“…for arrest during a town hall peace meeting” – Adara leader
The National President of Adara Development Association (ADA), Mr. Awemi Dio Maisamari yesterday said Adara natives have suffered humiliating and abusive experiences under the leadership of Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state, and described how he was singled out for arrest during a town hall meeting convened by the Governor in February, 2019.
Maisamari, made this asserting at the Public Hearing convened by the Judiciary Commission of Inquiry into the Crisis in Kajuru, Kachia and Chikun Local Government Areas and Surrounding Communities taking place at the State House, Kaduna.
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 had told the Commission, that a meeting on the crisis in Kajuru and Kachia, which the Adara are claiming 95% ownership he said, was convened in Kasuwan Magani on 15th February, 2019.
“I was somewhere and I was told that the governor was holding a stakeholders meeting at the Primary Health Facility, in Kasuwan Magani,” he told the Commission.
He said at the meeting were stakeholders made up Hausa, Fulani, Gbagyi, Christian and Muslim Clerics and influential residents of Kasuwan Magani.
“I went and found a place and sat down,” he said. “When it was time to make contributions and suggestions, I raise my hands to be recognized. As soon as I stood up and introduce myself as the President of ADA, the governor said I should sit down. That he was not going to allow me speak. He said 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 Force Headquarters in Kaduna, detained and subsequently sent to prison,” he said.
“While in Prison, more Adara elders were arrested and sent to Kaduna Convict Prison with me,” he said.
According to him, their arrest was based on allegations that they were complicit in the violence that ravaged Adara communities in Kajuru LGA between February and March, 2019, in which the Adara are claiming that armed Fulani herdsmen killed not less than 240 Adara natives and burnt down 12 communities.
“After we spent 109 days in Prison, we were told to go,” he said, “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,” he said.
Maisamari said that the government of Kaduna state has shown clear bias against the Adara nation and other non Hausa/Fulani ethnic nationalities of Southern Kaduna through what he said were oppressive policies that sought to put down the progress, peace and safety of indigenes of Southern Kaduna and their communities.
“He abrogated the Adara Chiefdom and created Kachia Chiefdom and Kajuru Emirate. Though the Hausa and Fulani make less that 10% of the Adara lands, they have been forced on us to lead our traditional councils,” he said.
“He tinkered with the traditional institutions in most parts of Southern Kaduna without consultations and put us at a disadvantage.” he said.
It could be recalled that Governor el-Rufai had set up the Commission six months ago, headed by Justice Isa Aliyu, a Justice Kaduna State High Court six months ago to unravel the persons and groups behind the violence that had been prevalent in these areas and make appropriate recommendations.
The Public Hearing continues today.