To resolve the recurrent violent clashes between herdsmen and host communities in Southern Kaduna, the Nigerian government needs to establish two military formations in the affected areas, an official has said.
The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, disclosed this during a media chat on Wednesday night in Kaduna.
Scores of people have been killed in the clashes this year alone.
The governor said the state government is discussing the new military formations with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Ministry of Defence and Chief of Army Staff.
One military formation would be located in Fadan Karshi in Sanga Local Government Area and the other Kauru Local Government Area, he said.
“We are talking with the President, the Minister of Defence and the Chief of Army Staff to site two military formations in Southern Kaduna; one in Fadan Karshi in Sanga and the second one in Kauru local government area. And I will meet the President on Thursday (December 22) in continuation of the project”, Mr. El-Rufai said.
“The presence of these two military formations will help in securing lives and properties and provide rapid response to any act of criminality and the maintenance of law and order”.
The governor further disclosed that two other military formations would be established in Birnin Gwari and Kubau local government areas of the state.
To ensure the crisis does not escalate, Mr. El-Rufai said more security personnel had been deployed to the area as part of measures to stem the tide of violence.
He said two squadrons of mobile police have been drafted to the area.
“This is part of the state government’s effort to provide adequate security for the people during this Christmas and new- year celebrations,” he added.
Mr. El-Rufai noted that the rising insecurity in the region was having adverse economic effect as investors who had expressed interest to invest in the area were pulling out.
The governor said foreign investors who had agreed to revive a ginger processing plant in Kachia local government and an Australian who wanted to invest in mining nickel in Jema’a local government had withdrawn their initial commitments because of the violence.
He said he was, however, doing his best to assure the investors to return to the state.
The violence in Southern Kaduna took a new turn on Tuesday when angry protesters in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area, on Tuesday stoned Mr. El-Rufai’s convoy and also burnt down the local government chairman’s house.
The protesters accused the governor of taking sides and not doing enough to stop the killings in the area.
Mr. El-Rufai, whose government has called various peace meetings to resolve the crisis, appealed to his supporters not to retaliate and called for peace in the state.