The Middle Belt Forum on Sunday described Southern Kaduna as a “dark axis of death” following the reported mass killings in the area.
The Forum President, Pogu Bitrus, who stated this in a statement in Abuja, also faulted a statement credited to the presidency on the killings.
At least more than 50 people had been killed by criminal gangs in Southern Kaduna in the last few days.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, had said in a statement last week that the killings in Southern Kaduna were politically-motivated and orchestrated by criminal gangs.
In the statement, the forum chided the presidency for being economical with the truth on the killings.
The organisation also warned the military against taking sides with the killers suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, saying it would continue to work with Afenifere, Ohanaeze, South-South Leaders Forum and other socio-cultural organisations in Southern Nigeria to bring about the required restructuring of the country.
The statement read:
“For the presidency to issue such a statement when hundreds of people have been asininely slaughtered and thousands sacked from their homes and now in Internally Displaced Person (IDPs) camps shows that it is either ignorant of the reality on the ground or have chosen to toe the path of falsehood.
“The recent killings of no fewer than 12 persons in Kafanchan on Friday’s night and last weekend’s gruesome murder of 38 people in Southern Kaduna within a span of four days is a pointer that the area is becoming the nation’s dark axis of death that has attracted national and global outrage.
“The ongoing bloodshed in Southern Kaduna has been characterised with the decimation of both the populace and communities strictly for conquest and occupation.
“From Chikun to Birnin Gwari, from Kachia to Sanga, the bloody signature of massive killings is there for all to see. Many communities in Southern Kaduna have been sacked and several hundreds of innocent citizens killed, with increasing spates of attacks threatening the security of the area.
“The criminalisation of self-defence by the government has turned Southern Kaduna people into easy targets for terrorist herdsmen to gruesomely murder and destroy many communities.”
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