The Middle Belt Forum on Sunday expressed concern over the killings in Nigeria, especially Kaduna State, where the rising spate of insecurity had continued to degenerate on a daily basis.
The MBF, therefore, called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to declare a state of emergency in Kaduna State, alleging that Governor Nasir El-Rufai, has shown gross incapacity to maintain peace.
The National President of MBF, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, in a statement, said most disturbing was the recent abduction of over 120 students of Bethel Baptist High School in Damishi that is located in the outskirts of Kaduna and the attitude of el-Rufai towards tackling the security challenges confronting the state.
He said, “Most disturbing is the recent abduction of over 120 students of Bethel Baptist High School in Damishi that is located in the outskirts of Kaduna. These minors are still being held captive in the forest with no food, shelter or medication.
“The most worrisome is the attitude of Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai towards tackling the security challenges confronting the state. While he has refused to negotiate with kidnappers, he has also not done anything to secure these weak communities against further attacks on vulnerable communities.
“More than anytime, Governor el-Rufai has continued to provoke bandits through unguarded utterances that have further enraged them to unleash more terror attacks on various communities.
“Communities across various local government areas in the state have come under unending severe attacks resulting in gruesome massacres, raping of women, destruction of property, incessant kidnappings made worse by huge payments of ransom to secure release of abducted persons and displacement of thousands of people out of their homelands
“More worrisome is the fact that attacks by these killer herdsmen and Fulani kidnappers on defenceless communities have led to massive displacement of people from their ancestral lands, thereby creating a catastrophic humanitarian crisis situation and rendering farmers unable to access their farmlands for agricultural activities.
“Current attacks on schools have also led to the withdrawal of pupils and students from schools or outright closure of such schools. The negative consequences of these on education and food security can only be imagined.
“On the other hand, kidnappers have taken over all the routes linking Kaduna State to other parts of the country where they have continued to unleash terror on road users. These criminals are not only engaged in abducting farmers from their farmlands, but have also resorted to breaking homes at night to abduct people. Sometimes, members of an entire family are kidnapped and herded into the forest where relatives of victims are forced to pay unimaginable amounts of money in ransom.”