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Published On: Sun, Apr 6th, 2014

Bondon massacre, justice, and Yero

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By Ben Adam Shemang

It is very inconceivable that on March 13, 119 persons were gruesomely murdered, houses, and places of worship were set ablaze in four villages, namely: Me-Sankwai, Me-Kakpang, Tyekum and Me-Kura and no single arrest has been made, no panel set up to investigate the matter and the murderers therefore, still lurk around. Your Excellency, I hear Mr Reuben Buhari, the former spokesman for late Governor Sir Patrick Yakowa, your predecessor, boss and friend was invited for a chat with security operatives for alleged possession of and use of photos of the scenes of these systematic murders. I’m not sure that is tackling the issue.

Up to now, some people in Bondon district in Kaduna state say there were two corpses that are not Moroa people and these corpses were part of the suspects who might have carried out the attacks. They were not buried along others in the mass graves rather they were handed over to the police. The people even allege that they know the two suspects and their parents. The suspects were among those doing commercial motorcycle business popularly known as “going” or “achaba” in the area. One would have thought security operatives could start investigations from this lead. And just on Saturday the 29th March, 2014, some herdsmen entered Me-Kura and killed one Mr Gabriel Mutuah and when the soldiers were called in, the herdsmen escaped leaving their cows behind. Security operatives again, can investigate this.

Before the Bondon pogrom by the “unknown” well armed men, a family of Seven was wiped out in Me-kasjit in Manchok. To everyone’s disappointment, that was swept under the carpet forgotten by larger society only to be remembered by relatives who are left with painful reminders each time they see the seven graves. No investigation. In Islam and Christianity, there is sanctity of life but in this case, it is government’s duty to protect the people it governs. It is a social contract, the electorate votes you in you protect them and give them amenities in return. With this symbiotic relationship, cohesion is maintained in society.

Yes, governor, you visited that family of seven victims. Inner most part of you must have lamented the abject poverty in that house that was not fighting any known enemy- imaginary or real. Many people said you were moved because of the misfortune that befell the family. It is human. In the case of Bondon 119, the killings happened when you were away, out of this country on your way. You aborted your trip because all was not well with your state. You have held a series of meetings with stakeholders in the state. You sent your deputy, Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga, to visit and commiserate with the people of Moroa land. Thank you.

For about 30 years now, Bondon district has only one clinic, an equivalent of a three bedroom flat. Lizards and other reptiles are helping themselves there by way of abode. Imagine carrying all the dead 199 bodies to that clinic. Imagine the sick and the internally displaced persons, about 2,000 refugees taken to that clinic, my governor! The three districts have just one secondary school. It started as a community secondary school before government took over but the population has since surpassed that school.

Unity, progress are needed in this our state, the centre of Learning. I recall as if it was yesterday, when Kaduna and Katsina states were together. Students from Katsina and Zaria areas were sent to schools to Southern Kaduna. Those from Southern Kaduna were equally sent to Katsina and Zaria areas. They cultivated friendship that still exists today among themselves. Some of my brothers and cousins still talk with nostalgia of GSS Malumfashi, Barewa collge, Alhudahuda College, GSS Mani, GSS Funtua, TC Katsina, GSS Fadan Kaje, TC Kagoro, TC Kafanchan, GSS Kafanchan, GGSS Kwoi, TC Manchok, among others. I see many of them so committed to activities of their alma-ata through old boys associations. What a nice handshake across states!

Sir, borrow a leaf from the National Security Adviser, Colonel Mohammed Sambo Dasuki. He has unfolded Nigeria’s new approach to the fight against extremism. Hear him: “I am planning an education summit that looks at the ways that education can be used as a tool to counter violent extremism. Our Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programme requires that the goal of education must be to develop critical thinking skills and logical reasoning as an essential ingredient to resilience. Youth must be mentored and nurtured through multiple platforms such as sports, arts, music, literature, history, leadership and service…schools must re trace their steps and return to being the primary laboratories of peace”.

Ben Adam Shemang via

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