The Kaduna State Government has warned the people against resorting to self-help in settling communal disputes.
The state’s Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, gave this warning on Sunday at Kajuru during a meeting between the government, security officials and local leaders over renewed violence in the area on Saturday.
Kajuru is the epicentre of the crisis between herders and farming communities in Kaduna State. On the eve of the general elections in 2019, the state government said 66 people were killed in a clash between Fulani herders and Adara farming communities.
A special report by PREMIUM TIMES in 2019 also revealed how homes, businesses were razed down in reprisal attacks.
Also in March 2019, the Miyetti Allah group said over 130 of its members were killed by Adara youth in Kajuru villages.
Speaking on recent clashes in the area, Mr Aruwan said: ‘’If Fulani while grazing come under attack, they must not take the laws into their hands but rather they must recourse to the law and government. Similarly, should Adara, in the course of farming and other activities come under attack, they must recourse to the law and not engage in jungle justice. This is not a banana republic.”
The commissioner further warned that ‘’operatives are working round the clock and will not waver for a second should anyone be found wanting in the unfortunate situation we find ourselves.”
‘’As a government, we will not shy away from confronting threats to peace, law and order. We will also not shy away from taking hard decisions that will better common good and public interest.
‘’As a government working for the peace, security, unity and progress of Kaduna State, we will not toy with our constitutional and statutory responsibility,’’ he added.
According to Mr Aruwan, the government and security agencies had been working to stem the tide of incessant bloodshed in Kajuru local government.
‘’As a serious-minded government, together with the security agencies, we have had cause to meet with the Adara and Fulani youths, District Head, Ward Heads and Ardos at different meetings to appeal for peace and restraint from self-help,’’ he said.
The commissioner recalled that the parties had made different narratives and counter-accusations at such meetings, each exonerating itself.
Mr Aruwan said ‘’from security reports and intelligence gathering, bad eggs are everywhere and responsible for our predicaments. We must work hard to free our humanity from the clutches of evil-minded individuals who want violence and killings to be entrenched in our communities.”
‘’There is no justification for killings and maiming people on their farms or homes. People in their huts or while grazing are attacked and killed for no reasons but sheer cruelty and evil. We must rise and support government and security agencies in tackling this unwholesome trend.
‘’What we are experiencing here is inhumanity perpetrated by criminals, and criminals must not be shielded with religious and ethnic identities. They must be identified as criminals and treated as such via retribution as contained in the law. Criminality is not related to religion, ethnicity or any affiliations but is simply borne out of wicked intentions of the villainous elements amongst us,’’ he said.
He said the government, security agencies and people of conscience would continue to work for peace, law, and order and appealed to ‘’the youths o deepen peace because the future is ours and we must first guarantee our today.’
Speaking at the event, the State Director, State Security Service (SSS), Idris Koya, urged stakeholders to always contact security agents with vital information at their local government offices or visit the state office.
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Police in Kaduna State, Umar Muri, promised to look into issues of logistics and personnel, adding that 10,000 police recruits passed out recently and Kajuru will be highly considered in their posting.
The Commander of 1 Div. Garrison, O S. Abai, a brigadier-general, advised stakeholders to identify trouble makers even before a crisis. He appealed for unity among people in the community.
The Executive Chairman of Kajuru local government, Cafra Caino, reminded the gathering of the ban on hunting expeditions. He pleaded with the state government to construct roads in some interior parts of the local government to give security personnel access to communities in case of emergencies.
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