29 Killed, Houses Destroyed As Gunmen Attack Kaduna

 

29 persons have been killed and several houses destroyed as gunmen attacked Maro village in Kajuru as well as Kachia Local Governments of Kaduna State.

The police confirmed this on Tuesday, barely two weeks after the village came under attack.

According to some eyewitnesses, the armed men numbering over 200 invaded the village in the early hours of the day, wielding dangerous weapons.

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The state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has condemned the attacks.

In a statement signed by his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, the governor said security agencies are working assiduously to contain the situation.

He, therefore, called on the people of Kajuru and Kachia to support the efforts by the security agencies to restore calm in the areas.

Kaduna Govt. Sets Aside 100mln Naira To Rebuild Destroyed Places Of Worship

Governor El-Rufai Tasks Traditional Rulers On Peace, SecurityThe Kaduna State government has set aside 100 million Naira for the rebuilding of churches and mosques that were destroyed during ethno-religious crisis between Fulani herdsmen and natives in the Southern part of the state

The state governor, ‘Mr Nasir El-Rufai, who announced the donation at the unveiling of public apology billboards by the 28 ethnic communities from Jemaa, Kachia, Kaura,Sanga and Zangon Kataf local government areas, said the gesture was part of efforts to restore lasting peace in the area.

Governor El-Rufai also announced that the government had drafted a bill to set up the Kaduna State Peace Commission that would enable inclusion of all citizens on plans for peaceful co-existence.

Although, killings in Southern part of Kaduna State can be traced back to the 80s, with the outbreak of the 1983 Kafanchan crisis, the number of deaths recorded in the area since the 2011 post-election violence has become very alarming and unabated.

Several communities in Sanga, Kaura, Jemaa and Kachia local government areas have been attacked by gunmen, with many people killed, villages razed and property worth millions of Naira destroyed.

Even though several measures have been put in place by the government and other stakeholders, the killings have continued.

It has been accusations and counter accusations between the natives and Fulani herdsmen whom they claimed were responsible for the deadly attacks.

Most often, the people accuse the government of not doing enough to curtail the attacks.

Early this year, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, an international Non-Governmental Organisation, waded into the crises by bringing all the warring parties together for dialogue.

In a move to restore peace to the area, a peacebuilding initiative was established with leaders of Southern Kaduna, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), and government officials led by the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai holding talks in Samaru-Kataf.

Part of the initiative was the unveiling of public apology billboards, as a sign of another reconciliation between the Fulanis and the natives.

Governor El-Rufai in his speech, emphasised that apology and forgiveness remained key to achieving lasting peace in the state. He appealed to the various ethnic groups to respect each other, abide by the law and firmly reject division and violence.

“In the last few decades, the people of Southern Kaduna have suffered untold hardships due to incessant conflicts between and among various ethnic and religious communities, claiming many lives and displacing people.

“Various governments in the past, at both Federal and State levels, responded by instituting Commissions of Inquiry, holding peace conferences and implementing actions to enhance security. These efforts have not been enough to restore peace.

“It is clear that we must all go an extra mile to constructively engage with citizens and promote peaceful coexistence among our people.

We must also draw from experiences across the world: If violence was a solution to real or perceived grievances, the sheer number of lives lost, property destroyed and whole communities uprooted from their homes would have solved the problem long ago. Yet, despite decades of distrust that regularly explodes into violence, the problems remain. It has been said again and again that every war ends on the conference table. If that is the case, why must we kill ourselves before we realise the futility of violence?

“It is in pursuit of a policy of constructive engagement that the Kaduna State Government is adopting conflict resolution mechanisms by engaging all parties to work for peace. It is our belief that what cannot be obtained through peaceful means cannot be obtained through violence. We believe that genuine and sustainable peace will come when we accept that mistakes have been made on all sides. Accepting that mistakes have been made prepares the mind for an apology, and apologising for our transgressions prepares the ground for genuine forgiveness and reconciliation.

“Today we are here to launch a Public Apology Billboard, as we grief over the lives sadly taken in the recent violence in the Godogodo chiefdom. Why, our children ask, are we able to discuss peace for decades but not find it on the ground?

“Now, 29 ethnic communities of Southern Kaduna present a public apology billboard to us. These people represented their communities at the dialogues that resulted in the Kafanchan Peace Declaration. They were sent to represent their communities by their leaders. Wide consultation within their communities was carried out in selecting them. Their input and contribution to peace in Southern Kaduna has been crucial. Allow me to opine that leaders are not born and neither are they made.,”he said.

The Governor further commended the initiators of the peace deal, describing them as worthy citizens of the state.

“These group of resilient leaders drawn from different religions and ideologies have now been joined by many more, ordinary citizens, who are now going around Southern Kaduna, seeking the buy in of traditional elders, community and religious leaders, women, youth and the civil society to never again indulge in violence. They want to set up billboards across the five LGAs of Sanga, Kachia, Kaura, Jema’a and Zangon Kataf, at roundabouts, Schools and places of worship. Their message is that no ethnic group, ideology, religion or political party holds all the answers.

“These leaders are asking for innovative solutions from men and women across religious, ethnic and ideological divides.

“They are asking everyone to ignore those who incite violence but who live faraway from the places that suffer when strife breaks out, when schools, farms and markets close, when lives and limbs are brutally taken and property subjected to the brutality of arsonists and looters,” he told the gathering.

The high point of the event was the release of pigeons from a cage symbolising peace and reconciliation.

As the leaders depart from here, it is hoped that they will take the message to their kinsmen back home on the need for them to forgive each other, bury their differences and stop the bloodletting that has left the communities backward.

Security Operatives Recover Over 300 Stolen Cows

Cattle-Rustling-KAnoSecurity operatives attached to the ‘Operation Yaki’ security outfit in Kaduna State, have recovered over 300 cows and other animals stolen by rustlers in various parts of the state.

During the handover of the recovered animals to their owners, a spokesman for the Governor, Colonel Yusuf Yakubu, told reporters that the animals were stolen from herdsmen and later recovered from the rustlers at two villages in Kachia Local Government Area of the state where they were hidden.

Colonel Yakubu explained that the recovery was made possible through intelligence information from members of the public.

He says the operation is part of efforts by the state government to curtail armed banditry, insurgency and other related crimes in the state.

According to him, the recovered animals were being handed over to their owners after thorough scrutiny.

He applauded the contribution of security operatives in ensuring that activities of rustlers and other criminals were reduced to the barest minimum across the state.

He also added that security agents in the state had so far recovered over 17, 000 cows since the government began efforts to rid the state of cattle rustlers over a year ago.

The outfit had set up collation centres for the recovered animals in Birnin Gwari, Zaria, Kachia and Jere.

Colonel Yakubu said: “Recently, there were two operations conducted by our operatives. The first operation was conducted in October 2016, which recovered 95 animals. Then the second and third operations were conducted on the 28 and 29 of the same month where we recovered a total of 312 cows.

“This operation was conducted by our Sector one of Operation Yaki which comprises Nigerian Army, Police and the Navy that are in Kachia.

“The information that we got from people led to the successful operation. We most especially commend the leadership of Miyetti Allah in Kaduna state, they are doing a good job, they led us into this operation and we made these recovery”.

The North West Chairman of Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Ahmadu Sulaiman, commended the security agencies and Kaduna State government for their commitment to rid the state of cattle rustlers.

Two Lassa Fever Patients On The Loose In Kaduna

lassa feverThe Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has raised alarm that it cannot ascertain the whereabouts of two persons suspected to have been infected with Lassa fever in Kachia  and Kawo Local Governments of Kaduna State.

Addressing a news conference on Monday, the Kaduna State NMA Chairman, Dr. Muhammed Ibrahim, said that the two persons showed symptoms of Lassa fever and were put under surveillance before their sudden disappearance.

He also told reporters that about 10 primary and 28 secondary contacts of the three dead Lassa fever patients at Saint Louis Hospital in Zonkwa were under surveillance while another nurse at the hospital, who was tested positive to the disease, had been placed under isolation at the State Infectious Disease Centre in Kakuri, Kaduna South Local Government Area.

While advising residents of the state to observe a good hygiene in order not to contact the disease, Dr. Ibrahim urged them to avoid contact with rats and foods  contaminated with rat secretions or excretions.

He also cautioned health workers and other care givers to always avoid contact with blood and body fluids while attending to sick persons.

The NMA said that the sudden disappearance of the suspected Lassa fever patients could jeopardise effort by government to curtail the spread of the disease.

The Association called on the public and health workers attending to any suspected Lassa fever patient to contact the relevant authorities for prompt action.

On February 29, three persons were were confirmed dead at the Saint Louis Specialist Hospital in Zonkwa, Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State following the outbreak of Lassa fever.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Professor Jonathan Nok, who confirmed the incident, told reporters that a medical doctor, a nurse and a pregnant woman were among the deceased.

Floods Ravage Over 2,000 Houses In Kaduna

kaduna floodAt least 2,000 houses in some parts of Kaduna State, Northwest Nigeria, have been submerged by flood as a result of a heavy rainfall.

The flood was said to have been caused by an unusual heavy downpour that lasted for over 48 hours.

The rainfall which started on Saturday night till Monday morning, caused massive floods at Abubakar Kigo road new extension, Barnawa, Ungwar-Rimi, Gonin-Gora, Karatudu, Kachia, Romi among others.

More than 30, 000 people had been forced out of their homes following the incident.

Many roads had also been blocked, making it difficult to get help and supplies to affected areas.

Flooding is common in most parts of Kaduna State during the rainy season.

Channels Television’s Correspondent in Kaduna, said that poor drainage in the affected areas was the cause of the  flood.

In 2012, flood killed about seven people,  destroyed several houses and farmlands, in what officials said was the worst natural disaster ever to befall the state.

Since then, the State Emergency Management Agency had set up an early warning system to monitor the weather.

About 30 houses were affected by flood in the area as a result of heavy down pour in August.

The residents had, however, refused to comply with NEMA’s directive due to claims of fund to secure new homes.

Instead, they attributed the flood to lack of dredging of the Kaduna River and the opening of a dam by the Cameroonian authorities.

Residents have called on the State Government to dredge the river for easy flow of water during the rainy season.

As the rains continue to pour out, some of the affected residents have started moving out their properties to safer places.

Disappointment, Complaints Trail PVC Distribution in Kaduna

PVCCriticisms, lamentations and anger have continued to trail the distribution of the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) which commenced in Kaduna on Monday.

Several residents, who faulted the entire process, complained of late arrival of materials and absence of adhoc officials in almost all the distribution centres.

Residents said they had a herculean task in tracing their names on the register displaced on the wall.

Many did not see their names even though the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Haliru Tambuwal, told journalists before the exercise commenced that about 3 million cards had been printed and were ready for collection.

While the exercise could not start smoothly on its first day due to non availability of INEC officials and materials, our correspondent who monitored the distribution reported that D 2 of the exercise also witnessed late availability of materials at most of the distribution centres in the state capital and other surrounding local government areas.

In most areas visited, like Jaba, Kachia, Kubau, Zaria, Sanga, Soba and Makarfi local government areas, residents who had collected their PVCs commended INEC for a job well done, while those who were yet to receive theirs in Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Igabi, and Chikun local government areas faulted the process.

There were also complaints of missing names on the register as well as non availability of the permanent voter’s cards of those whose names appeared on the voters register.

The residents who trooped out for the exercise were disappointed by the absence of INEC officials at the polling units and designated collation centres as at 12 O’clock in the afternoon.

At the Kabala polling unit, which is the unit of Nigeria’s Vice President, Namadi Sambo, there was no sign of any distribution of voters cards going on. Those who trooped out for the exercise waited in vain and later dispersed in anger.

It was the same situation at some polling units in Ungwar Television and Magajingari polling units in Chikun and Kaduna North local government areas.

Prospective voters expressed fears that they may not vote in the next year’s election if they failed to obtain their permanent voters cards.

However, INEC National Commissioner in charge of Kaduna, Niger and Federal Capital Territory, Chris Iyamoga attributed the delay in the distribution of materials in some places to some logistics problems which he said was being sorted out by the commission.

Since 2011, the agency had planned to replace the temporary cards with the new cards. Despite the money committed so far for the project, stakeholders have expressed disappointment that the commission has not lived up to expectation.

Their fear is that the commission may not be able to complete the exercise before the February 2015 elections.

And as the commission continues with the exercise, stakeholders in Kaduna State are urging its officials to avoid the mistakes and shortcomings that nearly marred the process in some states.

4 Dead In Kachia Clash- Official

kaduna_stateThe violent clash between Christian and Muslim youths which led to the burning of churches and mosques in Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna state on Sunday, took a new twist on Monday following the killing of four persons in the area. 

The Chairman of the Local Government, Peter Agaite, who confirmed the deaths, said two of the victims were returning from their places of work when they were ambushed by hoodlums while the other two were reportedly shot dead by security operatives while they were trying to vandalise some shops in the area.

He however stated that normalcy has since returned to the town following the deployment of a combined team of officers drawn from the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

However, when contacted on the incident, the Kaduna State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Aminu Lawan, said there was no death casualty recorded in the crisis.

A 24-hour curfew had been imposed on Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State after violent clashes on Sunday led to the burning down of places of worship.

The Curfew was imposed to avoid an escalation of the crisis into other parts of the state.

A resident of the town told Channels Television that the crisis erupted on Sunday morning when they woke up and discovered that a portion of the fence of the Muslim Eid praying ground had been demolished by unknown persons, suspecting that members of a nearby church were responsible for the continuous damage of the prayer ground, some Muslim youth decided to take revenge by descending on the church and demolished it too.

The state governor, Mukhtar Yero, called on the people of the area and environs to remain calm and shun any attempt by enemies of peace to escalate misunderstanding as government had brought the situation under control.

The governor in a statement signed by his media aide, Ahmed Maiyaki, called on all residents of Kachia to avoid taking laws into their own hands.

“Government is already working with all security agencies to ensure the protection of lives and property,” he said.

Governor Yero assured the people that security agencies had already commenced investigations into the cause of the crisis and will not spare anyone found culpable no matter their status in the society.

“We will no longer tolerate these acts of unwarranted violence against innocent citizens, enough is enough,” the Governor said.