The Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressive Union, BEPU, has expressed sadness over the mob action by aggrieved youths in Birnin-Gwari on Sunday, but said the two lynched persons were terrorists’ mercenaries from Sudan.
The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, had on Sunday condemned the killing of two herders by a mob in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of the state.
The condemnation was contained in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, in Kaduna.
He said security agencies reported that the mob forcefully seized the two herders from security personnel on unsubstantiated claims that they were linked with banditry.
But a statement by the spokesman of the residents’ union, Ishaq Kasai, said the state government was wrong to hastily issue a “sensitive statement without scrutiny of the identities of the alleged herders”.
“BEPU, a distinct and peaceful union is clearly against any form of mob action under any guise and is hereby drawing the attention of the citizens not to resort to taking laws into their hands irrespective of frustration and provocation.
“Citizens are urged to always channel their grievances to appropriate authorities and above all continue to devote themselves to prayers for divine intervention in the current insecurity situation.
“The Union once more appreciates the efforts and successes recorded by the resilient security forces in their efforts to sanitize Birnin-Gwari general area and calls on them to step-up the operations into communities that surround Birnin-Gwari town where bandits are currently demanding and forcing communities to pay “protection fee” and crop harvesting levies, respectively.
“Clearly, while the lynching of suspected bandits is highly condemnable, the Union observes with deep concern the way the issue has been reported to selectively and deliberately portray Birnin Gwari in the bad taste, and targeted to prove a false narrative on the issue to endanger the helpless innocent citizens of Birnin-Gwari Local Government.
“While we appreciate governments resolve to investigate and bring perpetrators of this primitive act to book, we equally observe that, Government officials seem to be so in haste in issuing the sensitive statement without scrutiny of the identities of the ‘alleged herders’ that were lynched by mob action,” said the statement.
It further stated that the lynched duo was part of an international criminal syndicate that is terrorizing their community.
“Available records which BEPU are privy to, shows that, the lynched ‘herders’ were terrorists mercenaries from the Republic of Sudan. Therefore, the alleged lynched persons are not herdsmen as falsely reported earlier but international criminal syndicates that have been terrorising Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area.
“BEPU findings revealed that the alleged lynching occurred after the suspects forcefully snatched a motorcycle from a farmer at the outskirts of Birnin-Gwari main town.
“Therefore, BEPU is concerned to observe that, the statement issued by Government on the issue did not equally capture and commiserate with the innocent citizens of Birnin-Gwari that were attacked at different locations for the past five days.
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“Moreso, on the same day when the mob action occurred, one driver was killed and scores were kidnapped at Dogon Hawa and Tabanni areas. This is in addition to killings and kidnapping of the innocent citizens of Birnin-Gwari on the roads, in farms and their homes which have become a daily occurrence.
“BEPU once more, appreciates the effort of security agencies towards restoring peace in our area and urged government officials in showing concerns to any ugly situation to always be in a cautious mood in issuing any statement that is capable of undermining the peace-loving, helpless people that are under siege by the terrorists. This is with view to averting further escalation of the situation,” the statement added.