Kaduna crisis: Perpetrators won’t go scot-free – Buhari

From right: Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris; President Muhammadu Buhari, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed, National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno and Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris during the president’s visit to Kaduna over the recent crisis in the state yesterday
  • Community members to pay for damages – El-Rufai

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said perpetrators of the latest crisis in Kaduna State where 77 persons were killed would be severely punished.

Speaking during a meeting with traditional, religious and political leaders at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Sports Complex in Kaduna, Buhari said wanton killings in the state must stop.

“If in the past they got away scot-free, we shall now hold everyone to account for these latest killings,” he said.

The occasion was attended by the Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno, Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris and Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed, among others.

Daily Trust reports that while the dust raised by the crisis which erupted in Kasuwan Magani was settling down, the killing of the Agom Adara, Maiwada Galadima by his abductors ignited another round of violence.

The president said “Kaduna, which was once the home of the premier and home of the New Nigerian must not earn itself a new name – home of violence.

“The Federal Security Agencies will hunt and prosecute all those who sponsored these acts of violence. It is unacceptable that criminal elements can visit on citizens the wanton killings recorded in the Kasuwan Magani incident of 18th October 2018 and the unrest around Kaduna metropolis a few days later. This must stop.”

The president directed the Nigeria Police Force to remain vigilant in securing communities and diligent in prosecuting criminal offences.

“For the judiciary, unless the investigations are credible and rapidly done, there is nothing they can do. From now on the Nigeria police, you better watch it, I am going to watch you closely,” he said.

He said the situation in Kaduna did not attract much attention across the world because of the recent killing of Saudi Journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

“I observed that more than 75 people were killed in Kaduna alone and I haven’t seen anything about it. It means we are pushing ourselves as a nation and a people towards irrelevance, seen by the world itself,” he said.

He appealed to community leaders not to shield those planning to wreak havoc on the people from law enforcement agencies, he said he has been locked up in the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

The president paid tribute to the late Agom Adara Dr. Maiwada Galadima, whom  he said served his community and Kaduna State with dedication.

He also commiserated with the government and people of Kaduna State, and families who lost loved ones in the incidents.

He welcomed the decision of the Kaduna State Government and its local governments to build and provide facilities for the take-off of more police divisions and civil defence offices in the state.

The president also promised to consider the request by the Kaduna State governor for the payment of balance of N3.85bn for victims of 2011 post elections crisis.

El-Rufai proposes new police divisions

In his address, Governor El-Rufai, who said 77 persons were killed in the two crises, added that they were battling with the legacy of nearly 40 years of violence and impunity.

“We need more military, police and paramilitary forces on the ground to affirm the prerogatives of the state, reassure and secure our people, deter and arrest criminals. New police divisions are therefore proposed in Narayi, Sabon Tasha and other identified locations,” he said.

Stressing that criminals must be prosecuted and convicted for taking lives and destroying property, he said his administration was working hard to enhance justice delivery in the state.

“The Kaduna State government intends to encourage this civic spirit and community responsibility by vigorously enforcing the various provisions of the Riots Damage Law of 1958, the Collective Punishment Law of 1915 and the Peace Preservation Law of 1917.

“These laws impose costs on communities that permit violence in their midst, obliging community members to be charged and levied monies for the cost of repairing damage done during episode of violence,” he said.

Describing as criminal and unreasonable, he condemned blocking of highways that serve as entry and exit points in the state.

“All communities must take note and ensure that no traveller is menaced in their area. Any such episodes will attract immediate and unpalatable consequences,” he said.

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