By Godwin Atama
A socio-cultural group known as Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has raised an alarm that the deposed Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido and 51 others should be held responsible if anything untoward happens to Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom concerning the alleged killing of pastoralists in Nasarawa State.
The group warned that Southern Kaduna, which is a formidable part of the Middle Belt, wishes to declare that should any harm befall the Governor Ortom, Sanusi and the others should be made accountable. The group was reacting to what it described as “a well-packaged bouquet of deadly accusations” agaihst Governor Ortom.
Spokesperson of SOKAPU, Mr Luka Binniyat in a statement, noted that on the 30th January 2023, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, wrote and signed a strongly worded letter laced with allegations and threats against Governor Ortom to President Muhammadu Buhari, stating that for the former Emir of Kano and top Fulani elites to go far-fetched in trying to rope Ortom into the incident is preposterous and unfortunate.
The statement said what SOKAPU finds curious and very surprising is that Sanusi who has portrayed himself as a nationalist of some kind has reduced himself to a narrow champion of his tribesmen.
It stated that Sanusi has made Kaduna his second home since his dethronement as the Emir of Kano in March 2020 but has never made a comment on the mass killings of the people of Southern Kaduna and law-abiding Fulani in Kaduna State.
The statement further noted Sanusi wields a lot of influence on the Governor of Kaduna state who has continued to show a lack of capacity or will to protect or care for the people of Kaduna State, especially from the carnage carried out by armed herdsmen.
It wondered why Sanusi decides to put his gaze on Ortom in far away Benue State (away from the scene of the killings in Nasarawa State), when Kaduna, his second home is flowing with the blood of innocent citizens from barbaric herdsmen attacks, noting that it surely smacks of a worrisome agenda against Ortom.
The statement noted Governor Ortom has come under verbal attacks and has suffered and survived several attempts on his life just for enacting the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, stating that if a State Government enacts a law that every resident of the state is bound by, no ethnic group has the exclusive right to disrespect such a law no matter how privileged and protected it may be.
SOKAPU declared that it stands in solidarity with Governor Ortom and the People of Benue State and also called for a full investigation into the Akwanaja bombing, asking that same be extended into similar bombings that have taken place in Southern Kaduna.