John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has given a two-week ultimatum to the police and traditional rulers in the southern part of Kaduna State to fish out those behind the persistent killings in the area.
The ultimatum was issued at the end of a meeting with Chairmen of Interim Management Committee of the Local Government Areas affected by the killings, the Area Commander of Nigerian Police, Kafanchan Area Command, all Divisional Police Officers (DPOs), Traditional Rulers and Ardos of Fulani communities in the area.
The governor, according to a statement issued after the meeting by his spokesman, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, expressed his displeasure over the spate of killings in the southern part of the state, stating government will not condone lawlessness and the killing of innocent citizens.
In the past three weeks over 60 people were reported killed by gunmen suspected to Fulani herd men in Godogodo and neighbouring villages in Jama’a Local Government Area.
The attacks were said to have provoked reprisal killings in the area.
According to Aruwan: “The meeting was a frank discussion between the aggrieved ethnic groups in an attempt to find lasting solutions to the security challenges in the region.
“He directed all Divisional Police Officers and traditional rulers in the affected areas to fish out those involved in the killings within two weeks.”
The governor, according to the statement lamented the security situation, noting that Kaduna had experienced 12 ethnic and religious conflicts from 1980.
He blamed the current situation on the failure of the previous administrations to decisively tackle security problems when they occurred, thereby encouraging them to degenerate to what it is today.
“We have studied reports of all committees and commissions of inquiries set up from 1980 to the time we came into power. What we discovered is that negligence of previous government to implement recommendations encouraged the spate of insecurity to continue unchecked in the state,” the statement quoted the governor as saying.
“Those responsible for the crisis always use religious or ethnic differences to fan the embers of these crises. There is no way we will brand some people in Nigeria as settlers who don’t have the rights to live in any part of the country.
“We are all Nigerians and God knows why he made all of us to be Nigerians. He is the one who created us to belong to different faiths or religion. For me, the things that have broughts these crises in Kaduna Stateis that those doing it hide under the guise of religion and ethnicity to cause these conflicts. But we know that illiteracy and poverty are the root cause of the insecurity we have been experiencing” the governor said.
He called on all aggrieved parties to forgive any grievances and always report to the authorities any wrong committed against them to allow the government to use the law to bring about justice.
“Anyone that feels he has been grieved because his relations were killed or has lost anything, he should come out and complain and we will compensate him if that is what it will take but no one should resort to killing because of anything. We appeal to you to be patient and allow authorities to bring justice” the governor appealed.
He also condemned the actions of certain people in killing innocent citizens in the name of reprisal, vowing that government will fish out those involved deal with them.
The statement assured that government was doing its best in to address the security problems and called for the support and cooperation of the people.