Over 90 per cent of Atyap settlements in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State has been deserted, 100 persons killed and over eight towns completely reduced to rubble, following attacks by bandits, the Middle Belt Forum has said.
The organisation therefore called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to order the National Emergency Management Agency to provide for the needs of thousands of displaced persons who have become refugees in their ancestral lands.
The National Publicity Secretary of MBF, Dr. Isuwa Dogo, who said this in a statement in Abuja on Monday, informed that thousands of inhabitants have become residents of several Internally Displaced Persons camps.
He said, “Following this unprecedented attacks on Atyap towns and the fears of insecurity thrown over these attacked communities, no less than about 90 per cent of Atyap’s settlements has been deserted and thousands of fear-stricken inhabitants are now unwilling guests of several IDPs camps scattered in the LGs.
“It is a tragedy of monumental proportions that since these attacks commenced, not much of an effort has been deployed by both the Kaduna State Government and relevant security agencies to end these barbaric attacks that have led to the death of no fewer than 100 persons and over eight towns completely reduced to rubbles.
“The MBF is not only worried at the rising spates of these terror attacks on peaceful communities, we are also worried at the destruction of food crops by these invaders in a bid to create looming food insecurity for these vulnerable communities that depend on their farmlands for survival. We condemn in totality the lackadaisical attitude of both the Kaduna State Government under Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai and relevant security agencies in combating these monsters of destruction.
“As law-abiding citizens, the people of Southern Kaduna have continued to look up to both the State and Federal Government to defend them and stop these uncontrolled assaults on their lands. It amounts to a clear abdication of responsibility by the government to look the other way round while attackers, equipped with sophisticated weapons, are allowed to visit terror on defenceless victims.
“The Forum is equally worried that despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s directives to security agencies to tackle banditry and insurgencies, the nation’s military forces are yet to confront these monsters and lawless brigands in the language they understand.
“Nearly over two weeks, about 120 kidnapped students of Bethel Baptist High School are yet to be rescued from the den of these daredevil criminals. The inability of the security forces to rescue these children from these blood-thirsty outlaws is not only a failure on the part of the government but a clear letdown on citizens’ confidence in the government to protect them.
“With over 300 kidnapped victims in the den of these monsters that have become purveyors of national catastrophes, it is evident that our country is cascading down the slippery slope of uncertainties.
“As an umbrella organisation for all ethnic nationalities in the Middle Belt region, we consider the intense severe attacks on Southern Kaduna, which is part of the Middle Belt region, as constituting deliberate attempts by terror gangs, in collaboration with some corrupt elements in the military, to weaken and destroy our defenceless communities.
“It is clearly undeniable that utterances by Governor el-Rufai has not only enraged these blood-sucking bandits but has infuriated them to unleash more havoc to prove their invisibility to security forces that have failed to protect lives and property.
“Let us declare categorically that attacked communities are being pushed to the walls and the government must not allow these communities to resort to every means for protection. When recently the Forum called for the imposition of a state of emergency on the entire state, we were guided by the harrowing level of insecurity that has become a normal trend in Kaduna State.
“As an organization, we called on the Federal Government to act fast and arrest the daily assaults by bandits that have turned our once thriving communities into deserted abodes. The present insecurity ripping across these attacked settlements calls for urgent actions.
“We also call on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the National Emergency Management Agency to provide for the needs of thousands of displaced persons who are now refugees in their ancestral lands.”