Zangon Kataf Crisis: Hausa/Fulani Community on El-Rufai’s Peace Moves
-Support move to produce White Paper
By Danjuma Abdullahi
The Hausa- Fulani community in Zangon Kataf of Kaduna state ,under the aegis of Zango Urban Development Association,ZUDA,has thrown its weight behind the Kaduna State Government in finding a lasting solution to the communal crisis in the area.
They also expressed full support to Governor Nasiru El-Rufai’s move to produce a White Paper on the recurring circle of violence in the area.
The community denied that a white paper had been produced by successive governments, saying, “we challenge the Atyap Community Development Association,ACDA ,to produce those white paper reports that they claim are being implemented on any/and or all the reports in question.”Speaking at a press conference in Kaduna , the people of Zango Urban District said they supported the effort of the present administration of Governor Nasiru El-Rufa’i in setting up the white paper committee as the right step in finding a lasting solution to the recurring circle of violence in Zangon Kataf because every Hausa/Kataf crises has its roots to the 1992 crisis.
Dr.Salisu Mohammed who read the text of the press conference, said with the lingering crises day-in-day-out ,it could be deduced that the reconciliation has not been achieved between the Kataf and Hausa community contrary to the claim by Atyap Community Development Association, ACDA.
“For any reconciliation to occur, there are five elements that must come into play; the truth must be told, justice must be provided, justice provided must be tempered with mercy, there must be healing, forgiveness and then reconciliation leading to peace. This has not happened in Zangon Kataf and that is why the Katafs take pride in fomenting crisis every year,” they alleged.
“On a clear note, the ACDA stated that the recommendations of the reports are being implemented since 1995 and also came up to say that the reports were rejected by the government; the question is, which reports were implemented at the same time rejected?”
“It is a common and normal tradition in government that reports of committees or commission of inquiries are followed by a white paper. The white paper serves as an approved government position on the recommendations on any report.
“We challenge the ACDA to produce those white paper reports that they claim are being implemented on any/and or all the reports in question.
“We also want to ask, the insinuations by the association (ACDA), whether government can implement the recommendations contained in a report set up by it without an approved government white paper,” they said.
According to them,”ACDA misinformed the public that there was no violent conflict in Zangon Kataf on Thursday 11th June 2020. The truth is that Shehu Ahmad at a roadblock mounted by the Kataf Youth, and another unidentified Fulani woman were set ablaze in the former’s car at Unguwan Wakili (a Kataf settlement). Similarly, Adamu Runji and Hussaini Dan Sale were murdered on their farmlands in the outskirt of Zango town. This level of violence, ACDA claimed, was “…a peaceful demonstration by youth demanding an investigation into the gruesome murder of a young Teacher the previous day.”
They said ACDA was fully aware of the arrest of the 3 Kataf youths as prime suspects in the murder of Yusuf Musa Magaji whose body was found in a distant territory of Chawai Chiefdom. “It is on records that the suspects, as reported in its press conference that “there is clear evidence that the three prime suspects of the murder..are still walking about free.The three prime suspects are Kataf Youths and were bailed,’ they alleged.
They recalled that at a meeting of the core security operatives with the elected representatives, traditional and community leaders of Zangon Kataf and Kauru LGAs on the 15th July 2020, a day before the Atyap press conference, the stakeholders appealed to the state government to take firm action on the persons that use conventional and social media to foment and worsen crises in the area with fake news and incitements.
“The Governor told the meeting “It was left up to the stakeholders to convert false narratives..and also report such actions for prosecution”.
“It would then be unfortunate and disgusting for an association like the Atyap Community Development Association (ACDA) to resort to not only falsehood (just a day after the meeting), but contradictory reporting, distortion of facts, pre-emptive, discriminatory and malicious, if not inciting statements just to justify their claims for rejecting Government’s steps in ensuring a lasting peace on the crises that has been bedevilling Zangon Kataf since the last 28 years.”
They said on 29th June 2020 following the resurgence of violence in Zangon Kataf where Kataf people again attacked Hausa and Fulani leading to deaths and destruction of properties, the Government of Kaduna State set up a white paper committee to draft a white paper on the Rahila Cudjoe Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Zangon Kataf Market Riots of February and May 1992, and consider the reports of the AVM Usman Mu’azu Zangon Kataf Reconciliation Committee of 1995.
“The Kataf came out with strong condemnation, insult, barefaced lies and attempt at blackmail, name calling and providing misleading information to the public on the event of 28 years ago,” they said.
“The issue of indigene/settler has become a sing-song for the Kataf ethnic group leaders and they are using it to peddle half-truth, change historical narratives and boldly dish out falsehood as historical records to support any barbaric act they wish to carry out. It must, therefore, be pointed just to put the record straight that a report written by the Colonial District officer 1932/33 found in the National archives states that “By 1890, Zango town was 500 years old in existence… and the Pagan tribe of Katab began to arrive in the Zangon Katab area in 1750”.
” If we are to go by verifiable historical evidence, this is what is on record- but the paradox is that this is the 21st century, the first century of the third Millenium!!!- we need not go into the unprintable reasons why the Katab were driven from the mountains of Kauru and the reasons behind the names of their villages as “Jan Kasa, Gora, Gidan Zaki, Kurmin Masara, Unguwan Gayya, Magamiya, Unguwan Wakili” and so on.”
“The Kataf are still living in the past, and still assume that violence can fetch them anything they desire. Granted that this has worked in the past, the same cannot be said of today as the world itself is turning a new leaf and the 21st century is touted as the century of recovery. The people of Zango have since moved on and are doing great in commerce, industry, and social services.”
“The ghost of 1992 has been exhumed by the Katafs once again; this time with a heavier casualty on the side of Fulani (who lived with them in the villages) and fewer on the Hausas. It is obvious that the treatment meted on the Kataf by the past administrations in the state including compensating them with senior appointments to their leaders from 1996 until the recent past administrations, had emboldened them to arrogantly showcase their ingratitude through barefaced lies of reconciliation and blackmail to the Hausas and Fulanis of Zangon Kataf which have remained silent and tolerant, in the midst of flagrant breaches of agreements perpetrated by the unjust leadership of the chiefdom for 28 years.”
“We have had enough of this lies, mischief and falsehood. The resort to intimidation and violence at the slightest opportunity against the Hausas or Fulanis or commercial drivers (through roadblocks) have not paid up and their game seems to be up, so now they feel like a fish out of the water. Hence for the Kataf to claim that it was the “printers’ devil” that printed Samarau Kataf as the headquarters of Atyap chiefdom, 25 years after the publication of the gazette, is not only an alibi but high degree of mischief/deceit and also an acceptance of guilt without a sense of remorse.”
“We believe the current state administration, as an umpire is equal to the task hence needles for us to hold any brief for them. But will not allow falsehood to be fed to the public on the true situation in Zangon Kataf between the Hausa/Fulani and the Kataf after the 1992 Zangon Kataf crisis and the recent skirmishes. We are confident the current administration’s line of action is commendable and must be supported by all peace-loving peoples in Kaduna State and Nigeria in general. The position taken by the government is a fair deal to all, let the white paper speak for itself and the truth be told. Let appropriate sanction be meted on whomever is at fault based on the Judicial Commission of Enquiry Reports.”
“Let it be restated that the reasons amongst others, as pointed out by the government through its spokesman, Senior Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Muyiwa Adekeye, that would foster peace in Zangon Kataf are still lingering unaddressed and it is only reasonable, for peace loving people, to welcome the bold approach by the present administration. It is therefore a lie that the issues of farmland, self-determination and equity have been addressed. As presented in our address today, the public is left to judge whether the Hausas of Zango Urban District on the so-called issues of reconciliation have been respected/resolved and that the Hausas have been fairly treated by the Kataf leadership with regards to our fundamental rights under the Atyap chiefdom for the past 28 years.”
“It is our sincere hope and prayer that the present administration in the state would finally address our concerns and those of Katafs without fair or favour for each to have sense of belonging for its security, autonomy, peace and development that would reign forever in Zangon Kataf Local government, Kaduna State and Nigeria in general,” they said.
The Atyap Community Development Association,had during its press conference,said that the El-Rufai Government had no justifiable reason to set up another White Paper Drafting Committee when the recommendations of the Justice Rahila Cudjoe Commission have been fully implemented.
Speaking at the press conference,Sule Tinat Bodam,Secretary-General Atyap Community Development Association said that the Government of Kaduna State had already produced a White Paper from the AVM Muazu Reconciliation Committee Report, which past Governments of Kaduna State have been implementing since 1995.
” The only outstanding issues on this White Paper are the actualisation of the Buffer Zone,actualisation of the Irrigation Project and the actialization of the Atak Jei Residential Layout which was produced and approved on 12th April 2010 by the former Governor of Kaduna State which will foster integration in the Community as envisaged by the AVM Usman Muazu Committee,” they said.