus of the State cannot protect the people, then the people become lambs in the forest of hyenas and wolves. Terrorists and bandits killing innocent people in Katsina, they are the same, killing people in parts of Sokoto, Zamfara and Niger State.
“They are the ones in Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State. The killers of people in Southern Kaduna are terrorists and bandits. The use of the word reprisal or revenge is simply to justify the atrocious and unspeakable activities of bandits.
“The killers are not attacking Christians or Muslims, it’s terrorists attacking the people of Southern Kaduna of which majority of them are Christians. We should call a spade, a spade, so there’s a genocidal attack in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the North and we must tell the truth, no matter how bitter it is.
The civil rights activist advised President Buhari to set up a Presidential panel that would proffer solutions to the crisis in the north, adding that the President has ample time to address insecurity in Nigeria.
“I will use this opportunity to call on the President to call leaders of Southern Kaduna; the youths and Elders of Southern Kaduna to hear and have first hand, unbiased and unambiguous knowledge of what is happening there with a possible solution and how to bring an end to the crisis. You can’t solve the problem of the house without listening to the tenants and landlord of that house.
“It is also important for somebody like President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a Presidential Committee on finding solutions to kidnapping and banditry and violence in northern Nigeria.
“It is unfortunate that the forests; the countryside of the North is littered with corpses and politicians are standing on those corpses to talk about 2023. What should preoccupy the northern part of Nigeria today is ending the killings and violence in the north.
“President Muhammadu Buhari still has the opportunity to address these challenges. It’s not late, but he has to do what is right at this time because some of us will not sit on the fence, but speak to power”, he said.