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Southern Kaduna: ‘We Prefer To Die As Christians Than Accept Islam’ – Catholic Priest Writes

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Rev Fr Paul Danbaki Jatau

Reverend Father Paul Jatau, an indigene of the troubled Southern Kaduna, has penned a moving piece to his brothers and sisters who have been targeted for extermination by the Fulani herdsmen militia.

The Catholic priest, who hold a Ph.D., titled his piece, Curfew in Southern Kaduna: A Challenge to be Steadfast, in which he sought to encourage his people and call for an end to the oppression and ongoing killings.

Father Jatau indicted the governor of Kaduna, Nasir El Rufai for being complicent in the recent wave of killings in the Christian dominated communities in Southern Kaduna.

He also called for a self-defence strategy saying that “it must be made most abundantly clear that standing and watching violent acts carried out by some aggressors does not make a man or woman non-violent but rather a coward”.

The letter is published, in its entirety, below:

Witnessing life in Kafanchan and other areas of Southern Kaduna these past few weeks has been particularly difficult, infuriating and heartbreaking. Today marks about two weeks of curfew during which people have been “imprisoned” and caged in their homes like animals through the use of terror and force.

What I see is a blatant abuse of power and a watering down of the word, ‘curfew’ to serve selfish purposes. In spite of the ever present and well armed security agents cum the heightening of the curfew, Kafanchan residents like residents of other parts of Southern Kaduna are determined to continue to live.

Southern Kaduna Inhabitants Do Not Give Up

It is an indisputable fact that the tears I feel blistering below the surface are because the Southern Kaduna people have vehemently and outrightly rejected the whims and  caprices of the Hausa-Fulani especially the issue of allowing their land to be turned into grazing reserves for the kin and kiths of El-rufa’i and his cohorts. This bravery, doggedness and sincere commitment to preserve and guard jealously the cherished patrimony is quite commendable.

I call on all indigenes of Southern Kaduna to remain calm irrespective of any form of conspiracy by the El-rufa’i led government to trigger anger. It was Mahatma Gandhi who once said, “non-violence is infinitely superior to violence”.

However, it must be made most abundantly clear that standing and watching violent acts carried out by some aggressors does not make a man or woman non-violent but rather a coward and just as responsible as the man performing the violent action himself.

As a people, we should not feel helpless, rather we should find the courage inside and a strength that does not come from physical traits but instead the mental capacity to stand our ground in the ideals that represent us as a people.

To crown it all is the commitment to PRAYER. The Christian Association Of Nigeria (CAN) sets aside the 8th of January, 2017 for all to pray particularly against the ongoing genocide taking place in the country especially in Southern Kaduna. The dress code for this day is black to reflect the mood of the people.

Finally, may I sound this to those who think they can use their power to humiliate, starve, cage or imprison the people of Southern Kaduna: “…You may kill us and destroy our property, but the King of the world will raise us up (cf. 2 Maccabees 7: 9 ).

And as a people, we refuse to be imprisoned in our houses for our minds are free; we refuse to be starved, we are an agrarian people. We refuse to be robbed of our land, it is our heritage!

We would prefer to DIE CHRISTIANS rather than accept Islam.

Long live Southern Kaduna!

God bless all!

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