…Communities to bear cost of damages; Reps probe killings
By Ben Agande & Emman Ovuakporie
FOLLOWING the recurrent crisis in Kaduna State, Governor Nasir el-Rufai has said for people who may be transiting through Kaduna to other parts of the country, “security agencies have been directed to make arrangements to escort approved vehicles from the Rigasa Train Station, Kaduna International Airport and entrance and exit points from and to Abuja, Lagos, Zaria, Kachia and Jos, at regular intervals.”
Governor el-Rufai said this in a statewide broadcast on Monday night, just as his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, yesterday, said government had reviewed the curfew imposed on Kasuwan Magani, where the crisis first started Thursday last week, from 24 hours to dusk-to-dawn.
The statement reads in part: “Following the review, the Security Council recommended that the curfew in Kasuwan Magani and Kujama be relaxed so that people can move between 6a.m. and 5p.m., till further notice.
“The State Security Council determined that threats continue in Kabala West, Kabala Doki, Sabon-Tasha, Narayi and Maraban Rido within Kaduna Metropilis, where attacks on places of worship were either attempted overnight or contemplated.
“Therefore, the 24-hour curfew should remain in these places and will be vigorously enforced.
In the broadcast, Governor el-Rufai warned that the state government would not allow any body or group to tamper with the diversity of the state.
He said the Sunday incident that led to the death of five persons was caused by “rumours across several of our communities, a situation that hoodlums exploited to engage in criminal activities.
“Kaduna State Government was, therefore, compelled to declare a 24-hour curfew in the metropolis to stem the proliferation of false rumours, prevent the spread of chaos and to enable security agencies to restore calm.
“We have gone round affected areas, visited hospitals, interacted with communities and counselled against reliance on unsubstantiated information.
“The security agents we met manning our streets in the hours before dawn gave us updates that indicated that the overnight security operations were achieving the objectives.
“Government will work to fast track the prosecution of 25 persons arrested for the recent incident, as well as the 63 persons arrested during the February episode in Kasuwan Magani.
“It is clear to us that unless people are seen to be expeditiously punished for such criminal acts, impunity and reckless disregard for human life and property will continue.”
Cost of repairs
Meanwhile, el-Rufai has said communities that allow violence will bear the cost of damages that follow.
The governor, who issued the warning during a meeting with traditional rulers yesterday, said the state government would enforce “the various provisions of the Riots Damage Laws of 1958, the Collective Damage Law of 1915 and the Peace Preservation Law of 1917.
“These laws impose on communities that permit violence in their midsts and obliging community members to be charged and levied monies for the costs of repairing damages done during episodes of violence.
“In situations of unrest, it is common for traditional rulers to disclaim any control over unruly youths. It is an excuse we can no longer accept.
“Where significant sections of a community disdain the counsel or authority of their traditional ruler, it imperils the rationale for keeping the traditional institution and the occupant of the office.”
The state government has also varied the 24-hour curfew it imposed in parts of the state on Sunday.
The statement by the governor’s aide read in part: “Following the review, the Security Council recommended that the curfew in Kasuwan Magani and Kujama be relaxed so that people can move between 6a.m. and 5p.m., till further notice.
“The State Security Council determined that threats continue in Kabala West, Kabala Doki, Sabon-Tasha, Narayi and Maraban Rido within Kaduna Metropilis, where attacks on places of worship were either attempted overnight or contemplated. Therefore, the 24-hour curfew should remain in these places and will be vigorously enforced.
“For the rest of Kaduna metropolis, the Security Council has noted improvements in the security situation and decided that a window be provided for residents to restock on essentials.
“Therefore, the curfew in the rest of Kaduna Metropolis is relaxed from 1p.m. to 5p.m. today(yesterday) to enable all markets, shops and businesses to open and operate.
“The 24-hour curfew in Kaduna Metropolis will be re-imposed from 5p.m. today (yesterday) until further notice.”
Also, the House of Representatives, yesterday, resolved to probe the cause of the killings, abduction and destruction of property in Kajuru and Chikun in Kaduna State.
The House in plenary also mandated the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to send relief materials to families and persons affected by the violence perpetuated during the mayhem.
This was sequel to the adoption of a motion on Killings, Abduction and Destruction of Properties in Kajuru and Chikun LGAs of Kaduna State, moved by the House Minority Whip, Yakubu Barde.
Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, who presided, put the matter to vote and the motion was adopted.