The people of Southern Kaduna in Kaduna State on Wednesday organized a prayer to prevent further killings in the region.
At least 100 persons in three villages of Ungwar Sankwai, Ungwar Gata and Chenshyi, all in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State were killed penultimate Saturday by suspected Fulani gunmen.
On hand to provide security at the venue where the prayer session held were combat ready policemen, who came in about 15 trucks.
The prayer lasted for two hours and was conducted by one Pastor Mathias Yashim.
The National President of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, Dr. Ephraim Goje, addressed the gathering, most of whom were clothed in black mourning robes and holding candle sticks.
They carried a mock-coffin to condemn what they described as ‘genocide’ in their land.
The SOKAPU president expressed dismay at the show of force by the government in their attempt to prevent a defenceless people from registering their feelings on the killings taking place in their lands.
According to Goje, since 2011, over 500 people had been killed in the southern part of the state.
His words, “SOKAPU is very disappointed with this kind of show of arms against aggrieved Southern Kaduna People, who had congregated here to mourn and pray for their loved ones killed in hundreds back home in their sleep.
“We do not know that this government has so much arms and personnel. We are therefore shock that this fierce looking policemen and soldiers, so well-armed, cannot go to Kaura and protect lives and property, but converge on this place against peaceful worshipers.
“There has been no fewer than 600 killed in 54 raids on Southern Kaduna villages since 2011, and it is like there is no government in place at all. We condemn this kind of insensitivity and we call on the Federal Government to relocate a Battalion of soldiers to Kaura LGA before it is too late. The genocide in Southern Kaduna must stop now”, Goje said.
The immediate past Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General of the state, Adamu Kish, in his address, said the use of armed men to dislodge a peaceful procession was a gross and arrogant violation of the rights of the people.
According to him, “The show of arms against a peaceful people praying to their God for intervention in what is going on against them is an arrogant violation of their basic rights to gather and worship, and even peacefully protest. This is not a mark of civility, and it must stand condemned.
“Our youths that were detained yesterday should be briefing their lawyers now for legal redress against their illegal detention and attendant trauma”.