Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State claims the attacks on communities in the Southern part of the state were largely carried out by armed Fulani herdsmen from neighbouring west African countries.
Addressing reporters in his office on Tuesday, the governor explained that security reports revealed that most of the armed herdsmen come from Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Senegal to perpetrate the dastardly act.
Governor El- Rufai also said that his administration had established contacts with some leaders of the Fulani communities in those countries with a view to bringing the attacks to an end.
He pointed out that “some of them were from Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Senegal. Many of their people were killed, with cattle lost and they organised themselves and came back to revenge.
“We took certain steps. We got a group of people that were going round trying to trace some of these people in Cameroon, Niger Republic and so on to tell them that there is a new governor who is Fulani like them and has no problem paying compensations for lives lost and he is begging you to stop the killing.
“In most of the communities, once that appeal was made to them, they said they have forgiven. There are one or two that asked for monetary compensation. They said they have forgiven the death of human beings, but want compensation for cattle. We said no problem. Some of them have been paid,” the governor told reporters.
Governor El-Rufai further decried what he called attempts by some Nigerians to bring religion or ethnicity into the wanton killings in that part of the state.
“Some people don’t understand the burden of leadership. The same Fulanis are killing Fulanis in Zamfara. It is not about religion or ethnicity, this is a pure case of banditry. They are criminals, their ethnicity, their religion does not matter,” the governor said.
The Kaduna State governor, who reaffirmed his administration’s determination to protect lives and property of citizens of the state, said that his government had taken far-reaching measures including deployment of more security forces to the troubled areas.
Southern Kaduna has of recent, been turned into a killing field with scores of people killed in attacks the governor now says are carried out by foreign Fulani herdsmen.
In one of such attacks in the sleepy Godogodo community, 40 people were reportedly massacred with dozens of houses destroyed during a raid by the foreign Fulani marauders.