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Gonin Gora: Where Makarfi erred

The most recent occurrence and the now obvious negative multiplier impact it portends, has forced stake holders to put on their thinking caps on the best way to tackle the dangerous dimensions of the Gonin Gora menace. It is now apparent that should the rascality and barbaric act of murderous ecstasy of the Gonin Gora youths be allowed to continue, there could come a day when such will lead to a major national crisis, the magnitude which could now only be imagined. The people usually killed at the village were travelers-breadwinners from various parts of the country. Imagine a situation where relatives of all the victims scattered all across the country degenerate to seek vengeance.

As the dust from the last crisis settles, there is need to find a lasting solution to the Gonin Gora madness. The killings must stop. In that regard, several suggestions have been made on ways to check the matter. There have been harsh suggestions from very senior citizens for the entire village to be relocated from its present land. Harsh as it may seem, it is not a bad idea regarding that some dwellers of Gonin Gora have insatiable thirst for human blood.

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The federal government on its part had shortly before the recent crisis tagged the village as a dark spot of violence and killings. The decision was based on past crisis and the government decided to build a mobile police barrack at Gonin Gora to protect travellers.

But it is pertinent to trace the history of how such a homogeneous and blood thirsty settlement came to be situated at such a strategic location. Gonin Gora as it is today came to being during the administration of former governor and now Senator Ahmed Makarfi. It was Makarfi during his reign that lands were allocated to persons mainly from the southern parts of the state. The situation of Gonin Gora is one of the ugly fall outs of the so called peace brought to Kaduna by the Makarfi administration. It was during Makarfi that Kaduna city became balkanised into Christians and Muslims settlements. Today Kaduna is sharply divided between adherents of the two main religions. For instance a Christian dares not reside or even venture into Rigasa area of the town while a Muslim cannot reside or move freely in Ungwar Romi. This ugly situation was one of the legacies bequeath the state by Makarfi.

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The former governor recently attributed the attack at Gonin Gora to the dismantling of the strike force units he put in place during his time. However, contrary to the former governor’s claim, the strike force was never meant to be a permanent security arrangement. It only succeeded in heightening the tension that slowly dragged the people apart. The strike force could not achieve much due to inadequate personnel. A unit of the force had about four military personnel. Imagine just four soldiers trying to contain thousands of armed rampaging youths.

The current Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo as governor of Kaduna state, decided to reorganize the security arrangement in the state, by establishing ‘Operation Yaki’. The outfit was well equipped to respond swiftly to all security challenges. At that time, crime was reduced to the barest minimum and there was no single case of a major sectarian crisis. People in the state related and aided the ‘Operation Yaki’ in policing the state and confidence was gradually returning to the state. This is in addition to the creation of observation posts at major highways leading to the state, as can be evidently seen on Kaduna-Abuja expressway and more.

Unfortunately, soon after Sambo’s elevation to office of VP, the operation began to lose its steam due to poor funding. The joint patrol team which used to boast of hundreds of functional and well equipped patrol vans and motorbikes almost grounded. Only recently the state Police commissioner was reported as saying that some stations even hire commercial vehicles for patrol. Imagine that!

Gonin Gora can become safe again in the interest of everybody. But first there has to be a commitment on the side of the present administration in Kaduna to gradually build confidence for genuine peace to return. There should be a gradual plan that will bring back the era where Christians, Muslims, Hausas, Katafs, Igbos etc can live side by side in Gonin Gora, Ungwar Shanu and all other parts of the state for that matter.

The Beirut-style peace achieved by Makarfi in Kaduna is unacceptable and is the major reason why travellers are becoming major targets during crisis. A mobile police station would be a good development at Gonin Gora, but the ultimate peace is not forced on the people. The people of Kaduna are desirous to co-habit happily again as it were before Makarfi’s reign. God help Kaduna state.

Abdallah wrote in from Tudun Wada, Kaduna.


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