The Catholic Church has come out strongly to decry the pains being suffered by the people of Southern Kaduna who are predominantly Christians.
The church, in a press release, noted that the alleged fight against the people of Southern Kaduna is a jihad which is well-funded even as it claimed that the herdsmen are not different from Boko Haram terrorists.
It further claimed that it is a move to suppress the spread of the gospel of Christ.
According to the press release which emanated from the Catholic Church of Kafancha, Nigerian military men who were stationed there also helped herdsmen in supervising attacks on the people.
The press release read in part:
“We, the Clergy, Religious and Laity of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan are here to present to the world, the pains, agony and sorrows that have befallen us in this part of the State, the Southern Senatorial Zone of Kaduna State.
“In the last weeks and months, we have become victims of systematic attacks orchestrated by another version of Boko Haram, who also go by the name ‘Fulani Herdsmen’.”
The church also highlighted grievous attacks against Christians of Southern Kaduna over the years, insisting that recent events are a continuation of the war against Christianity by Islam Jihadist.
Going further, the church said: “The events of the past weeks and months are unfortunate and further confirm that there is a hidden agenda targeted at the Christian Majority of Southern Kaduna.
“This Jihad is well funded, well planned and executed by agents of destabilization. Thus, our voice is like that of the one at Ramah that refused to be consoled (Jeremiah 31:15). We are however assured by the words of Christ that not a hair of our head will be lost (Luke 21:18).
“The church also added: For the records, Southern Kaduna Senatorial District is made up of Eight (8) Local Government areas: Sanga, Jema’a, Kaura, Jaba, Zangon Kataf, Kagarko, Kachia, and Kauru. These Local governments are densely populated by Christians.
“This land, fertile and agrarian, is blessed with adequate rainfall enough to make our crops yield bounteously. The beautiful hills and valleys are a sight to behold. It is this beautiful gift of God to the people of Southern Kaduna that our adversaries seek to covet by employing terrorism in order to occupy.
“Our Land and Faith have become the envy of our traducers and persecutors. The gift of the Christian faith found a place in the hearts of our forefathers hundreds of years ago and today we can boast of a vibrant faith in Jesus Christ represented by the many denominations in Southern Kaduna and an army of Ministers of the Gospel who today have been elevated by God to various offices.”
The Church also stated the issues which culminated in the recent destruction of lives and properties.
“What started like a minor misunderstanding between Fulani herdsmen and indigenous farmers was badly handled and it soon took a different turn for the worse. Our people are largely farmers. They depend on their farms for sustenance.
“Our Farmers will labor all year round to cultivate their farms. The Fulani herdsmen will deliberately walk their cows into their farmlands. The cows will naturally eat up the crops and destroy the farmlands.
“For families that depend on this, one can better imagine the negative impact. So when this happens, the farmer confronts the Fulani herdsmen to seek a peaceful resolution.
“Most times, this gesture is met with stiff resistance as the herdsmen would threaten the farmer or begins a violent fight. In most occasions, because the herdsmen are armed to the teeth, they deal a heavy blow to the local farmer that result in death.
The church also accused the government of bias in handling the situation and claimed that it has been supporting the herdsmen.
“Unfortunately, our government both at the Centre and State levels have failed woefully. If anything, government has shown outright partisanship in favor of the herdsmen to the disappointment of the majority Southern Kaduna indigenes and Christians.
“This is what lends credence to our earlier assertion and belief that there is a well-planned Jihad against our people with the sole aim of conquering our people and occupying our land.
“We have been disappointed in the way the soldiers have been manipulated or railroaded to favor the Muslims. In most of these attacks, the military stands aloof and watches while our people are being massacred.
“The viciousness of these self-styled Jihadists sends shivers into the spines of our traumatized people. In the Godogodo and Pasakori attacks for example, the military merely watched and supervised the burning of our homes.
“When the youth mobilized to repel the attackers, the soldiers deliberately blocked them from entering the town.
“The herdsmen and their ilk turned the towns into killing fields and killed mostly women, children and the elderly who couldn’t run for cover.
“The level of barbarity was such that pregnant women got their wombs blown out and massacred before their children. And these innocent children were not spared either,” the church lamented.