“The rest of the world should quickly come to our aid. Because we have no senator, governor or vice-president to speak for us, agents of the Nigerian government may succeed in burying the truth. Our attackers have not been herdsmen or Boko Haram; KRPC and its collaborators appear deadlier.”
The appeal is contained in a statement entitled “Genocide in Kaduna Community: Our Story” that was made available by the “Rido Survival Movement”.
Rido village is in Chikun local government area of Kaduna State, about 30 minutes’ drive from Kaduna metropolis.
In the statement signed by Baban Monday Liberty, Maryam Chairlady and Mohammed Awwal on behalf of the community, the group claimed that Rido is threatened with extinction as a result of toxic waste dumped by the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) and its contractors two years ago.
“Our people have been dying like rats and nobody has cared to look into our plight. Many children are born with defects that ultimately claim their lives in infancy. Strange diseases have invaded our community,” they stated.
Pointing to “the evil design of the Nigerian state to wipe out our community made up of at least 28, 000 inhabitants”, the movement continued: “Since the criminal dumping of the toxic waste in June 2012, we have received a number of visitors – some of them agents of the government – whom we gave evidences of the genocide facing us. Nothing has come out of the visits because it seems some people are working hard to cover up this act of wickedness. It is true that some people have gone to court on our behalf, but the case appears unending. The only conscious movement has been witnessed in Rido where many have lost their relations or got struck by strange ailments. Why is the Nigerian state so callous?”
They continued their story thus: “Everyone should come and see things for himself or herself. Within a week of the dumping of the toxic waste, we lost no fewer than 24 men, women and children. Scores of other people fell ill and were taken to hospital where doctors diagnosed respiratory, skin and other infections. Health problems that were previously unknown in Rido have surfaced: Cancers are now common. Organs like kidneys, livers and lungs have been damaged, leading to protracted and painful deaths.
“We were sustained by agriculture until the criminal cargo of death was brought to our land. Today, many chicken farmers are either dead or jobless. Thousands of chickens died on different farms within days of the dumping. Dogs were wiped out.
“Our people have heard of environmental degradation in the Niger Delta where the Nigerian president comes from. We have heard of earthquakes in distant lands. There have been Ebola, cholera and other epidemics. However, the victims of all these are better than us. Nobody cares about us. We have been left to die in pain, one after the other.
“We have issued this statement for the world to know we are going into extinction because of man-made environmental damage. If no life is found in Rido, 10 or 20 years from now, let the world know what happened.”