February 26, 2018

Houses set ablaze, many injured as Muslim, Christians clash in Kaduna


By Ben Agande
Timely intervention of security forces Monday afternoon averted escalation of crisis between some Muslims and Christian youths in Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru local government of Kaduna state.

Several houses were however reportedly set ablaze and unspecified number of people were also said to have sustained injuries.

There were conflicting reports on what triggered the crisis but one account said some Christian youths in the town went about beating girls for allegedly dating Muslim boys while another account claimed that some youths in the area went beavers when report filtered into town that there was an attempt to forcefully convert some Christian girls who were allegedly taken to the residence of the local chief.

It was however gathered that there had been simmering crisis in the area between adherents of the two faith before it tipped Monday morning.

The community which is about 31 kilometers away from Kaduna city is located along the highway connecting Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue States as well as the southern part of Kaduna state.

Commuters plying that route were stranded for several hours following the incident.

Residents alleged that security personnel could not arrived until around 2pm when a combined team of soldiers and police were deployed to tackle the situation.

Spokesman of the Kaduna state police command, Aliyu Mukhtar told Vanguard in a telephone interview that the situation had been brought under control.

Aliyu said the Assistant commissioner of police in charge of operations had relocated to the area.

“We got a distress called in the morning that there was tension in Kasuwan Magani. The Assistant commissioner of police is already there as I am talking to you with his men.
“Mobile policemen have been deployed to the place. So the situation has been brought under control.

I cannot give details about the cause of the problem now until investigations are concluded.

We are yet to obtain number if casualties but we are on top of the situation” he said.

In a swift reaction, The Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai has directed that all persons responsible for the crisis be arrested and prosecuted.
A statement by El RUFAI’S spokeman, Samuel Aruwan, said while condemning the incidence, Governor El-Rufai expressed his sympathy to those affected by the incidence.

He directed the State Emergency Management Agency to take inventory of damages and provide relief materials with immediate effect.

The statement added that security forces have been deployed to contain the situation, protect lives and properties and to prevent any further breakdown of law and order.

The governor urged all citizens and communities to reject violence and division, and uphold their neighbours in peace and harmony.