By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Malam Nasir el-Rufai on Wednesday chaired a meeting of security agencies and major stakeholders from Zangon-Kataf and Kauru local government areas which have been under 24-hour curfew following the violent clashes of 11 June 2020.
According to a statement signed by his Special Adviser to the Governor (Media & Communication), Muyiwa Adekeye dated July 15, 2020, the meeting was convened as part of measures to restore stability in the area and promote peace and harmony between the affected communities.
The governor assured the stakeholders that the Kaduna State Government will uphold the right of every citizen to live in peace and harmony. He called on the communities to expose and report the few that engage in the incitement and violent actions that menace and endanger the many.
Security officials briefed the meeting on the recent crises in the two local government areas.
Traditional rulers, community leaders and elected officials from the concerned areas also provided updates and suggestions for the restoration of peace. During the briefings and deliberations, the traditional rulers, community leaders and elected officials from the two local governments expressed regret at the violent clashes and the loss of lives and property.
They assured the government that the communities are working to restore peace, and that consultations to rebuild the confidence of victims were being undertaken. They requested the state government to review the 24-hour curfew to enable farmers take utmost advantage of the rainy season.
The stakeholders also appealed to the Kaduna State Government to take firm action against persons using conventional and social media to foment and worsen crisis in the area with fake news and incitement. They noted that many of these persons do not even live in the areas but are able to use technology to spread false news and alarm.
Malam Nasir El-Rufai appealed to the stakeholders to take leadership in their communities as elected officials and traditional rulers appointed by legitimate authority. He said that ceding the narrative to non-formal actors is not helpful to the cause of peace and the rule of law. He explained that it was up to the stakeholders from the area to openly controvert false narratives, noting, with examples, that the portrayal of parts of southern Kaduna as unsafe spaces deters development and investments. He welcomed the apparent determination of the stakeholders to turn the page on the cycle of clashes and reprisals.
The governor stated that he would await advice from the core security agencies on the request to review the curfew hours. He promised that the Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure will address the request for construction of the Sabo-Kigudu Bridge on Kibori -Kigudu road in Zangon-Kataf LGA and the Bakin Kogi to Kamarun-Chawai road in Kauru LGA. He commended the security agencies for their efforts to restore stability and protect lives in the affected communities.
The meeting was attended by the Agwatyap, HRH Dominic Gambo Yahaya, HRH the Chief of Chawai, Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed, Hon Mukhtar Chawai and Hon. Amos Magaji, the members representing Kauru and Zangon/Jaba federal constituencies respectively, Hon. Isaac Auta Zankai, Deputy Speaker Kaduna State House of Assembly representing Kauru state constituency and Hon. Angulu Kwasau representing Zangon state constituency. Elias Manza, chairman Zangon-Kataf local government council,l and Shuaibu Goma, chairman Kauru local government council also attended the meeting, along with Suleiman Gora, Elias Gora and other community leaders from the Atyap, Fulani and Chawai communities of the two local government areas.
Kaduna State Government officials at the meeting included Balarabe Abbas Lawal (SSG), Samuel Aruwan (Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs), Priscilla Ankut (Executive Vice Chairman) and Hajiya Khadija Hawaja of the Kaduna State Peace Commission.
The security officials present included Commissioner of Police Umaru Muri, Brigadier-General Olusegun Abai, Garrison Commander, 1 Div, Group Captain HS Ahmed, Base Commander-NAF Base, Kaduna, Idris Koya, State Director of the DSS, Colonel GU Akpan , Commander Sector 7 Operation Safe Haven and Commodore Babba-Inna, Commandant, Nigerian Navy School of Armament Technology.