Just as Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, disclosed that the death toll from the recent killings in Kajuru local government area of the state has risen to 130, mouthpiece of the southern Kaduna people, the Southern Kaduna People’s Union, SOKAPU, has asked the Governor to prove his claim.
Solomon Musa, the president of SOKAPU, a lawyer in a telephone interview with The Nation on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, asked Governor El-Rufai to justify his 130 casualty figure claims, by exhuming victims’ bodies to show the world.
Musa said, in the history of several other crises in Southern Kaduna, Governor El-Rufai had never come out to disclose figures of casualties and ethnic nationalities of the victims, except now.
According to him, “information available to me has it that, on Sunday, 11 people were killed in Ungwan Barde, and up till now that I am talking to you, the Governor has not visited that place. So, it becomes very suspicious.
“Now, I don’t want to bother on the issue of whether 66 people or 130 people were killed or not, because every human life is sacred, and the life of a Fulani man is as precious as the life of an Adara person, the life of a Muslim is as precious as the life of a Christian. So, it is not about number.
“But, assuming it is so, one would expect that the bodies would be there. One would expect that, if there are questions on the number of people, it should get to the point of exhuming, but 66 people dying on Friday, and by the next day, the bodies are not there? They were already buried? All these become suspicious
“Assuming 66 people truly died on the eve of the suspended election. Let me tell you, it appears… The Governor in August last year held a meeting with Pastors and said, Southern Kaduna people love violence. And we issued a press statement in September, asking him why would he say that? We suspected him of planning something towards the election, we said it our press statement and there was no refutal from the state government.
“When there was crisis in Kasuwan Magani late last year, we didn’t hear the Governor saying so so number or Adara people or Fulani were killed. In the case of Kajuru, even if it were to be only Adara people that were killed, I don’t expect the Governor on the eve of an important election to announce that, 11 Adara people were killed, because doing that, and then telling the people not to carry out reprisal attack, what is that? This is a father the state for crying out loud.
“That is why we said that, it appears the Governor is saying that, because he has a purpose. And the purpose is simple, as far as we are concerned is that, if there is crisis, the election will be postponed, then, who stands to benefit from it? I would expect that what he ought to have done at that time is to get the people around to douse the tension, rather than doing what he did.
“So, what we are saying is is that it is even possible for 1,000 people to have been killed, but responsibility is on you to proof it if questions are raised. I am being scientific about it, if you say 66 it even 130 people were killed, then, you get medical team, get permission of the court, then you go and exhume and say look at the bodies.” SOKAPU President stressed.