By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
While lamenting.that it has been over one week since “trigger happy gunmen” abducted the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Kaura Local Government Area (LGA) in Southern part of Kaduna State – Dr. Bege Katuga – on his farm in Juji – a suburb of Kaduna town that falls under Chikun LGA, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has said that his abduction further casts dark hue over security situation in Kaduna State.
This was expressed in a statement signed by its National Public Relations Officer, Luka Binniyat, dated October 6, 2020.
“Katuka, is a serving Local Government Chairman. He is the political and administrative head of an entire LGA.
“Therefore, his criminal abduction has not only thrown Kaura LGA into anxiety, confusion and fear, it has further cast a dark, grim hue on the ever diminishing security reality in Kaduna state of today,” it said.
SOKAPU informed that the commercial bike rider that conveyed him to the farm was gruesomely shot dead on the spot before the kidnappers of the Chairman disappeared with him into the unknown.
“Today also marks the 42nd day since gunmen in broad day light invaded Prince Academy, Damba Kasaya in Chikun LGA, which also forms part of Southern Kaduna and killed Benjamin Auta, 35.
“They shot their way out of the village taking away the following school kids: Miracle Danjuma,16; Favor Danjuma, 10 and Happiness Odoji, 16.
“Their teachers: Mr Shadrach Bako, 28 and Miss Christiana Madugu, 27 were also kidnapped alongside their hapless pupils.
“Till date, the fate of these innocent children and their teachers is unknown, as government and security agencies have kept sealed lips over this crime as if their lives don’t matter,” SOKAPU said.
The group further said that while the invasion, destruction and killings of their rural people have ebbed in the past few days, kidnapping has suddenly increased.
“SOKAPU is daily inundated with reports of kidnapping and sundry crimes especially in our rural areas in the suburb of Kaduna metropolis where our members live.
“On regular basis, our people are forced to cough out millions to these outlaws, apart from burying those who are unfortunate to be killed in the hands of their abductors.
“All these are ploys to impoverish us and enrich the aggressors as a way of setting us economically backward.
“It is the view of SOKAPU that Kaduna State has never been so unsecured; crime and lawlessness so pervasive and common place.
“The most disturbing aspect of these evil is that government seems incapable of handling these crimes and the best way it thinks it can go about it is to remain mute.
” This is very unfortunate and sad. A responsible government that finds its self in such a quandary would regularly brief its citizens on what it is doing to secure them as a means assuring them that there is leadership in that state that cares. This rekindles hope, support and solidarity among the people and for even the government.
“Yet, it is this same Kaduna State Government that had used tracking devices to hunt down and arrest some vocal persons that had spoken against the highhanded leadership of Malam Nasir el-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna state. Why that technology is not deployed to equally track down those murderers and kidnappers leaves us baffled.
“We demand that Kaduna State Government and security agencies brief us on the latest pertaining Dr Bege Katuga. We believe that had a chairman of a Local Government from the Muslim North of Kaduna State where to be so brazenly seized and taken away by criminals, Kaduna State Government would have come out with a statement that would douse tension in his area.
“Curiously, despite Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s unabashed revulsion for Southern Kaduna, Dr Bege Katuga has been his loyal and committed aide, even at a huge cost to his image and goodwill among his people. Regardless of this, Katuka remains our son and we demand that his issue be treated with the seriously it deserves.
“It is our fervent prayers that Dr. Bege Katuga is returned to his family and love ones in good health and on time. We are equally praying for all those in the captivity of these evil people that they be released without harm.
“But government must also wake up to the cardinal reason why a government exists – security of lives and property.”