Southern Kaduna indigenes, government disagree over alleged ransom payment to herdsmen
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) and the state government have disagreed over alleged ransom payment to armed herdsmen who attacked some communities in the area recently.
SOKAPU president, Solomon Musa, yesterday in a statement, said: “We demand, under the Freedom of Information Act, to know the identity of the Fulani terrorists. We demand to know the amount paid to them as well as the basis and laws used in assessment and computation of the compensation. We also demand to know the court, committee or legal persons that resolved to pay the compensation. We equally want to know when, where and who appropriated the money used in paying the compensation and finally we demand to know the identity of the beneficiaries.”
But Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s media aide, Samuel Aruwan, denied the allegation, saying there was never a time such payment was made.
He added that his boss had never said he paid or was paying herdsmen to halt attacks in parts of the state, noting that the current administration was only trying to implement a white paper by the late state governor, Ibrahim Yakowa, which recommended compensation for cattle killed during the post-2011 election crisis.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan yesterday accused the federal and state governments of partisanship. It asked that an all-inclusive commission of inquiry be put in place to unravel the remote and immediate causes of the crisis.
In a statement by the diocese’s Chancellor General, Very Rev Fr. Emmanuel Okolo, the church flayed the role of the military in the entire impasse.
It noted that the primary responsibility of government was protection of life and property of citizens irrespective of ethnic and/or religious persuasion.