The Kaduna State Police Command has cancelled all forms of social gathering at public places such as recreation centres and amusement parks during the Eid-el Fitr celebrations in the state.
This followed a security alert by the state security outfit, code-named ‘Operation Yaki’, that the state might be attacked on Sallah day by terror group, known as ‘Surasuka’ or ‘Masushara’.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Umar Shehu, announced this in a statement he issued to journalists on Thursday.
He said that places for fun seekers such as the Gamji Gate Amusement Park, Galaxy Park and others would be closed down during the celebration.
He also disclosed that the State Police Command had deployed both conventional and mobile policemen, as well as undercover operatives to man and monitor vulnerable points, with a view to ensuring tight security across the state.
Mr Shehu warned residents against accommodating or harboring strange fellows, as the Boko Haram terror group had changed their tactics of attacks.
The Police Commissioner urged parents and guardians to be vigilant, monitor and warn their children and not allow them to be used by mischief makers.
He reiterated that the ban on commercial motorcycles popularly called ‘okada’, as well as street begging and hawking were still in force, all in the bid to ensure that Kaduna residents have a crime and violence free Eid-El Fitr celebration.
Similarly, the Emir of Zazzau, who is also the Chairman of Kaduna State Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Shehu Idris, has cancelled the traditional Durbar that usually takes place during the Sallah, citing insecurity as reason for the cancellation.
In a bid to address the incessant communal clashes and killings in some parts of Kaduna, the state government says it will assign constitutional roles to traditional rulers to oversee the security of lives and property in their respective domains.
Addressing members of the Kaduna State Traditional Rulers Council during their courtesy visit in his office, Governor Nasir El-Rufai said traditional institutions are important in the management of welfare and security in the country, but lamented that their roles have been usurped by the local government authorities.
He stressed the need for the review of the 1976 local government laws which give the traditional rulers powers to maintain peace and security in their respective domains.
The traditional rulers from across the 23 Local Government Areas of Kaduna State were led to the Council Chamber by their Chairman, the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris.
Their mission was to congratulate the Governor and his deputy on their victory at the last election and successful inauguration, as well as to seek areas of collaboration with government.
Governor El-Rufai lamented that the problem of insecurity in the state had become complicated and compounded because of the failure of past administrations to assign constitutional responsibilities to the traditional institutions.
He explained that a security committee which will include traditional rulers and other critical stakeholders will soon be established by the state government in order to work out the specific roles for traditional rulers towards the maintenance of peace and security in the state.
Traditional rulers in Nigeria have gradually witnessed the erosion of their powers, from depending upon British colonial administration to dependence upon elected politicians and as their roles narrowed, that of the political institutions increased.
Many Nigerians have agreed that this situation also creates a huge gap between the people at the grassroots and government at the states and centre.
The swearing-in ceremony of the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, turned bloody on Friday, as angry youths at the venue attacked the revered Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris.
Several people were injured when the youth, midway into El-Rufai’s speech, started pelting the emir, who sat at the VIP stand, with stones and shoes.
Not even the heavy presence of security operatives could calm down the situation, as the youth intensified the attack on the emir, thereby forcing the event that started peacefully to an abrupt end.
Ting Of Human Wall
The youths, who were said to be angry with the presence of the emir at the inauguration of the new Governor, alleged that he openly supported the former Governor, Mukhtar Yero, during the campaigns, instead of maintaining neutrality as a royal father.
As the stones were flying directly at the Emir, a ring of human wall was quickly formed around him by his Body Guards and security operatives before they eventually took him away through the back of the podium.
Meanwhile, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Ulnar Shehu told Channels Television that the emir was not stoned.
On his part, the new governor in his speech, which was read half way because of the crisis, thanked the people of the State for giving him the mandate.
A Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Ramatu Ibironke Babalakin Foundation, has offered free eye screening and surgery for over 10,000 Nigerians afflicted with Cataract and Pterygium, as well as distributed spectacles to patients in Zaria, Kaduna State.
A team of dedicated doctors with expertise to treat eye problems, arrived the state ten days ago, for the exercise which was held at the palace of the Emir of Zazzau.
Young children, women and the aged all trooped out in large numbers to benefit from the philanthropy.
The free eye treatment which was sponsored by the Foundation was in commemoration of the 40 years anniversary of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, on the throne.
The Founder of the NGO, Dr. Wale Babalakin, while presenting eye glasses to some of the patients who have been operated upon, said that the gesture, asides being for the celebration of the Emir’s 40th year on the throne, was also in remembrance of his mother who was born in the ancient city of Zaria.
Having traveled far and wide, interacting with various organizations abroad and also worried over the high rate of blindness in Nigeria, Dr Wale Babalakin saw the need to offer this eye service to Nigerians irrespective of their tribe or religion.
Dr Babalakin said blindness is a major health disaster and urged Nigerians to come out in mass to benefit from the exercise.
He also promised to assist the people of Zaria in other areas of infrastructural and human development, aimed at touching the lives of the people positively.
In his remarks, the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris commended Mr Babalakin for his tireless efforts towards assisting humanity and prayed that God will continue to assist and uplift him.
Cataract and Pterygium surgeries cost N100.000 to N150, 000 respectively in private hospitals. The Founder disclosed that similar exercise took place in Osun State, his home town, where over 4,000 patients benefited from the exercise.
The Federal Government has released the sum of N3bn for disbursement to victims of the 2011 post-election violence in Kaduna State.
Governor Mukhtar Yero made the disclosure on Saturday at the 40th anniversary of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, on the throne, held at the Emir’s palace, Zaria, Kaduna State.
Governor Yero, said the money which was already in the coffers of the state government will soon be disbursed to the affected victims accordingly.
He stressed the need for people to live in peace with one another to enable government at all levels to provide the dividend of democracy to the electorate.
The 40th coronation anniversary of Alhaji Shehu Idris, who ascended the throne of his forefathers in 1975 is marked with the traditional Durbar. The ceremony starts with the arrival of different traditional dance groups and district heads of the various ruling houses in the emirate.
Praise-singers and drummers herald the arrival of the emir of and other district heads. Riding on coloured horses, they made their way into the arena in company of their followers and different dance groups.
With the arrival of the special guest of honour, Vice President Namadi Sambo and the host Governor, Muhktar Yero, the occassion commenced.
Other dignitaries at the event include the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad, the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, Etsu Nupe, Yahaya Abubakar and a host of other traditional rulers and politicians.
In its turbulent half-century of independence, Nigeria has experienced not only a brutal civil war, but also an unprecedented wave of insurgnency that has left thousands of people dead.
Throughout this period, one institution that has played an important stabilising role has been that of the traditional rulers of kingdoms large and small across the country.
While congratulating the emir for attaining 40 years on the throne, Governor Yero attributed the success recorded by the emirate to patience, fairness, justice and truthfulness.
He also advised all candidates and electorate not to see the forthcoming election as a do-or-die affair.
Former Minister of Defense, General Theophilus Danjuma in his good will message called for stronger collaboration between the political class and traditional rulers in the country towards improving the fallen standard of education in the country.
He noted that education of the youths will not only reduce the high level of illiteracy and unemployment in the country, but will also help in fighting insurgency, social injustice and other criminal activities across the country, adding that the education backwardness of the north is totally unacceptable and poses a threat to the corporate existence of the region and Nigeria as a whole.
Responding, the Emir of Zazzau who spoke in Hausa language, appreciated God for sparing his life to witness what he described as a “memorable and historic occasion”.
He admonished Nigerians to embrace one another and always preach peace to pave way for sustainable growth and development.
The occasion featured a colourful durbar by District Heads and other traditional title holders.