As President Orders Strong Actions To Check Violence
Against the backdrop of growing criticism over the seeming failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to condemn religious violence in Southern Kaduna, he broke his official silence on Thursday, ordering “strong actions to deal with” the situation.
According to Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, two battalions of the Nigerian Army are in the process of being set up in the trouble region, while the Air Force undertakes air surveillance across flash points in the area.
These are part of efforts, he noted, to bring an end to the recurring acts of violence and destruction in the Christian dominated area of the headquarters of the nation’s first republic Northern Region.
Shehu noted that the presence of the Inspector General of Police in the troubled region last Saturday and Sunday for a first hand assess of the situation was on the President’s order, following which squadron of mobile policemen have been stationed there to complement the regular policemen in the area.
While commending efforts of the state government and the security agencies in the steps taken so far to curtail the violence, Shehu said the President has also directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to undertake a joint assessment of the situation in conjunction with its Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) “to determine the level of response required for urgent aid to the victims of the violence.”
While condoling with the people of the area who have lost loved ones in the outbreak of violence, the President expressed hope that such measures would “soon ensure the return of normalcy to the region, while the Kaduna State government continues its peace building efforts.”
Reacting to the ongoing violence, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), on Sunday night, described as unjust, heinous and dastard, the ongoing killings and destruction of properties in Southern Kaduna, which it said had claimed about 808 lives, leaving 57 others seriously injured, in separate attacks on two villages in Sanga Local Government Area.
A statement by Ustaz Christian Isa Okonkwo, Director of Administration, NSCIA, expressed grief over the killings and maiming that “run contrary to fundamental Islamic law which ordains human life to be sacred and strongly forbids its unlawful destruction except for a just course.”
The urged the government to urgently take measures to put a stop to this inhuman and barbarous state of anomie and thereafter proffer “lasting solutions to these recurrent acts of hatefulness and savagery in Southern Kaduna.
“We also wish to call on the Federal government to objectively investigate the matter and prosecute whoever that is found guilty irrespective of the person’s tribe, creed and, or social status.
“We urge all Nigerians to continue to promote justice, preach, teach and live in peace with one another. We enjoin all Nigerians not to allow themselves to be used by forces of evil some of which may hide behind tribal, political or even religious garbs in order to perpetrate these heinous acts. “United we stand.”
But in another statement, leader of Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti faulted the Federal Government’s seeming indifference to the carnage saying a state of emergency ought to have been declared in the area owing to the seeming complacency of the state governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.
Urging that a state of emergency be declared in the area, he expressed grief “that the Federal Government has been quiet on these killings, relying on the governor of the state, who has openly confessed that he looked out for the killers to compensate them because they are of the same ethnic stock with him.