By Ibrahim Hassan
Governor Nasiru el-Rufai of Kaduna State, has described as misleading, the narrative on the Southern Kaduna crisis, insisting it is a false claim of genocide and land grabbing.
The governor said “We will continue to support the security agencies to restore calm in the affected communities. To make this sustainable, we call on the traditional institution to collaborate with security agencies to expose and report criminals in their communities.
“Part of the misleading narrative on the crisis is a false claim of genocide and land grabbing that is being made now, just as they were made without any basis during the 2016/2017 crisis. As governor, I authorise any traditional ruler to tell the media about any inch of land within their domain that has been forcibly grabbed or illegally occupied by anybody or group.”
At a meeting of the Kaduna State Council of Chiefs, yesterday, the governor among others, said, “we have recently had an upsurge in violence and wanton killings in parts of the state. This is a source of profound sadness for us. We mourn the dead, commiserate with their families and wish the wounded speedy recovery. Amidst our sorrow for the fallen, we remain committed to ending the legacy of violence that has blighted the state for 40 years, needlessly taken many lives and curtailed the life chances of residents.
“As governor, my first official action was to convene an emergency security meeting on 30 May 2015. This was prompted by reports of killings in Sanga LGA the previous day. The outcome of that meeting was the setting up of a committee chaired by General Martin Luther Agwai to study and proffer solutions to the incessant killings in southern Kaduna which had intensified since the violent aftermath of the 2011 elections. That emergency security meeting also decided to prepare a White Paper on the report of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee that had been established by the government of late Sir Patrick Yakowa.
The governor also gave insight into what the state government had been doing to ensure peace especially in Southern Kaduna.