SOKAPU, el-Rufai disagree over casualty figure in Kajuru killings

Council of Imams offering special prayers for the victims of the recent crises in Kajuru, Kaduna State…yesterday. PHOTO: NAN


• Adara people protest against alleged gov’s attack on culture
• ACF condemns killings in Kaduna, Borno states

Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has visited Kajuru where 66 people were reportedly killed on Friday and warned against politicising the issue. Spokesperson to the governor, Samuel Aruwan, stated that his principal was accompanied on the trip by the GOC 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen. Faruk Yahaya; the Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Abdulrahman; chairman of Kajuru Council, Cafra Caino; director of the State Security Service (SSS) in the state, among others.

The governor noted that there had been concerted efforts by “bigoted busy bodies” to deny or minimise the casualty figures.He said the police boss confirmed that some arrests had been made in connection with the incident and that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations are completed.

“Gen. Yahaya briefed the governor on the recovery of 66 corpses by soldiers in the Maro and Iri axes of Kajuru. The general conducted the governor round the crime scene littered with the wrecks of razed buildings and dead animals,” he added.But Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the director, Department of State Services (DSS) to carry out independent investigation on what actually transpired in Kajuru, claiming that the governor’s claim that 66 persons were killed in the council was false.

According to the union, it is in el-Rufai’s character to promote violence through hate speech for the advancement of his waning political influence.The national Public Relations Officer (PRO), Yakubu Kuzamani, stated: “SOKAPU is shocked at the deliberate falsehood by el-Rufai, who found it convenient not to inform the world of an earlier attack that claimed the lives of 11 Adara natives.

“It is convinced that el-Rufai is on an irrevocable journey of inflaming ethnic conflagration that has always been in line with his deliberate chronicle of profiling southern Kaduna people as favourably disposed to violence.“We are startled that it was the governor, and not the police, that announced the alleged killings in Kajuru. Let Nigerians and the world know that, should there be any breakdown of law and order in Kaduna State, Governor el-Rufai should be held responsible.”

Meanwhile, the people of Adara, yesterday, protested against an alleged plot by el-Rufai to destroy their traditional institution and culture, as well as provoke crisis in the area.The protest followed the crisis that broke out in parts of the council.In a statement yesterday by the Adara Development Association (ADA) national secretary, Luke Waziri, the people condemned the governor for allegedly attempting to destroy their traditional institution and culture.

Waziri said: “In view of the unfortunate incidents that we are faced with in Adara land and the deliberate lies being manufactured against us as a people by the governor, Nasir el-Rufai, we deem it necessary to state the facts and correct the official and deliberate lies.“On Friday, February 15, 2019, on the eve of what would have been our national elections, we watched with shock the governor granting an interview that 66 people were killed in Kajuru.

“The governor went ahead to list the number of villages that were attacked, but deliberately excluded Ungwan Barde where our people were killed. He also gave the gender statistics of those allegedly killed and the tribe of the victims, but again mischievously left out the 11 Adara people who were killed.”He alleged that the governor also arrested the district head of Kufana, Dauda Titus, and the national president of the Adara Development Association (ADA), Mr. Dio Maisamari.

Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has condemned the recent killings in Kaduna and Borno states, urging Nigerians to be committed to strengthening democracy instead of being deterred by the activities of insurgents.ACF expressed deep pain over the recent destruction of innocent lives and property in Kajuru by some armed bandits at the weekend.

The national publicity secretary, Alhaji Mohammad Biu, stated: “The heinous acts by the gunmen or bandits were callous and inhuman, considering the number of casualties.“Killing of innocent people for whatever reason cannot in any way address the perceived concerns or grievances of the perpetrators of these crimes.

“ACF would not be tired of appealing to all aggrieved persons to always channel their grievances through due process of law rather than take the laws into their hands. This is because both the attacks and reprisals are often targeted at innocent people who know nothing about the feuds.”Condemning such killings anywhere in the country, Biu remarked: “The forum, therefore, calls on the security agencies to always be proactive in their operations to avert such incident.“Perpetrators of these dastardly acts must be brought to book to serve as deterrent to others.”

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