Southern Kaduna Crisis: FG Deploys More Troops

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• Police send helicopters, 500 personnel
John Shiklam in Kaduna and Dele Ogbodo in Kafachan

The federal government has deployed more troops to Kaduna state to ensure peace and stability during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

The state government has also relaxed the 24-hour curfew imposed on Jema’a, Kaura and Zangon Kataf local government areas of the state, following the recent crisis that erupted in the areas.
A statement signed by the Spokesman to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Samuel Aruwan, said the decision to deploy more troops to the state was taken following credible intelligence reports suggesting possible threat to peace and the need to nip it in the bud.

According to the statement, “In order to strengthen security in Southern Kaduna and the state at large, more troops and operatives comprising the Nigerian Army, Department of State Security (DSS), and other intelligence personnel/investigators have been deployed to ensure the security of citizenry and maintenance of law and order.

“The Nigerian Police has also deployed various units of Mobile Police, Counter Terrorism Units (CTU) as well as many units of both conventional and undercover police to adequately provide security to the people. You may recall that the Governor had met Mr. President regarding the security situation in the areas and the intelligence reports at the disposal of security agencies.”

On the 24-hour curfew imposed on the three local government areas, Aruwan explained that the curfew has been relaxed to 12 hours; from 6am to 6pm with effect from December 25 and 26, adding that the 24-hour curfew continues in the affected local government areas on December 27 till further notice.
The statement also said citizens of the state can contact security agencies on the telephone numbers: 0703-967-5856 and 0807-539-1105 in the event of any emergency.

According to Aruwan, Area Commanders in the Kaduna Central Senatorial District could be reached on telephone numbers 0803-385-0043 and 0803-433-1872 while those in Kaduna North Senatorial District (Zaria) and Southern Kaduna Senatorial District (Kafanchan) can call 0803-317-4270, 0806-128-6619 and 0813-262-0315, 0803-632-9263 respectively during emergencies.

In a related development, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, yesterday deployed 3 Police helicopters and a Joint Tactical Squad of 500 Police-men to restore peace in Kafachan in Southern Kaduna, recently engulfed by sectarian crisis which THISDAY learnt had claimed several lives and properties worth several millions.

The Governor, Mallam Nasir el Rufai and his convoy including the Chairman of Kafachan Local Government Area, were recently attacked during a peace mending mission in Kafanchan.
At the flag-off of the operation to beef up security in Niger, Kaduna States and its environs in Kafachan, where the crisis is said to have claimed several lives, the IG, represented by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Mr. Habila Joshak, said the 500 officers are made up of the Police Mobile Unit, Counter Terrorism Unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Intelligence Response Team, the IGP Monitoring Unit, Police K9, Police Air Wing and the Police Medical Team.

He assured stakeholders that the entire team will restore peace in the environs where the recent sectarian crisis in Kafachan and neighbouring communities in the state has claimed innocent lives with properties worth millions of naira destroyed.
To achieve success of the operations, Idris said the squad will on daily basis receive their allowances and entitlements, urging them to be proactive, work on actionable intelligence and carry out massive deployment within the environs.

The three helicopters, which he confirmed are fueling in Kaduna, will carry out 24 hours surveillance and patrol, adding that they will continually carry out raids of identified criminal hideouts, with the view to arrest any trouble maker.

He said: “The Police helicopters will embark on guided missions and aerial surveillance of the entire area and will operate in synergy with other formations on the ground. The deployment of the joint tactical squad personnel will cover all the communities, towns, villages, vulnerable points, government and private facilities in the area.”

According to him, traditional rulers, religious leaders, public office holders, politicians, opinion leaders, parents and guardians in the area should prevail on their subjects, and support children to cooperate with the Police in propagating peace and co-existence in the region.
In a remark, the Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State, Agyole Abeh, assured that the massive reinforcement from the Force headquarters would restore peace to the entire state and its environs. He commended the IG for his quick intervention, adding, within the next few weeks, law and order will return to Southern Kaduna.