Soldiers from the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, have recovered arms and ammunition from suspected Fulani herdsmen and villagers during an operation in Southern Kaduna.
The soldiers were deployed to the area as part of efforts to end the killings in some communities in the area.
The General Officer Commanding, 1 Division, Kaduna State, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, who disclosed this in a statement, explained that the Army had been meeting with the Fulani and the villagers in a bid to find a lasting solution to the crisis.
He said the Army authorities had also approved two battalions to be stationed in Southern Kaduna for as long as possible.
He said, “We have presently mopped up arms from the Fulani herdsmen and the locals.
“Our operations based on intelligence gathering are still ongoing and we are also working with the Department of State Services.
“As it is well known, the Army has approved two battalions to be stationed in Southern Kaduna. One of them is in Kafanchan. So, we are not leaving. We will be there for as long as it’s necessary.
“We have other fundamental issues in the area, which the political leadership needs to resolve.
The Governor has engaged various stakeholders and as our operations continue, peace is returning.
“People are returning to their villages. However, it will take some time for them to calm down.
“They are repairing their burnt houses and they are also clearing their farmlands.
“We have assured them of maximum protection on their farms, and also for the Fulani herdsmen when they need to lead their cows for grazing”.
President Muhammadu Buhari has been giving instructions for decisive measures aimed at bringing an end to the recurring acts of violence and destruction in the Southern part of Kaduna State.
President Buhari has equally directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to carry out a joint assessment of the situation with the sister agency in Kaduna, SEMA, to determine the level of response required for urgent aid to the victims of the violence.
This is according to Presidential Spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
According to him, the Inspector-General of Police, on the directive of President Buhari, was in the region on Saturday and Sunday to assess the situation at first hand.
“In addition to the conventional policemen deployed in the area, a squadron of mobile policemen has now been stationed there.
As part of the measures aimed at restoring law and order in Southern Kaduna, the Nigerian Army says it plans to site a military establishment in the area for quick response.
The Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Sani Usman said this, adding that the Army is working with other security agencies as well as the civilian population to restore peace and promote tolerance in the area.
“I want to inform you that the Nigerian Army is fully deployed in the southern part of Kaduna state, and just yesterday we further reinforced that.
“And we have gone beyond that; we have also embarked on civil military activities and we are working hand-in-gloves, with other security agencies, particularly the Nigerian Police, Department of State Services and other military, paramilitary agencies deployed, as well as community and traditional and religious leaders.
“Be assured that the Nigerian Army is fully on ground in the southern oart of Kaduna state.”
He said that with the siting of a military establishment, the Army would be better equipped to avert any form of bloodshed in the area.
The Nigerian Police Force says it will set up a Mobile Squadron Unit in Kafanchan, as part of efforts to stop the frequent attacks in the southern part of Kaduna State.
The plan was announced on Saturday by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, during a fact finding mission to Kafanchan, headquarters of Jema’a Local Government Area in the northeastern State.
Mr Idris, who also inaugurated a committee to investigate the recent attacks on Goska, Ninte and other villages in the area, vowed that perpetrators of the attacks would be fished out and prosecuted accordingly.
Many communities have come under attack by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen in the southern part of Kaduna State in the past eight months. The attacks have claimed several lives and property, with thousands of people sacked from their homes.
After a tour of the communities attacked by suspected herdsmen, the Police boss met with the villagers and leaders of the Fulani community. At the meeting, however, a mild disagreement ensued between them, as to who was responsible for the attacks. While some blame the traditional leaders for the unrest, others accused politicians of being responsible.
Addressing the people, Mr Idris noted that the wanton destruction of lives and property in the past months in southern Kaduna had more of a political than religious undertone.
He commiserated with those who had lost loved ones and properties to the unrest, but added that the situation had been blown out of proportion.
“From the discussion I had with Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, we have decided to station a mobile police base in Kafanchan.
“We are here to see things for ourselves so that we have a lasting peace in the whole area,” he said.
The IG said a panel had been set up to investigate the crisis in the area thoroughly, including the allegation that 800 people were killed in the crisis.
Mr Idris said most of the leadership of the villages had a lot to contribute to peace and unity of the area.
“Some of the community leaders need to be cautioned. They are contributing to creating situation that does not exist,” he said.
He said the police were committed to restoring lasting peace and later met with community leaders in the area.
Over 700 Mobile policemen have been deployed to Kafanchan to maintain law and order in southern Kaduna.
The visit by the IGP is perhaps not the first by any top security or government official to area.
Beyond the visitation, what the people want to see is lasting peace and perhaps government’s intervention in the areas of rehabilitation of destroyed houses to enable them go back to their normal lives.
Troops deployed to southern Kaduna have arrested two persons in possession of live ammunition in Kagoma area of the state.
The General Officer Commanding One Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, disclosed the arrest to reporters in the state in northwest Nigeria.
General Oyebade has also ordered the immediate deployment of troops to Ninte, a community that has been ravaged with renewed attacks in Jema’a Local Government Area.
The ammunition was discovered when two middle-aged men, who were driving a maroon coloured Volkswagen vehicle through a road in the front of the Chief of Kagoma’s Palace were flagged down but declined. This led to their suspicion and interrogations by soldiers on watch.
Luck, however, ran out on them, as the GOC and the troops were coming out of the palace after peace talks with the elders to address the killings.
The suspects were apprehended and whisked away to the military camp in Kafanchan for further questioning.
While assuring residents of the area that troops were on ground to restore peace to without taking side, General Oyebade appealed to both the Fulani communities and locals not to cause a religious crisis.
He particularly warned the youths not to allow anyone, especially politicians use them to achieve their agenda by causing crisis at the detriment of their future.
Earlier, the traditional ruler of Kagoma Chiefdom, Paul Zakka Gyon, had said “the recent attacks have connection to the inability of the natives displaced from Ninte to return home.
“(They are) requesting that troops be deployed to restore confidence of the displaced natives to return home and stabilise the community before security agents are withdrawn”.
Meanwhile, normalcy has returned to Kafanchan and Goska, the villages that lost at least 10 lives after the bloody coordinated attacks on December 24 and 25.
Some youths in Kaduna State have attacked the residence of the Chairman of Jema’a Local Government Area, Dr. Bege Katuka, during a protest over the killing of their people by suspected herdsmen.
Dr. Katuka’s residence, which is located a few meters away from the council’s secretariat, was burnt down completely while some houses, shops, vehicles and places of worship were also torched.
The angry youths accused the chairman and the State government of not doing enough to stop the persistent killings going on in Southern Kaduna.
Witnesses told Channels Television that the incident occurred on Monday night and lasted till the early hours of Tuesday.
In his reaction, Dr. Katuka described the protest as politically motivated and aimed at breaching the fragile peace in the area.
The protest has led to the imposition of a curfew on Jema’a and Kauru local government areas of Kaduna State in northwest Nigeria.
Having suspended all his official engagements, Governor Nasir El-Rufai visited the affected areas with his deputy and top government officials and subsequently held a Security Council meeting in Kafanchan.
This is the second time the governor is holding such meeting in Kafanchan in 2016, as part of effort to find a lasting solution to the attacks that have claimed hundreds of lives and destroyed property worth millions of Naira.
While the meeting was ongoing, hundreds of women and youths gathered outside the compound of the venue, demanding to see the governor.
Addressing the women, Governor El-Rufai urged them to remain calm and assured them that the government was doing its best to beef up security and bring normalcy to the area.
He also stressed the importance of living in peace with one another, adding that no matter the effort of government, the people hold the key to lasting peace in the area.
The governor also visited the Emir of Jema’a, Muhammadu Isah Muhammadu, Chief of Kagoro, Ufoi Bonet and Chief of Marwa, Tagwai Sambo, where he solicited for their support in restoring peace to the area.
No fewer than 300 houses in some parts of Kaduna State, North-west Nigeria, have been submerged by flood, as a result of a heavy rainfall.
Following the Incident, more than 10, 000 people have been forced out of their homes.
The incident which started on Friday morning, after long hours of heavy downpour, lasted till later in the evening.
In July, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), issued an alert that eight Local Government Areas in the state were likely to experience flooding, and therefore warned residents of the affected areas to vacate to safer places.
Ever since the flood incident in 2012, that killed about seven people, destroyed several houses and farmlands in Kaduna, the State Emergency Management Agency has set up an early warning system to monitor the situation.
The agency said Friday’s flooding incident was as a result of drainages being blocked with refuse, and people building structures along water channels.
Some of the affected areas include: Zaria, Hayi Gada, in Jemaa Local Government Area , Abubakar Kigo road new extension, Barnawa, Narayi, Romi among others.
Reports say that most of the affected houses are those located near the bank of River Kaduna without proper drainage systems.
Flooding has become an annual occurrence in most parts of Kaduna State, as well as some other states around Nigeria, during the rainy season.
In spite of several warnings by the NEMA to vacate the areas, some residents had however, refused to comply with the directive, due to claims such as lack of adequate funds to secure new homes.
While Others insisted that their houses were not built on water ways, and rather requested that the Government should construct drainages along the water fronts, in order to avert any further disaster.
Due to the incident, many roads have been blocked, thereby making it difficult for residents to evacuate their properties, most of which have been submerged by flood.
The Nigerian Army has vowed to fish out those behind the attacks on three villages in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The General Officer Commanding, One Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, stated this on Friday during his visit to the villages, attacked by gunmen state in northwest Nigeria.
He assured the residents of their safety, stressing that the Army personnel would be stationed in the area for some time until normalcy returns.
Eleven persons were killed and several others sustained injuries in a coordinated attack that lasted several hours in Gada Biyu, Akwa’a and Angwan Anjoo villages in Godogodo town.
Residents of the villages have fled their homes for fear of fresh attacks they claimed were being carried out by some Fulani herdsmen.
One of the villagers, Monday Adamu, told Channels Television that the continual and systematic killing of Southern Kaduna people through attacks without government intervention is condemnable and unacceptable.
The attacks follow a series of attacks since 2011 on villages in the southern part of Kaduna State that have claimed many lives and destroyed properties worth millions of Naira.
Since the latest incident occurred, the displaced villagers have been taking refuge in neighbouring communities.
Beyond the presence of military and Police officials, the natives urged the government to find lasting solutions to the lingering crisis between the locals and Fulani herdsmen.
Men of the Kaduna State Police Command, on Friday, stormed an illegal arms manufacturing factory at Kogun village in Jemaa Local Government Area of the state.
During the raid, several guns and ammunition were recovered and two suspects were arrested in connection with the illegal business.
The State Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu, while parading the suspects before newsmen at the Kaduna Police Command headquarters, said that the illegal gun manufacturers were arrested, following a tip-off from members of the public who alerted them of the nefarious activities of the suspects.
The Police Command also paraded 33 robbery suspects for car snatching, terrorism and illegal possession of fire arms at different parts of the state.
The Police Commissioner disclosed that his men had arrested an armed robbery syndicate that has been terrorising travellers at Dangwa village, and Kachia area of the state after a gun duel that lasted for several hours with his men.
According to him, four stolen vehicles, assorted charms and several dangerous weapons were recovered from the suspects.
It was also reported that at other operations, the other suspected robbers blocked the major highways at Abuja, Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi states, snatching cars and cattle at gun points, as some of the suspects confessed.
He reiterated that the command would not relent in its fight against criminals and criminality throughout the state, urging the public to cooperate with the Police by reporting criminals and their activities to the command.
Other items recovered from the suspects include; four locally made AK-47 rifles, several locally made pistols, Police coloured AK-47 magazines and over 40 live special revolver ammunition and cartridges.
Some of the suspects have denied their involvement in the crime, saying the manufacturing of the weapons were not meant for clandestine purposes.
While all the suspects remain in Police detention, the Commissioner gave the assurance that on completion of the investigation, they would be charged to court.
Kaduna State government today imposed a 24 hour-curfew in Jema’a Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State, after angry youths protested over the alleged shooting to death of two people who were among the crowd that wanted to kill the 32 suspected Fulani gunmen who had been arrested by soldiers with weapons in Kafanchan on Wednesday morning.
The incident was said to have occurred when the former head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari was passing through the area while on his way to donate relief materials to people who were displaced during last two weeks attack in Kaura local government area of the state.
An eyewitness told our correspondent that trouble started when the youth demanded that the soldiers should hand over the suspects to them, which the soldiers vehemently declined, and in the process of trying to disperse the crowd, the soldiers allegedly shot two persons. The shooting was said to have triggered some kind of protest as the angry youth barricaded the road.
Natives said about 12 AK riffles, 13 dane guns, a bag of ammunition, all kinds of machetes and other dangerous weapons were recovered from the suspects at a checkpoint in Kafanchan.
Although the spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Aminu Lawan, said that the entire incident had to do with the Nigerian Army and not the Police, Spokesman of the One Mechanised Division of Nigerian Army, Colonel Usman Abdul confirmed the incident but did not give the full details of what happened.
The Chairman of Jema’a Local Government Area, Mr Daniel Amos said the decision to impose a 24 hour curfew was done with the permission of the state government, and was done to forestall a breakdown of law and order.
The body of former governor of Kaduna state, Sir Patrick Yakowa was on Thursday, buried at his country home at Fadan Kagoma in Jema’a local government area of Kaduna state.
The late governor died on Saturday, December 15, in a helicopter crash at Nembe local government area of Bayelsa state along with five others, including former National Security Adviser, General Andrew Azazi.
The emotional widow of the late governor, Mrs Amina Yakowa, in her eulogy narrated how her husband worked for peace, unity and development of the state in his days as governor. She said she believed also he died for the same purpose.
“God knows why this has happened to us at this time, so please let’s give thanks to our God Almighty” she stated amidst tears.
Delivering the sermon at the funeral, the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Most Reverend Mathew Hassan Kukah, admonished politicians to emulate the leadership styles of the late governor, which was centered on humility, politics of unity and acceptability.
In a tribute at the burial service St. Paul Catholic Church, President Goodluck Jonathan eulogized the late governor, describing him as a bridge builder who loved his people irrespective of their religion and tribe.
“Yakowa was a nationalist. He played his roles very well as a civil servant of old, not as a civil servant of today when a director has more houses than Dangote.” “No ethnic or religious divide in his blood,” he said.
President Jonathan also advised politicians to guard any utterances capable of tearing the nation apart, but to emphasize on the things that will unite the nation.
“Utterances and words of elders are just like winds and waves that move, gather momentum and cause destructive effects of which the end results of such destruction cannot be predicted. Responses of our young men and women are reflections of what the elders talk in public and even in private,” he said.
Led by the Senate president, Senator David Mark, other government officials’ paid glowing tribute to the personality of Mr Yakowa.
Mr Yakowa is survived by his wife and four children.