The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has expressed shock over the destruction of a foundation laying structure of the proposed Nigerian Army Battalion in Southern Kaduna.
The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, and Governor El-Rufai had penultimate Saturday, laid the foundation for the establishment of the battalion at Ungwan Yashi area of Zangon Kataf local government as a response to the incessant killings occurring in Southern Kaduna since 1980.
The Nigerian Army School of Artillery in Kachia Local Government Area of the state had been the military formation in Southern Kaduna.
Mr. El-Rufai described the situation as “unfortunate”, and said the attack by unknown persons “further confirms that the conflict entrepreneurs are determined to continue to create obstacles and setback to our stabilization and peace building efforts.”
In a statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, the governor said he received the news with shock.
“The situation is unfortunate, condemnable and a setback to the government’s communal stabilization and peace building efforts, but we will not be deterred,” he said.
He urged those who cherish peaceful coexistence to continue to be resilient, focused and resolute in overcoming antics of forces of darkness and evil.
The governor said those that carried out the destruction were determined to derail the contributions of the security agencies, “having failed to spread their tentacles of hate, bigotry and penchant for divisiveness.
“I want to use this medium to appeal to all men and women of conscience to remain firm and optimistic, while government in collaboration with security agencies, civil society, religious and traditional institutions will continue to work assiduously for peace and security of life and property.”
He said security agencies will fish out the perpetrators, and those found to be involved, or engaged in omissions that led to the destruction of public property will be brought to justice.
Mr. El-Rufai also assured that, all those that have their hands in the destruction of the structure will not go free.
Speaking at the foundation laying ceremony penultimate Saturday, Mr. Buratai, a lieutenant general, said the army was committed to peace and security in all parts of Nigeria.
Earlier during a courtesy visit to the Emir of Jama’a, Muhammadu Muhammadu, the army chief directed troops stationed in Southern Kaduna to move deep into the forest to fish out perpetrators of violence in the state.
He said the need to find lasting solution to incessant herdsmen/farmers crises rocking Southern Kaduna in recent times necessitated the setting up of the base.
Mr. Buratai urged Nigerians to learn to co-exist peacefully.
The governor noted that 11 similar clashes had been recorded in the state, but vowed to put an end to it.
He said all those behind the recent farmers/herdsmen crisis will be brought to book no matter how highly placed.
“Whether they are my son or daughter or relations, whether they are Muslims or Christians, someone will be jailed to put an end to the crisis. And this will be the end of crisis in the state,” Mr. El-Rufai said.