By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The Southern Kaduna Peoples’ Union (SOKAPU) said bit has, conveyed relief materials donated by Dominion Chapel International to thousands of displaced Chawai natives displaced as a result of sacking of five communities in Chawai Chiefdom, Kauri Local Government Area (LGA) of Southern Kaduna on 25th April, 20222.
The Union, in a statement made available to journalists on Sunday by its spokesman Mr. Luka Binniyat stated that five communities of Unguwan Rimi, Kigam, Unguwan Magaji, Kitagum and Unguwan Makeri were invaded by armed militia and 25 persons killed and hundreds of homes burnt.
According to the statement, Kaduna State government has not visited the scenes of the violence and has not bothered about the welfare of the thousands of displaced persons since the incident occurred.
“The President of SOKAPU, Hon. Jonathan Asake, who spoke while handing down the relief materials to representatives of the five sacked communities at Government Primary School, Bakin Kogi, Kauru LGA, lamented that since the affected villages
of Unguwan Rimi, Kigam, Unguwan Magaji, Kitagum and Unguwan Makeri were invaded by armed militia tm 25 persons killed and hundreds of homes burnt, Kaduna State government has not visited the scenes of the violence and has not bothered about the welfare of the thousands of displaced persons.
“This is the story of the neglect and lack of empathy shown to our traumatised people in Southern Kaduna by both Kaduna State and the Federal Government since this massacre started in earnest in 2016,” the union leader who’s the former Federal lawmaker said.
“It is good spirited individuals, NGOs and Churches who we run to that have been helping to assist with relief materials like what the Dominion Chapel, International has done today,” he said.
“I will like to use this opportunity to thank the President of Dominion Chapel International, Arch Bishop John Praise, who has asked his members to donate these materials to our people on the day of his birthday (marked on 2nd May, 2022) as his show of love and solidarity to the people of Chawai and all other affected communities in Southern Kaduna and Nigeria,” Asake said.
Asake, who was also Caretaker Committee Chairman of Zangon Kataf LGA, pleaded for more donations, saying there are over 200,000 IDPs from over 145 Southern Kaduna communities who are living under sub human conditions in informal IDP camps or squatting under difficult conditions with relations in and outside the state.
The representative of the Archbishop, Bishop Fortress Eziekel said that Archbishop John Praise had refused to celebrate his 62 Birthday with any fanfare because he felt it was not right for him to rejoice while thousands of his brethren are finding it hard to eat after scores of their loves ones have been killed and the government is not doing anything to assist them.
“On that of his birthday our daddy said that any one who want to show love to him, should come and donate something for the people of Southern Kaduna who have been attacked and forced to leave their villages to a sad fate outside their homes,” said the representative of the founder of the church.
“He said that there will not be dancing or any form of celebration outside donations and prayers for Southern Kaduna and other communities who are similarly affected by violence.”
The National President of Chawai Development Association, Chief Habila Abel Samina, who spoke on behalf of the Chawai nation, expressed appreciation to the gesture of the church. He also thanked SOKAPU for always seeking intervention for his communities in many times they have been visited by violence from armed herdsmen.
“Our people are really suffering since these killings and burning down of our villages started some years back,” he said.
“In this last attack some people escaped with only short nickers on them,” he said
“Foodstuffs and valuables worth hundreds of millions were looted by the invaders, but a larger percentage was burnt,” he added.
He said that hundreds of the displaced persons were facing starvation and were in dire needs of clothes and blankets.
“We are therefore very grateful to Archbishop John Praise for his sympathy and support to us,” he said
Some of the items donated include 20 bags of rice, I large bag of gari, 40 bags of assorted clothes and shoes, cartons of sanitary pads and diapers.