Adopted Kaduna Monarch, Agom Adara Killed

Again, 24-hour curfew imposed on kaduna and its environs
El-rufai using crisis for political gains – group

The traditional ruler, HRH Agom Adara who was kidnapped on October 19, 2018 has been killed while his body was dropped around Kateri, a town which is few kilometres away from Kaduna.

Sources revealed that kidnappers killed the monarch after taking ransom. According to the sources, the body of late Agom Adara was taken and deposited this morning, Friday October 26 at St Gerald Hospital.

The statement by the Kaduna State Government under Governor Nasir El-Rufai also confirmed the death of the traditional ruler.

The statement by the state government on Friday October 26, which confirmed the death of Agom Adara also imposed the 24-hour curfew on Kaduna and its environs.

Below is the statement which was signed by spokesperson of El=Rufai, Samuel Aruwa:

“The Kaduna State Government has reinstated a 24-hour curfew on Kaduna metropolis and environs, Kasuwan Magani, Kajuru, Kateri and Kachia. The curfew is effective from 11am today, Friday, 26th October 2018 and will remain in force until further notice

“This is a necessary step to help maintain peace as we mourn the death of HRH Agom Adara, who we lost in the early hours of today to the criminals who abducted him last week.

“The Kaduna State Government calls for calm in all our communities. The criminal elements who perpetrated this crime should not be allowed to divide us.

“This is a struggle between good, decent, law-abiding people trying to uphold the peace and criminals who want to divide and destroy. It is not a struggle between religious or ethnic groups. Let no criminal find succour in faith or tribe.

“Let us unite against every criminal activity. Let us stand together as human beings who have a right to live in peace.”

Meanwhile a group known as Netzit Patriotic Front has accused Governor Nasir El-Rufai of using crisis for political gains.

The group said the late Adara chief was kidnapped on his way back after honouring an invitation from the governor to meet at Kasuwan Magani.

Part of the statement read below
We are no strangers to what is happening in Kaduna state since the Kasuwan Magani skirmishes of 18th October and the kidnap of the Agom Adara on 19th October. We want to draw the attention of the world to some four key issues very instrumental to understanding the nature of this government induced crisis.

The Issues:

1. Why did the October crisis spill over into Kaduna metropolis when the February crisis couldn’t?

2. The government announced on 23rd October that the curfew is relaxed from 1pm to 5pm, but kept Narayi, Sabo, Kabala West, Kabala Doki, Maraban Rido etc under 24 hours lock down. Not only that, the government threatened the use of vigorous force on denizens should they flaunt the curfew.

3. In his speech of 22nd October, the governor of Kaduna State Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai, asserted that the Kasuwan Magani crisis of 18th October came up partly because culprits of the February crisis were not decisively dealt with.

4. Still in that speech of 22nd October, the governor deliberately refused to mention the kidnapping of the Agom Adara even though the Adara chief was kidnapped on his way back after honouring an invitation from the governor to meet at Kasuwan Magani. The governor’s refusal to acknowledge the kidnapping of the chief in his live broadcast tells alot.

Our Observations:

1. Our understanding is the spill over of the crisis into Kaduna metropolis was largely based on deliberate government incitement of the public or government dangerous carelessness. After Adara natives were killed in their numbers on 18th Thursday 2018 at Kasuwan Magani by government backed mischief makers, military vehicles immediately began evacuation of the largely Adara corpses. How these vehicles were mobilised that quick to hinder journalists and passers-by access to the corpses and snapshots beats us. Now let’s assume the government wanted to clear the place in order to avoid a situation where the sight of these corpses littered on the ground don’t stir up emotions and flare up anger. Why then were the evacuated corpses taken to different hospitals in Kaduna metropolis, littered on the ground within the sight of all and women in hijab brought to mourn? Didn’t the government realize that such sight of women in hijab mourning over corpses can send the wrong signals for a religious conflagration in the metropolis? Where is Qadar? When has mourning over the death become an Islamic culture?

2. It is clear that the governor is capitalizing on religious and ethnic sentiments to score political points at a time he has become very unpopular among both the Christians and Muslims in the state. By giving the Muslim area of the state four hours to stock their food barns and leaving the Christian areas under 24 hours lock down, he hoped to secure the political sympathy of the Muslim side of the divide in the state – that he alone knows how to punish Christians in the state. Ironically, these Christian areas where the curfew is still holding round the clock saw maximum military brutality against defenseless civilians. The Narayi people buried three youth on Monday. Sabo had over ten youth killed and many others arrested. Kabala west and Maraban Rido are not spared of this military barbarity. And to show government zero regret over the avoidable loss of these innocent lives, the government in a statement threatened the use of vigorous force against curfew violators. Keeping the curfew is not akin to wanton destruction of lives by security personnel. Security personnel are not supposed to shoot to kill, but shoot to scare, except where their lives is in direct danger.

3. Our understanding is, the February crisis re-emerged in October because the governor was insincere in truly solving the problem. The governor instead, exploited religious biases and ethnic sentiments to arrest a largely Adara natives who were simply reacting to provocation from some mischief makers hiding behind Islam to snatch underage Adara daughters and marry them off without the consent of their fathers. The October crisis was a result of deliberate demonizing of the Adara people as pagans for refusing to accept the seizure of their underage daughters with equanimity. The term ‘pagan’ was used to generate apathy against the Adara ethnic nationality and garner support for the mischief makers with a view to massacre the Adara people some more with the full knowledge of government who deliberately allowed the Adara people to be so demonised even by its peace commission.

4. At the meeting with the traditional council of chiefs on 23rd October, the governor remembered to speak about the Adara chief but deliberately used the town of residence instead of the ethnic nationality to describe his title. Instead of Agom Adara, the governor reduced the title to Agom Kachia. The governor did the same thing to Sa Gbagyi by reducing the title to Etsu Chikun. After the assassination of Etum Numana, the governor not only could not bring the assassins to justice, but went on to reduce the title of the chiefdom from Etum Numana to Etum Gwantu.

Why the governor is more interested in titles than his primary duty of protection of lives and properties beats us. We can not understand how a chief security officer who can’t guarantee his primary duty of protection of lives and properties be so bend in doing things as banal as changing names of traditional institutions without any need to do so? More disheartening is the fact that the governor, under whose watch the Numana chief was assassinated, the Akulu chief was kidnapped, the Adara chief kidnapped with fate still unknown, had the moral stamina to threaten the chiefs of deposition at the council of chiefs meeting of 23rd October, for any untoward attitude from any of their subjects.

Our understanding is, traditional chiefs are custodians of traditional institutions and not security officers, thus cannot be held responsible for erratic behaviours of their subjects. And different ethnic nationalities have their different respective traditions. Ethnic nationalities like the Adara, Gbagyi, Numana and etc have distinct traditions which need preservation as part of our national heritage of unity in diversity, thus the need for a custodian. On the other hand, towns like Kachia, Chikun and Gwantu do not have traditional identities, but are geographical nomenclature. Local governments are modelled after these geographical areas where government reaches the people at the grass root, but certainly not tradition. While a people can move with their tradition from location to location, a geographical area can not hold unto a tradition with time. The Adara ethnic nationality have their tradition and the Adara people are not restricted to Kachia alone. There are Adara people in more than four local government areas of the state. Though these Adara people are politically divided through gerrymandering to undermine their political strength, they are culturally united through their traditional institution with the Agom Adara as their chief.

Our Conclusions

1. For us, littering metropolitan hospitals with corpses and allowing women in hijab to stand and mourn, is deliberate incitement of the Muslim population to violence and it was avoidable. Why the government will go that length to pitch the people of the state, violently against one another at a time both Muslims and Christians in the state are united in their resolve to kick the El-Rufai government out shows a desperately evil ingenuity on the side of the governor to hold unto power against all odds.

2. Given the above, we call on the military authority to embrace professionalism and shoot directly at civilians only where the civilians are in possession of weapons and pose threats to the lives and properties of other civilians and are unwilling to lay down their arms and run away when approached by the military. But even civilians in possession of arms, who lay down their arms, are not supposed to be shot at. And when shooting at a civilian becomes necessary, the civilian is not supposed to be shot to fatality but to incapacitate them. To imagine that the military will be happily and fatally shooting at the civilians they are supposed to protect, is not only absurd, but unimaginable, and highly reprehensible.

3. There is no way punishing strictly the Adara victims, who were largely arrested, can checkmate the intermittent aggression by the mischief makers using Islam as a cover and largely encouraged to sustain aggression by government cover and protection for political profit.

4. For us, it is executive ignorance and very absurd for the governor to refer to the Agom Adara as Agom Kachia. Same argument holds true for the Gbagyi etc. Towns don’t keep tradition, people do.

Our Prayers:

1. The world must prevail on the government of Kaduna state to stop these bloodbath by desisting from manipulating the emotions of people along fault lines like differences in ethnicity and religion because we share one humanity. And that one humanity is responsible to why both Christians and Muslims deem it necessary to expel the government of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.

2. Military personnel must be properly schooled before given guns to keep the curfew, because force without knowledge is dangerous. Curfew must not be selectively imposed to reflect ethnic and religious biases for political capital. The governor must be prevailed upon to desist from playing politics with the lives of the people.

3. The governor must show sincerity and be just in his approach if he is truly out for sustainable peace in that area. The governor must always resist the temptation of exploiting ethnic and religious sentiments for political capital by showing the mischief makers that he loves them over and above their native hosts through discriminatory punishment when he is supposed to be a governor for all according to his oath of office.

4. The governor should pay more attention in discharging his primary responsibilities of protection of lives and properties and stop dabbling into the affairs of traditional institutions as traditional institution is not one of the problems that led us to vote for him. We voted for him to move the state to greater heights through growth and development amidst conducive atmosphere and not to change, needlessly, nomenclature of our traditional institutions with such disregard to peoples and culture.

Signed: Netzit Leadership

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