Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU)
has expressed bitterness over agelong socio-political marginalisation of
the area by successive governments at the federal and state levels.
Under the current circumstance, they
fear that it would be very difficult for them to make any headway
politically or produce their own son or daughter as the governor of the
state, unless a state is created for them out of the present Kaduna,
even as they protest being categorized under north west zone, insisting
that they belong to the Middle Belt.
This was contained in a communique
issued at the end of SOKAPU town hall meeting, and it was read to
journalists by the President of the Union, Solomon Musa in Kaduna.
Over the years, Southern Kaduna has only
been enjoying the position of deputy governor until 2010 when the jinx
was broken and the then deputy governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa became
governor following the elevation of the then governor, Namadi Sambo to
the Vice President.
But Yakowa died in a helicopter crash shortly after attending a burial ceremony in Bayelsa State on December 15, 2012.
SOKAPU, therefore, backed the call for
restructuring of the country to address this issue, ranching for fulani
herdsmen, local government autonomy, resource control among others.
The union noted in the communiqué: “The
present delineation of federal and state constituencies, wards, local
government areas, registration areas, polling units are deliberately
skewed to the disadvantage of the people of Southern Kaduna and other
ethnic minorities in the north so that a person of Southern Kaduna
extraction for instance will find it almost impossible to aspire to hold
certain critical positions in Kaduna State e.g. Governor.
“Therefore there is need to correct
these structural imbalances that have been set up to always undermine
the political aspirations of the Southern Kaduna people. The
constitutional provisions on periodic review of polling units and
constituencies should be carried out with fairness and within the
intendments of the constitution and before the next general elections in
2019. There is need to carry out constituency delineation at shorter
intervals than the current 10 years as enshrined in the 1999
Constitution as amended.”
They reiterated their position on the
implementation of the resolution of the 2014 National Conference for
the creation of additional state (Gurara State) out of the present
Kaduna to meet the aspirations of the people of zone and their desire
for self-determination and justice.
They also decried alleged
“institutionalized discrimination where better-qualified persons from
Southern Kaduna or other ethnic minorities are passed over for
appointments into public office for lesser-qualified persons,” noting
that such imbalances have always created a sense of alienation rather
than inclusion. (THE SUN)