Kajuru crisis: Adara people cry over unjust arraignment of their leaders by Kaduna govt

The Adara people of Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State have expressed deep shock on the arraignment of their parents over unproven alleged killing of some Fulanis by the Kaduna State Government.

They wondered why those responsible for the killing of almost 200 Adara natives were not arraigned.

A statement jointly signed by Bege Bawa Magaji, Mercy Dio Maisamari and Godiya Sani Magaji, on behalf of concerned children of the nine Adara elders currently in prison said, “We are traumatized that Kaduna State Government can quickly arraign our parents over alleged killing of’ 66 or 130 Fulanis’; an allegation that is still unproven, but cannot arraign those responsible for the killing of almost 200 Adara natives.

“Our fathers are locked up in a convict prison with murderers and thieves and rapists even when they have outstandingly served this country in various capacities. They are retirees and advanced in age and manage different form of life-threatening ailments yet they are confined to situations that aggravate their fragile health. What have they done to deserve this? What have we done that the country should match on in the face of this broad day travesty?

“While our parents are being detained, our communities have been fields of the most heinous and mind-blowing murders. By day or at night, our communities are attacked again and again. We are being beaten and not allowed to cry. What have we done to be treated this way? Are we no longer citizens of Kaduna State and nationals of Nigeria?

“This is a cry to all men and women of conscience and the international community to help us mount pressure on all tiers of government to free our fathers. It is 80 days since our parents have been unjustly held in prison and arraigned before a magistrate court that has no jurisdiction to try the allegations levelled against them. They have been denied bail.

“We the children of the elders and leaders of Adara request that the rule of law should take precedence so that our aged parents, many who have been away from our homes now for 80 days can be released back to us.

“The government has not arrested a single Fulani for the murder of our people and the destruction of our homes. It is even more shocking that in spite of the fact that these murderers carried out the attacks in broad daylight and sometimes exchange gunshots with security personnel, not a single individual or their sponsors have been arrested. This clearly exposes the government’s bias against the Adara nation.

“Since February 16 2019, our fathers have been in detention having been denied bail. Their continuous detention without bail or trial is a violation of their fundamental human rights.”

The statement explained that the plight of the Adara people in Southern Kaduna started with a document that emanated from the state government entitled: “Appointment of Committee to Review the Existing Chieftaincy in the State,” and then a second letter emanated from a sub-committee to look at the Nomenclature.”

The added, “After some communication, we woke up to see a state government gazette showing that the Adara Chiefdom had been scrapped and replaced with a Kajuru Emirate which meant that the predominantly Christian and Traditional religious Adara population could only be perpetually led in succession by Muslims while the Chiefdom which is one of the largest was balkanized and communities would be forced to abandon their ties and fall under either of the two divides.

“The Agom Adara then, Dr. Maiwada Galadima expressed dissent at the the gazette since it was neither requested for by the people nor did it meet basic requirements of fundamental rights or justice.

“Curiously, few months later he was kidnapped and subsequently murdered even when a huge ransom was paid to his kidnappers. When the Kaduna State Governor went to pay a condolence visit to the Chiefdom, the elders pleaded with the Governor to review the gazette and stated their disagreement with the new arrangement since that would mean something different foisted and forced on to our culture, tradition and identity .

“Following weeks of silence and with no words from the State Government, the Adara Development Association wrote a letter seeking for audience with the government so that issues will be discussed and an amicable settlement reached, this again met a deafening silence.

“A follow-up letter written on the 28th of November 2018, and received by the Government on the 30th of November 2018 still asking for audience was again sent. Still there was no reply.

“Suddenly, the Kaduna state government started relating to the Adara Chiefdom as if the gazette had been implemented. Information even seeped in of a proposal by the government to install a non- Adara person as Chief of Kachia . The Adara elders, on behalf of all the Adara people of Kachia and Kajuru local government areas of Kaduna State filed the matter in court on the 24th day of January 2019, in the High Court of Justice of Kaduna State In the Kaduna judicial division. The Adara elders are seeking to reverse the decision to balkanize the Chiefdom. Shortly after, the highest existing leadership of the Adara nation were rounded up for culpable homicide, detained, then sent to prison even when there was no proof of evidence in the arrest and charges made.

“The Government claimed that “66 Fulani bodies were found” The government eventually increased the death figure of Fulanis to 130 (one hundred and thirty)- a figure and allegations that remain unsubstantiated and at best, exists only in the figment of the government’s imagination. The civil case filed by the Adara on the retention of their chiefdom and traditional heritage is still in court.”

The Adara leaders in prison on charges of culpable homicide, according to the statement are the acting paramount Chief, Engr. Bawa Magaji Kufana (who had previously served as a Commissioner of Agriculture and also as a Commissioner of Chieftaincy Affairs during Governor Ahmed Makarfi’s tenure.

Others are the President of the Adara Development Union, Awemi Dio Maisamari, Sani Magaji, a retired Commissioner of Police and
Joseph Abdallah, National Treasurer, Adara Development Association.

The statement added that the list include Tanko Maisamari, Village Head of Maro, Hosea Danladi, Village Head of Ungwan Gamo, Joseph Ayuba, Village Head of Kutura,
Tanko Wada, Village Head of Aguba and Ulu Maitumbi, an Ungwan Barde Elder.

“Incidentally, there have been attacks and killings even after the confinement in prison of our elders. The areas of attack include Ungwan Aku, Makyali, Karamai, Dogon Noma, Kajuru Castle, Kasuwan Magani, and Ungwan Gajere, all in Kajuru Local Government. At the time of this statement, about 12,480 Adara people have been displaced from their ancestral homes and now live in IDP camps with the attendant hazards.

“We are alarmed at the increasing spate of mass slaughter unleashed by terrorists on our innocent people living in Adara communities. These attacks have so far claimed the lives of almost 200 Adara natives, slaughtered in the most cruel and dehumanizing manner. And over 500 houses were destroyed by invading armed herdsmen,” the statement observed.

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