Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has condemned what it described as massive destruction of life and property in Zangon Kataf local government area of Kaduna State throughout last week.
The forum described as unprecedented the attacks on Atyap towns and the fears of insecurity in the affected communities, lamenting that about 90 per cent of Atyap’s settlements had been deserted and thousands of fear-stricken inhabitants turned to unwilling guests of several Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps scattered in the local governments.
In a statement issued yesterday by the MBF national publicity secretary, Dr Isuwa Dogo, he said it was a tragedy of monumental proportions that since these attacks commenced, no serious efforts had been deployed by both the Kaduna State government and relevant security agencies to end the barbaric attacks that have led to the death of 100 persons and over eight towns reduced to rubbles.
Dogo said, “The Forum 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.”
He said as law-abiding citizens, the people of Southern Kaduna have continued to look up to both the state and federal governments to defend them and stop these uncontrolled assaults on their lands, adding that it amounts to a clear abdication of responsibility by the government to look the other way while attackers, equipped with sophisticated weapons, are allowed to visit terror on defenceless victims.
He said 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, as over two weeks have passed and about 120 kidnapped students of Bethel Baptist High School are yet to be rescued from the den of these daredevil criminals.
He noted that 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. He said 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 had 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,” he said.