The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has commended the Federal Government for the deployment of troops to communities that were attacked by gunmen in the area.
At least five local government areas in the region have been under heavy attacks by gunmen and suspected ethnic militias since the beginning of the year.
Many lives and property worth millions of naira have been lost while many households were displaced as a result of the attacks.
In a statement on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Luka Binniyat, SOKAPU noted that with the additional deployment of soldiers to the troubled communities, the villagers have started returning and many of them, who could afford to rebuild their homes, have begun to do so.
It thanked the Commander of Operation Safe Haven for the recent fast response of troops to distress calls from communities under attack or threat of attacks, unlike in the past.
The union gave an assurance that the people of Southern Kaduna would shun any action that would be inimical to the good image, wellbeing and peace of the area, without compromising their rights to self-preservation within the law.
It also appealed to youths of the region not to initiate any act that could be interpreted as violent to anyone trespassing on any farmland, but to report such incidents to the relevant constituted authorities.
Part of the statement read, “SOKAPU assured the OPSH commander that with no other alternative place or land to fall back to, Southern Kaduna indigenes are much more desirous of peace than any other party.
We also used the opportunity to thank him for the recent fast response rate of his troops to distress calls from communities under attack or the threat of attacks, unlike in the past. We also noted his humanitarian assistance to all parties in Southern Kaduna as exceptional.
Again, we showed appreciation with his deployment of large numbers of troops to Zangan District, in Atakad Chiefdom, Kaura LGA which eight communities had been totally displaced since last year and occupied by armed herdsmen.
We acknowledged reports reaching us that the villagers have started returning and many of them, who can afford it, are rebuilding their homes.
Based on the above, we requested that other displaced communities in four LGAs of Southern Kaduna should also be assisted to return home.
We then gave him a list of the remaining occupied villages in our report and called for urgent actions to retrieve the occupied lands and bring culprits to justice
With this, thousands who may wish to return home cannot, because their homes have been completely ruined. Also, hundreds of hectares farmlands of affected communities have been ravaged by cattle on the loose.
We also have thousands living under subhuman conditions in various IDPs or at homes of relations. We are, therefore, calling for assistance from the government, NGOs and good spirited individuals for building materials, food, medicine, and any form of aid that will improve the situation of the victims.