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Southern Kaduna Crisis: An Ethno religious Struggle Rooted in History.

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THE reported bloodshed in Southern  Kaduna over the last few weeks has been profound enough to break the sinews of the most heartless soul. Needless to say that such bloody siege in this ethnocultural bloc of Kaduna State has been a ubiquitous theme over the years.

Rather more melodramatic in this latest ethnoreligious conflagration, is the colouration of religious persecution and campaign of calumny as alleged by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Association of Imams in the State. That nonetheless, does not still desensitize the grim fact the brunt was largely borne by Christian dominated settlements.

President Buhari as well has come under severe criticism for his seeming apathy over what has been described as a meticulously perpetrated genocide. Social networks in their usually uncensored fashion, have been awash with the Kaduna tales of horror gravitating towards biblical prophecies and political ploys aimed at Islamizing Nigeria.

Even as a bystander, one is almost tempted to take sides considering the partisan cum inflammatory antecedent of such clashes in the past. For the sake of posterity and the dire need to stem the frequency at which such ritual rear its ugly head, it behooves our collective bunch to prod deeper into the institutional malaise behind the ethnic minority tension in Southern Kaduna.

Chronicling the history of what is today known as Kaduna State brings to mind, the old Zazzau Emirate Province.

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The Muhammadan Hausa-Fulani group constitutes the major cultural segment and occupies the Northern part of the province. While the other ethnocultural bloc occupying the Southern half of the province was still punctuated by few Hausa walled villages and enclaves, it was often derogatorily described as being comprised of a pagan population. The imbalance in their demographic spread was further aggravated by the feudal system of political governance in the Emirate.

The Lord and vassal relationship, unfavorably skewed against the politically inferior ‘pagan population’ made them legitimate target for slave-raiding and exaction of tribute. The prejudice shown towards the Southern Kaduna made the pagan population particularly receptive to Christianity when it was introduced by early Missionaries.

With an entrenched socio-political and religious cleavage, the tone was set for ensuing frictions when the Kaje ethnic group protested over perceived discrimination by the Native Authority administration in 1948. Prequel to the 1976 Local Government Reforms,  claims of deliberate marginalisation raised by frontliners from Southern Kaduna often fuelled resentment among locals. Hausa traders sparked a riot in 1980 after laying sudden claims to Adara land in Kasuwan Magan, Kajuru Local Government.

In 1986, power mongers blamed the Kurama for daring to oppose the candidature of a prominent Bakurmi Muslim who contested for the district headship of Lere District.

Attacks  by the Muslim Students Society against students of the College of Education in 1987 elicited the widespread Kafanchan riots, leading to wanton destruction of lives and properties. The SUG election won by a Christian student at the Ahmadu Bello University in 1988 stirred reprisal attacks from some Muslim students, leading to ethnoreligious riots as well. The Kaduna House of Assembly in 2000, arbitrarily proceeded to debate the imposition of Sharia in Kaduna State which eventually led to large scale riots not only in Kaduna but also in several Northern States.

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Space would really not permit an exhaustive citation of the litany of misundertanding that has engulfed this ethnoreligious fabric reminiscent of the defunct Yugoslavia.

So how effective has been the regulatory responses of the Government to the series of crisis in this region? In retrospect, one can say that the series of  White Paper Reports submitted by committees set up to identify the immediate and remote causes of some of these crisis, have failed to correct the inherent anomalies among rival ethnic groups. Against this backdrop, the onus is on the Buhari-led government to explore new policy options that deviates from what was obtained in the past.

It is equally imperative for lawmakers in the State to work towards the creation of more local governments and chiefdoms in volatile areas occupied by both Hausa-Fulanis’ and other tribes.

With respect to helping the psyche of most Nigerians, President Buhari needs to be more proactive in his response to issues that reverberates on the consciousness of the average Nigerian. His seemingly lackadaisical reaction sent the wrong signals and has heightened public scepticism concerning his ethnoreligious insularity. Following the general elections in 2015, this writer argued that President Buhari ought to have embarked on a nation-wide tour with emphasis on those areas where he was less popular.

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By so doing, he would have worked on the minds of those who were sorely aggrieved with the ouster of the PDP and ex-President Jonathan. Beyond appealing as a jamboree, it would have also doused the misgiving which eventually fuelled the renewed struggle for a sovereign State of Biafra and militancy in the Niger Delta.

Keeping over 250 nations in one enclave is as delicate as reading the white lines in a marble column.

 

By Kadiri Tolani.

 

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National Issues

#ENDSARS: Buhari to address the Nation at 7pm on Thursday

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President Muhammadu Buhari will make will make a national broadcast Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 7pm.

This was stated in a Press Statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adriana

According to him, “Following detailed briefing by security chiefs on the current situation in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari

”Television, radio and other electronic media outlets are enjoined to hook up to the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Radio Nigeria respectively for the broadcast”.

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National Issues

#ENDSARS: ‘Military offensive on protesters is an abomination, Akande -Sadipe talks tough

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Akande-Sadipe

The Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe has called on President Muhammed Buhari to address the killing of unarmed protesters across the nation, while condemning the killing of protesters by Armed Security operatives in the country.

Tolulope Akande Sadipe in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday said, “I weep for my beloved country, Nigeria. This is the Darkest Moment in our Nation. The Current Action is Unacceptable”.

She wondered why men of the Nigerian Army turned on the people they were meant to Protect, firing live bullets at citizens holding the Nigerian Flag and chanting the National Anthem, describing such as an “Abomination”.

“I, as a member of the House of Representatives cannot keep quiet in the midst of this abominable action. I was duly elected to be the voice of my people and my people are weeping”, she said.

She opined that the protests were about a generation trying to end the systematic rot that pervades the society, which had eaten deep into the fabrics of the Nation.

The APC chieftain  continued, “We need to be honest with one another on this matter. We need to face the truth on ground. The youths were out there because they are tired and fed up of victimization, daily oppression, injustice, unemployment, untapped talents, lack of opportunity, poor healthcare, poor education and lack of infrastructure and power across the Nation. The Youths are protesting for a better future for themselves and their children. The #EndSARS PROTEST stands for the systematic ROT in our Nation.

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“This was about the realities on ground. This was about the ROT since independence. This was about genuine service to the people who elected us to represent them. This was not about the President, this was not about the current administration, this was not about North and South, this was not about Religion. This was not about party affiliation. This was about a Generation trying to end the systematic ROT that pervades our society”.

Speaking against the backdrop that there are some external forces pushing for the destruction of Nigeria, the lawmaker representing Oluyole Federal Constituency  said the Federal Government should genuinely address issues.

“Those alluding, that there is a 5th Columnist within or external, there is a solution. If there is a 5th columnist or external negative force, pushing for the destruction of Nigeria, if we do the right thing, by genuinely addressing the issues that have led to the distrust between leadership and our youths, by addressing the rot that has pervaded our Nation. The 5th columnist in our midst or external negative force, would fail. But with this action, what have we said to the Youth and to the world.

“This is the time to make the wrongs right and it is not by bringing out the Army to shoot its own citizens, that we achieve this. We can still put a stop to this inferno. We must realize that no position is permanent and it is the country we make that we shall all live in”, she added.

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Concluding, she empathized with all the families of fallen Youth Patriots, praying that their death would not be in vain.

 

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National Issues

Nigeria Excluded From 2022 US Visa Lottery

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Nigeria has been barred from the US visa lottery application for 2022, a document obtained from the US Government website showed. 

In a 19-page document published on the website, Nigeria is the only African country barred from the visa lottery.

“For DV-2022, persons born in the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than, 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam,” the document read. “Persons born in Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.”

Although natives of other African countries are allowed to apply, the document explained that “persons born in the areas administered prior to June 1967 by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt are chargeable, respectively, to Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt,” it said.

“Persons born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt; persons born in the West Bank are chargeable to Jordan; persons born in the Golan Heights are chargeable to Syria.”

In the document captioned “Instructions for the 2022 diversity immigrant visa program (dv-2022),” applicants must meet certain guidelines to be eligible for the visa lottery.

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“The Department of State determines selectees through a randomized computer drawing,” the statement added.

“The Department of State distributes diversity visas among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than seven per cent of the available DVs in any one year.”

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