BY AMOS TAUNA, ABUJA – The Adara Development Association (ADA), has said that its people have suffered untold humiliating and abusive experiences under the leadership of Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state.
National President of ADA, Mr. Awemi Dio Maisamari, stated the position of the association at the public hearing convened by the Judiciary Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna State government to look into the crisis in Kajuru, Kachia and Chikun Local Government Areas and surrounding communities.
Maisamari specifically said that the government of Kaduna state under Governor El-Rufai has shown clear bias against the Adara nation and other non Hausa/Fulani ethnic nationalities of Southern Kaduna through oppressive policies that sought to put down the progress, peace and safety of indigenes of Southern Kaduna and their communities.
He gave example of how he was singled out for arrest during a town hall meeting convened by Governor El-Rufai in February, 2019.
Maisamari, who was defending the memo of the ADA, the umbrella body of the Adara nation, was being crossed examined by the lawyer to Adara elders Barr. Maxwell Kons.
The Adara leader told the Commission, that a meeting on the crisis in Kajuru and Kachia, which the Adara are claiming 95% ownership was convened at Kasuwan Magani on 15th February, 2019.
Maisamari said; “I was somewhere and I was told that the governor was holding a stakeholders meeting at the Primary Health Facility, in Kasuwan Magani.”
He explained that at the meeting were stakeholders made up of Hausa, Fulani, Gbagyi, Christian and Muslim clerics and influential residents of Kasuwan Magani.
He further said; “I went and found a place and sat down. When it was time to make contributions and suggestions, I raised my hands to be recognized. As soon as I stood up and introduced myself as the President of ADA, the governor said I should sit down, that he was not going to allow me speak.
“I was part of the problem, I was then promptly arrested by the police who were on the governor entourage. I was taken straight to the Police Command headquarters in Kaduna, detained and subsequently sent to prison.
“While in prison, more Adara elders were arrested and sent to Kaduna convict Prison with me.”
He said that to his greatest surprise, he was made to understand that their arrest was based on allegations that they were complicit in the violence that ravaged Adara communities in Kajuru Local Government Area between February and March, 2019, in which the Adara said that armed Fulani herdsmen killed not less than 240 Adara natives and burnt down 12 communities.
In the words of Maisamari; “After we spent 109 days in prison, we were told to go. We were discharged and acquitted – that investigation was concluded and that we had no hand in the violence in which our people were the major victims.
Governor El-Rufai abrogated the Adara Chiefdom and created Kachia Chiefdom and Kajuru Emirate. Though the Hausa and Fulani make less that 10% of the Adara land, they have been forced on us to lead our traditional councils.
“The governor tinkered with the traditional institutions in most parts of Southern Kaduna without consultations and put us at a disadvantage.”
El-Rufai set up the Commission six months ago, headed by Justice Isa Aliyu, a Judge of the Kaduna State High Court to unravel the persons and groups behind the violence that had been prevalent in these areas and make appropriate recommendations.