A group, Birnin Gwari Emirate Progressive Union (BEPU), has maintained that the two persons lynched on Sunday were not herders but terrorist mercenaries from Sudan.
BEPU disclosed this in a statement on Monday, barely 24 hours after Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State condemned the lynching of two persons believed to be herders in Birnin-Gwari local government area of the State.
TheFact Daily recalls that Governor el-Rufa’i had on Sunday, 2 October, condemned the killing of the two persons by a mob in Birnin Gwari local government area of the State and directed that investigation be launched into the incident with a view to fishing out the culprits and making them face the full wrath of the law.
Also, a statement issued by the State’s Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, had also said that, according to security agencies, the mob forcefully seized the two ‘herders’ from security personnel, on unsubstantiated claims that they were linked with banditry, and then lynched and burnt the ‘herders’, even though they had not been found complicit of the allegations.
The Birnin-Gwari Emirate group, however, in a counter-claim contained in its statement on Monday, said its findings revealed that the mob action occurred after the suspects (the lynched persons) forcefully snatched a motorcycle from a farmer on the outskirts of Birnin-Gwari town.
According to the statement signed by BEPU chairman, Ishaq Usman Kasai, the Union said it was clearly against any form of mob action under any guise, but claimed that the lynched persons were not herdsmen, but terrorist mercenaries from the Republic of Sudan.
“Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressive Union (BEPU) is saddened with the mob action by aggrieved youths in Birnin-Gwari on Sunday 2nd October, 2022 where two alleged “herdsmen” were killed in a cruel and gruesome manner”, it said, adding that it was clearly against any form of mob action under any guise and appealed to citizens not to resort to taking laws into their hands irrespective of frustration and provocation.
The Union however, said it was dismayed at the way the issue has been reported to selectively and deliberately portray Birnin Gwari in the bad light, and targeted to prove a false narrative on the issue to endanger the helpless innocent citizens of Birnin-Gwari Local Government.
“While we appreciate government’s 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.
“Available records which BEPU are privy to, show that, the lynched ‘herders’ were terrorist 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 ( ID cards attached)”.
BEPU, while expressing concern that the statement issued by Government on the matter was not equally captured, also commiserated with the innocent citizens of Birnin-Gwari that were attacked at different locations over the past five days.
“More so, on the same day when the mob action occured, one driver was killed and scores were kidnapped at Dogon Hawa and Tabanni areas. This is in addition to killings and kidnappings of the innocent citizens of Birnin-Gwari on the roads, in farms and their homes which have become a daily occurrence.
The Union further called for caution on the part of government officials when making statements about unsavory situations, in order not to undermine the peace-loving, helpless people that are under siege by the terrorists.
“This is with the view to averting further escalation of the situation”, the statement said.