Southern Kaduna Indigenes Progressive Forum has said that it has compiled enough documentary and other relevant information to drag Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague for genocide against the Atakad people of Kaura Local Government Area in the southern part of Kaduna State.
A Press Statement signed by the Chairman of the group, Major George Asake (rtd) said that its lawyers were working in concert with other experts to file genocide charges against Yero, and possibly seek his extradition to stand prosecution even after he would have left office.
The forum which gave a detail tabulated sequence of the invasions of Atakad communities and other parts of Southern Kaduna since 2011 said about 160 people have lost their lives, 202 wounded.
In its reaction the Kaduna State Government decried what it called to another deliberate but failed attempt by a group of persons bent on instigating crisis in the State, but masquerading as Southern Kaduna Indigenes Progress Forum.
In a press statement made avaible to Newsdiaryonline, which was signed by the Director General Media and Publicity, Mal. Ahmed Maiyaki explained that “No amount of mischief and blackmail, not even an empty threat of inviting the International Criminal Court (ICC) can distract the Governor from pursuing his comprehensive peace plan to a logical conclusion. The Governor has nothing to hide and will never treat any section in the State with disdain or bias on whatever basis. We now know those that benefit from situations of acrimony and suspicion in the State and they have failed in their antics of remaining relevant as ethnic jingoists. They will stop at nothing to sustain an environment of hate, so that they can remain relevant”.
The statement said “ordinarily, we would have ignored them. But when lies are told repeatedly, there is a tendency for the members of the public to want to believe the group, promoted by some Journalists in the State, but which now operates under different kinds of identities, with their motive remaining constant-i.e to seek cheap attention through deliberate exploitation of ethno-religious sentiments.”
“Only last week, the same set of people, using a different platform, called for the declaration of a state of emergency in Kaduna State, on account of an incident that occurred in Plateau State”.
He further “Having failed to make any impact with that infamous call, the group this time came up with another wild and unfounded allegation that the State government shared N564 billion to victims of the 2011 post election crisis in the State”.
“If those who claim to be Journalists among them are well educated and well informed about happenings in Kaduna State, they should have known that the total annual budget of Kaduna State is less than N200 billion for 2013 when the funds were disbursed.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the actual amount realized and shared to victims of the said crisis was N410 million and the money was shared as assistance to affected Churches, Mosques and to victims in all the three (3) zones of the State including Christian and Muslim Victims.
“We therefore view the recent resort to spreading fallacy in the media as a new display of the desperation of these selfish individuals, who will stop at nothing including the deliberate use of ethnic and religious sentiments to achieve personal gains. These people have no hearts to feel that endangering peace on the altar of greed will not augur well for our existence as a people”.
On the issue of incessant attacks by unknown gunmen in the Southern parts of
the State, he said “it is a common knowledge that Governor Yero has made several efforts at addressing the security situations in the area, especially along the boundary with Plateau
“It is a fact that most of the attacks in Kaura Local Government Area have happened in communities that share border with Plateau State and it is obvious that the crisis is not unconnected with the security situation in that State. Governor Yero has also remained consistent in showing his concern over such attacks and has always personally visited the affected communities to commiserate with victims, including the most recent attack in Ungwan Kajit.
“It is also on record that on all such sad occurrences, the State Government through the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) always provides some sort of immediate support to victims. Governor Yero is not interested in playing politics with issues of crisis when they sadly occur and prefers to act promptly by bringing help to the people. From Birnin Gwari, Zangon Kataf, Takad to Zaria, the Governor has always stood by the people in their times of grief and will continue not only to do so, but to find ways of ending wanton breach of security by cowards, who take pleasure from spilling innocent blood”.
According to the DG , “Governor Yero remains committed to working with all security operatives in the State as well as all stakeholders in effort at building lasting peace and security in the entire State. This the Governor has abundantly exhibited in both actions and words since he assumed office over one year ago, following the demise of his predecessor, the late Sir Patrick Yakowa in a helicopter crash in Bayelsa State”.