Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has signed into law the amended penal code 2020 which prescribes surgical castration for a rapist upon conviction.
The development was disclosed in a statement on Wednesday by the governor’s spokesman, Muyiwa Adekeye, after the amended law was passed by the Kaduna State House of Assembly last week.
The state House of Assembly noted that “with the new law, anyone convicted of rape will have his organ surgically removed so that even upon completion of his jail term, he will not be able to commit the crime again.
It added that “in addition to the castration of the convicted rapist, the new law recommends 21 years imprisonment for the rape of an adult and life imprisonment for the rape of a minor.”
While signing the law, governor El-Rufai noted that in addition, such convicts will be listed in the sex offenders register to be published by the Attorney-General of the state.
He stated that these drastic penalties are required to help further protect children from such serious crimes.
See details of the amended Penal Code below.
The Kaduna State Penal Code (amendment) law 2020 amends the penal code law (no.5) of Kaduna State, 2017 by substituting section 258 as follows:
1. Whoever commits rape of a child below the age of fourteen (14) years shall on conviction, be punished with surgical castration and death.
2. Whoever has sexual intercourse with a male child below the age of fourteen years shall be punished with surgical castration and death.
3. Where a female adult is convicted for the offence of rape of a child, the court shall punish the accused with bilateral salpingectomy and death.
4. Where the victim is above fourteen years, the court shall on conviction sentence the accused with a punishment of surgical castration and life imprisonment.
5. Where the convict is a child, the court shall order as appropriate under the children and young person law cap 26 laws of Kaduna State 1991.
6. Where the victim is a child, the court shall in addition to the conviction, order that the convict be listed in the sex offenders register to be published by the Attorney General.
7. Where the court is trying the offence of rape involving a child below the age of fourteen years, corroboration of a medical report shall be necessary.
He said the competition is strictly a community affair and it requires the active involvement of all stakeholders.
No fewer than 10,000 persons, including youths, mostly from higher educational institutions and other senior citizens, are expected to participate in the race.
The committee chairman adds that the sale forms for participation in the race would soon commence. He adds that the cost of the forms ranges from N5,000 for adults to N3,000 for children below 18 and free for athletes at 65 and above.
Prizes would be awarded to the top 10 male and female local and international participants.
The Commissioner for Sports Development, Professor Kabir Mato said the government intends to make the competition an annual event as obtained in Lagos and the United Kingdom.
Mato adds that the race would not only create healthy living but promote and strengthen the bonding among communities in the state.
In the other local governments, the gunmen also killed four people, while some other residents have been declared missing.
Attacks, An Act Of Criminality
Shortly after the attacks, the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, condemned the act, describing the incidents as actions of criminality and sheer evil.
A statement by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, on Sunday, said the Governor received briefs on the situations in Kidandan, Rigachikun, Kuyanbana, Buruku general area, and also Buda, within the five LGAs listed, and condoled with families who lost their loved ones in the attacks.
The statement explained that despite the recent attacks, the Kaduna State Government will continue to work with security agencies in the ongoing operations against bandits, being coordinated by the Defence Headquarters.
He urged communities to strongly stand together and confront criminality.
The governor noted that bandits should not be allowed to inflict such pain and then have their actions divide their victims along religious and ethnic lines.
“This criminality is an attack on our unity and collective well-being. Government condoles with the families that lost their loved ones to the sheer criminality of the bandits. Security agencies have been directed to double up and intensify operations against bandits and raids on their hideouts.”
The Governor, however, welcomed the peace pact between Dangoma, Takau, and Zikpak communities in Jema’a local government area.
He described the move as a step towards restoring peace and charged the communities to uphold their obligations in the agreement to secure peace and advance development in the state.
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has asked security agencies to arrest the killers of a 12-year-old herder, Usman Abdullahi, by some persons at Sabzuro-Tunga Nok Road in Jaba Local Government Area of the state.
He, however, commended Fulani and Ham leaders in Jaba for de-escalating tension and keeping the peace after the incident.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs in Kaduna, Samuel Aruwan, gave the commendation on behalf of the governor on Saturday during a peace advocacy engagement between leaders of both ethnic groups at Ungwan Tunga in Nok District.
Aruwan, who visited the parents of the deceased at their settlement in company with the District Head of Nok, Fulani leaders, security officials, and Jaba LGA Chairman, commiserated with them over the unfortunate incident.
He gave an assurance that the government shared in their grief and promised that effort was ongoing by the security agencies to apprehend those behind the death of their son.
The commissioner also commended them for not taking the law in their hands but chose to report the matter to the appropriate authorities.
He called for the sharing of vital information with the government and security agencies to enhance timely intervention to emerging security challenges.
On his part, the Chairman of Jaba LGA, Benjamin Jock, explained that Usman Abdullahi was killed by yet-to-be-identified persons on the outskirts of Sabzuro-Tunga Nok Road some days ago and his body was dumped inside a bush.
Usman’s father, Abdullahi Wakili, who spoke in Hausa, thanked the government delegation for the visit.
He also assured them of absolute recourse to the law, hence their cooperation with security personnel investigating the case.
Wakili said, “All I know is that despite all that happened, I leave everything for God. I know that security operatives are doing their best. I pray that God will help them during their investigation to find the culprit.
“I also thank His Excellency, the governor of Kaduna State for his support. May God lead you all back to your various destinations safely.”
Jaba is one of the most peaceful local government areas in Kaduna State with no record of ethno-religious conflicts.
To ensure lasting peace in the LGA, the state government said it would provide needed support for the security agencies to investigate and arrest Usman’s killers with a view to bringing them to justice.
President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, has described the formation of a parallel NBA as unfortunate, calling for a united body at a time when the country needs them the most.
Mr Akpata who was sworn in as NBA’s 30th President, while giving his inaugural speech on Friday, faulted the move to establish a regional bar.
“I am not unaware of very recent events and agitations that have tended to divide our Bar along regional and religious lines. This is rather unfortunate for an egalitarian Association like ours. The Bar that I want to lead henceforth is one that is united on all fronts and that recognises that our diversity is, perhaps, our greatest strength. I plead with all Nigerian lawyers to bear this philosophy of unity in mind as we commence a new journey together today.
“This enormous task cannot be achieved if we continue to fan the embers of division at a time when we desperately need to unite and speak with one firm voice. We must be kind, magnanimous, respectful, and sensitive in our words and actions, as doing otherwise would be a great disservice to our vision of building a stronger and formidable bar. Now is the time to come together because a divided Bar is a defeated Bar.”
Following the withdrawal of the invitation extended by the Bar to the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, some lawyers had alleged discrimination against the governor.
Two lawyers based in Kaduna, Nuhu Ibrahim and Abdulbasit Suleiman, describing themselves as Convener 1 and 2, on Thursday, announced that they and others of like minds had formed a ‘New Nigerian Bar Association’ NNBA.
In a statement released on social media, the lawyers said: “The New Nigerian Bar Association members feel that their interests are no longer taken into consideration in major decisions of the NBA hence the formation of this Association.
According to them, membership of the NBA is not mandatory, adding that Section 40 of the Constitution permits freedom of association.
The new NBA members said they were in consultations with “very Senior Lawyers of Northern Nigeria extraction and those practicing therein with a view to constituting the Trustees and for purposes of fixing a date for the formal inauguration of the Association.”
The NNBA also claimed that the NBA offices were lopsided against Northern lawyers.
“A cursory chronicle of the membership composition of major organs of the NBA would reveal lopsided representation despite having large numbers of Lawyers from all parts of the country and especially Northern Nigeria who have diligently paid their Bar practicing fees and have distinguished themselves in the legal profession.
“The New Nigerian Bar Association feels that Lawyers, as professionals like Doctors and Accountants should have more than one Association regulated by the General Council of the Bar.”
Senior Lawyers Fault Move, Call For Caution
The news of a parallel body of the Nigerian Bar Association has elicited mixed reactions from lawyers across the country.
While some are opposed to the move, others say it is within the rights of the conveners to do the same.
Mike Ozekhome, SAN, who spoke at the handover ceremony of the NBA leadership on Friday, advised aggrieved members against forming an alternative association.
Ozekhome said, “drop all these issues of trying to form an alternative Bar, whether you call it new NBA or progressive NBA, it’s not going to work.
“The reason is that when you begin to create a different Bar, calling it, for example, Northern Bar or new Bar, then people, very soon, are going to start calling for Southern Nigerian Army, Southern Nigerian Navy, Western Nigerian Air Force, Eastern Nigeria Tax Authority, etc; where are we heading to? That is nothing but balkanisation of Nigeria and God forbid.”
Meanwhile, another senior lawyer, Yusuf Ali SAN, said, “Nobody has contacted me about the formation of any parallel organisation. I’ve not been consulted, I’ve not been contacted, but I want to advise caution on all the sides.
“Our elders have a saying that beheading is not the answer for headache. We are better off with our numbers and diversity of the Association.”
He also said that if in the future such a split becomes necessary, “it shouldn’t be borne out of disagreement. It should be something that comes because our numbers have become so huge and that there are needs. It should also be a pan-Nigerian thing.
“So, for me, this is just an event; it is quite unfortunate, but I think it is a matter that we should address at a conference table.
“I don’t think we should join Nigerian politicians to behave the way they normally do; you’re dissatisfied, form your own party. I’m dissatisfied, I form my own party. That’s not the best way to go, and as leaders in the country, by virtue of our training, we should show a good example and provide leadership to others to emulate us. We should not because we have issues within ourselves, balkanise our association.
“Some of us have our reservations about the decision of the NBA excluding Mallam El-Rufai, from the conference, but, that notwithstanding, we should still keep our heads and take rational decisions in the interest of our Association, our profession, and our country. I ask for understanding and caution.”
In his own reaction, Jibrin Okutepa SAN said the New NBA’s move was not surprising considering recent happenings in the Bar.
He argued that many honest lawyers were disenchanted because the NBA had lost its values, and the New NBA members had the constitutional right to form another association.
“If you have read me in several papers – myself, Femi Falana and several others – we have spoken sufficiently to the Constitutional iniquities of making Nigerian lawyers be members of the NBA, particularly that the NBA has lost it value. “So, if any lawyer feels aggrieved that he wants to form a new association, what stops them from doing so?
That is within their rights under Section 49 of the Constitution. So, I do not share the views of those who say you must be forced to be a member of the NBA. I don’t share that view. We have chosen to be members of the NBA because we believe that the NBA will live up to the standard of its motto, which is promoting the rule of law.
“But in the past years have you seen NBA promoting rule of law? Or the rule of personal aggrandisement?, he asked.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar II on Monday paid a private visit to Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.
The Sultan’s visit comes barely 24 hours after the former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi visited El-Rufai to discuss issues bothering on security and economy of the state.
Upon his arrival at the Government House in Kaduna, the Sultan went straight to the governor’s office where he held a closed-door meeting with El-Rufai and some government officials including the Senator representing Kaduna North in the National Assembly, Suleiman Abdu-Kwari.
Although the Sultan declined to speak to reporters after the meeting, Governor Nasir El-Rufai said the meeting discussed the security challenges in southern Kaduna and other parts of the state.
The governor disclosed that he received advice and encouragement from the royal father towards finding a lasting solution to the security challenges in the state.
He appreciated the Sultan for his fatherly visit and support in ensuring that peace returns to the state.
Kaduna has been experiencing a series of attacks with a recent one carried out six weeks ago.
On July 19, 21 people were killed while 28 others sustained various degrees of injuries when gunmen attacked Kukum Daji Village of Kaura Local Government Area of the state.
According to the President of the Community, Mr. Yashen Titus, the gunmen suspected to be herdsmen, invaded the venue of a wedding party in the community at about 10 pm.
Similarly, on July 7, no fewer than 38 persons lost their lives in separate attacks on two villages in Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna state on July 7.
The Council Chairman, Emmanuel Adamu, who confirmed the attack, said the gunmen unleashed mayhem on Ankpon Village in Nandu and Kabamu Village in Fadan Karshi, all of Numana district.
While describing the incident as unfortunate, he said the gunmen killed 38 persons including women and children.
Following the continued attacks in the state, the Defence Headquarters deployed Special Forces to halt the senseless killings and restore peace in Southern Kaduna.
Receiving the troops at Sector 7, the headquarters of Operation Safe Haven on August 14, the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan charged them to take the battle to the bandits and ensure that peace and security are restored to southern Kaduna.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Chinonye Obiagwu, believes it is unnecessary for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to apologise to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, after he was disinvited as a speaker in one of the panel sessions at the lawyers’ conference.
Obiagwu, who is also a member of the NBA National Executive Council (NEC), stated this during his appearance on Channels Television’sSunday Politics.
In addition to this, he recommended that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice and some other government officials should be barred from attending the event.
“I must say that the apology of the present NBA is completely unnecessary because NEC has taken a decision; making an apology does not arise at all,” the senior lawyer said.
He added, “I will have gone further to disinvite people like the Attorney General of the Federation because we have on record more than 50 orders of the court that have been disobeyed by this government and how will you get the Attorney General of that nation to come to NBA conference; the Attorney-General that says national security takes precedence over the rule of law and human rights.”
According to Obiagwu, NBA is a pressure group and the motto of the association is to promote the rule of law.
He explained that the NEC did not just disinvite Governor El-Rufai because of the killings in Southern Kaduna, but the decision was taken also because of his alleged consistent disobedience to court orders.
The legal practitioner insisted that it was the right step to take, stressing that NBA should not allow in its fold, any government official that consistently disobeys court orders.
On the lingering crisis that has claimed many lives in Southern Kaduna, he stressed that the basis for disinviting the governor was ‘very substantial’.
He stated that the situation could be considered as genocide, wondering why the government, in its second term, and “has done little or nothing to curtail the killings”.
Obiagwu said, “We don’t have records of people who have been properly investigated or prosecuted for huge, massive, and systematic massacre going on in Southern Kaduna.”
“It is very appalling that a village will be razed down in a state where a Chief Executive is the Chief Executive Officer and we don’t see the concerted effort, a commitment to bringing to justice those responsible for those massacres.
“So, how will NBA, as a pressure group, justify bringing a Chief Executive that has taken no stand?” he questioned.
The deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, has faulted the disinvitation of Governor Nasir El-Rufai as a speaker in one of the panel sessions at the 2020 conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
Speaking during a visit to the Kaduna State governor at his office in the Government House on Sunday, Sanusi criticised the NBA for taking such a decision by relying on mere hearsay or petition from a few lawyers.
He believes it is wrong to withdraw the invitation the association earlier extended to the governor without given him a fair hearing to defend himself.
The former emir, however, advised that the matter should be handled properly by the leadership of the NBA to prevent it from generating ethnic or religious concerns.
According to him, the association has lost an opportunity to interrogate the governor and collectively rub minds to identify areas that need to be addressed for the purpose of governance.
Sanusi also prayed for peace to return to the troubled Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country where there were security challenges.
He also commended his host for the way he has managed the affairs of Kaduna, especially the effort to resolve the security challenges in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the state.
On his part, Governor El-Rufai described the former emir as a worthy partner and friend to Kaduna State.
He noted that as the Vice Chairman of Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency, the former traditional ruler would help in turning around the economy of the state.
Following his arrival in Kaduna, Sanusi was received by a crowd of supporters who joined in his motorcade to the Government House.
His visit to Governor El-Rufai, who is his long-time friend for over 40 years, comes more than five months after he was deposed by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has reacted to the controversy triggered by the decision to disinvite Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, as a speaker in one of the panel sessions at the forthcoming conference of its members.
NBA President, Paul Usoro, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), explained the rationale behind the decision of the National Executive Council of the association in a statement on Friday.
He stressed that the disinvitation of the governor from the event had no ethnic or religious coloration or connotation as being claimed.
Usoro revealed that some of those who spoke against the governor’s attendance share the same faith with him while others came from the northern part of the country.
According to him, NBA NEC is not passing any judgment on Governor El-Rufai by its decision and is not in a position to pass such judgments without having all the facts and hearing from all the sides.
The NBA chairman state that the NEC did not discuss the substance of the issues that have been raised against the governor by the different groups and persons who clamored for his being disinvited, although there was “very considerable clamour” in that regard.
He insisted that the claims that the NEC decision was based on religion and ethnicity were not correct, stressing that they were far from the truth.
Usoro, who stated that neither the NBA nor its NEC belonged to any religious or ethnic group, urged the members of the association to remain united.
This year’s NBA Annual General Conference, which is the 60th, has been scheduled to take place between August 26 to 29.
Read the full statement below:
NBAAGC 2020 – NBA’S NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE’S (“NEC”) DECISION TO DIS-INVITE HIS EXCELLENCY MALLAM NASIR EL-RUFAI AS A SPEAKER IN A PANEL SESSION
1 At its meeting that was held yesterday, 20 August 2020, NEC took the decision to dis-invite HE Mallam Nasir El-Rufai as a Speaker in one of the Panel Sessions that is planned for the NBA 2020 AGC holding from 26-29 August 2020. This morning, I have had telephone discussions with the Director-General of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Mr Asishana Okauru, on the issue and have tendered through him, to HE Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, my sincere apologies and regrets for any unintended embarrassment that he may have been caused by the NBA NEC’s decision.
2 I followed up our telephone discussions with the attached letter which explains the circumstances of the decision by NEC. The letter has been sent to Mr. Okauru, both in hard and soft copies. It is apropos that I reproduce in this Release, paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 of the letter for ease of reference by our members:
“5. In concluding, I must clarify two critical issues. First, NEC’s decision yesterday had no ethnic or religious coloration or connotation howsoever and whatsoever. In discussing the issue at NEC, nobody talked about religion or ethnicity. As I recall, there were no more than 3 (three) advocates for retaining the invitation of the NBA to HE Nasir El-Rufai(not including me) and two of these three gentlemen are from the South of Nigeria and one is a reverend gentleman. Conversely, some of those who spoke against his attendance share the same faith with Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and some others come from the Northern part of Nigeria.
“6. The second point that I must clarify is that, NBA NEC, by its decision was not passing any judgment on Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. NBA NEC is not in a position to pass such judgments without having all the facts and hearing from all the sides and it did not set out to pass any such judgment. NEC merely made a judgment that it was not in the best interest of the Association to be engulfed in the controversy that trailed the invitation of Mallam El-Rufai for the Conference and that it was best if the safety-valve of dis-inviting the Governor was applied. Indeed, NEC did not howsoever or at all discuss the substance of the issues that have been raised against the Governor by the different groups and persons who clamored for his being dis-invited – and there was very considerable clamor in that regard. I perhaps need to mention that, prior to the NEC meeting I had personally taken urgent and strident steps, working with the TCCP, to douse the clamor, but we had no success.
“7. I truly would appreciate your bringing this letter to the attention not just of HE Nasir El-Rufai but also to all the other members of the esteemed Nigerian Governors’ Forum and in particular, the Chairman of the Forum, HE (Dr) Kayode Fayemi. Please, assure Their Excellencies that the Nigerian Bar Association holds all our Governors, including HE Nasir El-Rufai, in the highest esteem and would do nothing intentionally to embarrass them collectively or individually. Once again, I offer my sincere and deepest apologies and regrets for the unintended embarrassment that may have been caused to HE Nasir El-Rufai by the afore-referenced decision of the NBA NEC and would appreciate your passing on my regrets and apologies to him personally.”
3 I draw attention to those paragraphs of my letter in particular in order to douse the ethnic and religious passions that seem to have been inflamed amongst our members by the NEC decision. I have received several messages from our members that have attributed ethnic and religious considerations to the decision. That is not correct and is very far from the truth. Neither the NBA nor NEC belong to any religious or ethnic group. We are lawyers and professionals dedicated to the ideals and the promotion and preservation of the Rule of Law and we belong to one indivisible family of the NBA.
4 Did NEC infringe the audi alteram partem principle – a cardinal principle of the Rule of the Law – by dis-inviting HE Mallam Nasir El-Rufai? No, it did not. As I point out in my letter, neither the NBA nor NEC set out to sit in judgment against Mallam El-Rufai and even from that prism, the principle of fair hearing does not apply. None of the persons or parties who are opposed to the invitation of Mallam El- Rufai to the AGC has been offered the NBA or AGC platform to advocate or propagate their viewpoints and positions and so, the principle of not hearing the other side does not arise.
5 Indeed, as at date, neither the NBA as a body nor NEC has interrogated the issues raised by persons who are opposed to HE El-Rufai’s invitation to the AGC and, therefore, the issues of fair hearing do not also arise. NBA is not even equipped to play that role of an arbiter or court in respect of the issues raised by persons opposed to HE El-Rufai’s invitation and has never pretended to be so equipped and/or mandated.
6 I am hoping that this Release would assist in clarifying issues for our members and placing the NEC decision in its correct perspective. I implore all our members to please not view this issue howsoever from an ethnic or religious perspective. Those were not the issues considered by NEC yesterday. We are one united Nigerian Bar Association with no religious or ethnic bias or predisposition and shall ever so remain.
Religious leaders from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have met with Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to discuss ways of finding lasting peace to the troubled southern region of the state.
The clergymen were led to the meeting which held on Monday at the Government House by CAN National President, Reverend Samson Ayokunle.
Reverend Ayokunle began his speech by admitting that the crises in Southern Kaduna predated the present administration in the state.
He, however, asked the security agencies to unmask those behind the senseless killings in Southern Kaduna, irrespective of their tribe or religious background and bring them to justice.
He also called on both the government and security agencies to commence the process of mopping up illegal firearms in the troubled communities.
Reverend Ayokunle cautioned all parties involved in the conflict to refrain from making accusations and counter-accusations, but to come together and find a lasting solution to the lingering crisis.
According to him, that the crisis has lingered for so long has made people tag it religious or ethnic and it has given them room to say whatever they are saying.
The CAN president made an eight-point request to help address the conflict which has claimed several lives in the region.
This included the need for all parties in the conflict to stop making provocative statements or carrying out attacks and reprisals, as well as mop-up of illegal firearms from criminals by security agencies.
Reverend Ayokunle also proposed the prosecution of those behind the crisis, rebuilding of destroyed Southern Kaduna and other crisis-affected areas, and the deployment of more security forces to the troubled communities, among others.
Willingness To Live In Harmony
In his response, Governor El-Rufai thanked the CAN national leadership for the visit and assured them that the state government would work with them to broaden the constituency for peace.
He affirmed that the government has been focused on resolving security challenges in the state, stating that his first official action as a governor was to chair an emergency security meeting on May 30, 2015 to address the killings in Sanga Local Government Area (LGA) a day earlier.
The governor insisted that his administration has acted to expand the security footprint in Southern Kaduna, answering the decades-old demand for a permanent army base there.
According to him, the government worked hard to avert the current spiral of violence by engaging traditional rulers and community leaders.
Governor El-Rufai explained that when the clashes began, they worked to get more soldiers and policemen to the affected areas, to calm nerves and prevent a cycle of attacks and reprisals.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives in a totally unnecessary frenzy of communal attacks, reprisals, and revenge. While we mourn the dead, our immediate focus remains to restore calm and foster the return of peace.
“We have been consistent in saying that beyond boots on the ground, military bases and police stations, the ultimate guarantee of peace is the willingness of communities to live in harmony and their resolve to settle differences through lawful means,” the governor said.
The meeting also had in attendance the state deputy governor, Hadiza Balarabe; Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Yusuf Zailani; former Deputy Governor Bala Bantex, Senator Uba Sani (Kaduna Central), and heads of security agencies in the state, among others.
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has blamed some religious leaders in the state for the Southern Kaduna killings.
Speaking during a meeting with the Primate of Anglican Communion, Henry Ndukuba, and the Secretary of the Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria, the governor lamented that religion, rather than being used to unite the people, has become a divisive tool for selfish interests.
“This state is going through challenging times which people are using religion to divide instead of using religion to unite.
“You visit here in an indication of your recognition in the positive role that religion can play to unite our people. This has become the overriding objective of this state government.
“The Primate is aware of the history of violence and religious intolerance in this state. Our study of the situation over 40 decades has shown that the main drivers of this violence are a few clerics that use their platform not to preach peaceful co-existence but use their revered position to divide and incite violence,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Special Forces approved by the Defence Headquarters to halt the senseless killings and restore peace in Southern Kaduna have arrived Kafanchan ahead of their deployment to the various flashpoints in the area later today.
The Special Forces were drawn from the Nigerian Army.
They were received at Sector 7, the headquarters of Operation Safe Haven, by the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan.
Addressing the troops, the Commissioner charged them to take the battle to the bandits and ensure that peace and security are restored to Southern Kaduna.
Civil servants in Kaduna State resumed work on Monday after three months lockdown imposed by the state government as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The main gate of the state secretariat which had been shut following the closure of the complex since March 26, was reopened for activities today.
During a visit to some offices, Channels Television observed that most senior workers came to work in compliance with the gradual ease of lockdown by Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
El-Rufai had last month approved a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures with the reopening of places of worship, hotels and some other private businesses.
This development comes two days after a circular from the Office of the Head of Service directed senior civil servants to work from Mondays to Fridays.
While it concerns senior civil servants within the ranks of permanent secretaries and Chief executives of agencies and parastatals, other officers on grade level 14 and above are expected to come to work three times in a week.
Meanwhile, schools and markets remain shut with others expected to resume in due course.