The Atyap people under the auspices of Atyap Community Development Association (ACDA) in Zangon Kataf local government area of Kaduna State have given some conditions on how to achieve peaceful coexistence following bloody clashes with Fulani herdsmen over the years and in recent times.
There were killings and burning of over 30 persons and several houses in some communities of Zangon Kataf late last month.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, the President, Atyap Community Development Association (ACDA), Mr Samuel T Achi, said there will be peaceful coexistence if only the Fulani herdsmen and terrorists stop attacking and killing his people henceforth.
Mr Achi added that Atyap land and the entire Zangon Kataf will be totally declared as a no-go area for the rearing of cows if any attack and killing of his people is reported again.
This was even as the Atyap people faulted the security report on the recent killings in the area by the Sector Commander, Operation Safe Haven in Southern Kaduna, Brigadier General Timothy Opurum, saying his report was biased, lopsided, unbalanced and misleading.
“The persistent attacks on Atyap land are likened to those of 2019 and are the handwork of some criminal elements in our midst that need to be apprehended and punished in accordance with the provisions of our criminal law by the security agencies.
“We hereby call on the attention of the world and people of goodwill to know that the systematic attacks, killings and burning going on in Atyap by armed militias with the collaboration of the local Fulani, aided and sheltered by the Hausa community in Zangon Urban, are all aimed at taking over our land which we shall resist with the last drop of our blood.
“We call on our people to exercise their natural, fundamental and constitutional right of self-defence against any further unprovoked attacks. Enough is enough. We also want to make it very clear that henceforth any attack on any of our communities will attract a total no-go area for rearing cows.
“We call on the incoming administration to strive to ensure inclusive governance and improve security and development in Atyap land and many other areas ravaged by killings in the state. We are still hopeful that one day, we will still live together with our brothers, the Hausa and the Fulani in our land as it has always been.
We believe the Governor was misled by the biased, shallowed and lopsided briefing of the outgoing Sector Commander. However, our balanced and objective narration, laced with logical facts as they occurred above, clearly shows that the traditional rulership and community leaders in Atyap land are working very hard to maintain peace.
“We have no option than to believe that it is the biased report of Brigadier General Opurum that made His Excellency suddenly change gear. This notwithstanding, our outgoing Governor should know that as the Chief Security Officer of Kaduna State, which includes Atyap land, he has the duty to secure the lives and property of residents of the State. He should therefore not transfer his failure to secure lives and property to traditional rulers in the State. His Excellency cannot abdicate his responsibilities.
“Recently, Atyap land has dominated the headlines for the wrong reasons following renewed attacks in Ungwan Wakili, Lagson, Atakjei and Runji where 70 people have been killed, including a 5-year-old boy who was beheaded. As of the last count, 20 villages have been displaced, 18 villages burnt down, while 518 people killed with thousands of victims who have taken refuge across many communities from 2017 till date.
“The Military personnel drafted to provide security in the area are not helping matters. Instead of performing their primary assignment of securing all lives and property of the communities, they are selective by taking sides with the herdsmen. This is evident in the 2023 First Quarter Security Report presented to the Kaduna State Government by the Sector Commander, Operation Safe Haven in Southern Kaduna, Brigadier General Timothy Opurum on the recent killings in Atyap land.
“The Sector Commander, Brigadier General Timothy Opurum, deliberately failed, neglected and/or refused to highlight the contributions of the Traditional Council in Atyap land towards maintaining peace in the Chiefdom, which facts are known to him and other security agencies in the area. The report did not convey the positive role played so far by the Traditional Council and other community leaders in dissipating the conflicts.
“However, the Governor in demonstrating his appreciation and act of goodwill, promised to cede to the Agwatyap’s demand to; construct the road linking Ungwan Wakili to Kwaku and Gora, as well as the road linking Zango, Tangjei and Ungwan Jaba, including Zangon Urban roads. He also promised to construct a bridge linking Gidan Zaki and Manyi Agwhui, owing to the Agwatyap’s leadership role in initiating peace in his Chiefdom.
“No doubt, the Atyap people still look forward to the Governor fulfilling these promises even as a parting gift, as he prepares his handing over notes on May 29, 2023. And without mincing words, it should be noted for the records that the Atyap land is yet to benefit any project by the State Government since its inception in 2015”. Achi, Atyap leader said.
Leave a Reply