Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru El-Rufai has pleaded with the Fulani community not to engage in reprisal attacks after 66 of their members were killed in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state.
The governor, who made the plea in Kajuru on Saturday during a meeting with various stakeholders, said killings have become incessant in Iri axis, including Kuturo, Unguwar Barde, Maro gida among other areas in the local government.
“I know it’s the Fulani’s that are most affected in this crisis as over a hundred people have been killed but as Muslims, we have been advised to forgive, to be patient as God avenges every evil.
“You must not take the laws into your hands by killing anybody as you are likely to harm innocent people. Allow the security to do their work please”.
The governor alleged that some elders in the communities were responsible for the killings having provided weapons to the youths who carried out the attacks.
” I am always disheartened each time I visit Kajuru and sincerely am tired of this situation, because the elders know those involved in the killings and have refused to fish them out.
“Maybe when government and the security agencies withdraw support from your communities, you will know our worth and do the needful.
“I have also asked the Council Chairman not to bail any leader who will be arrested in connection with the menace. Nobody is above the law, hence, culprits must be prosecuted, if guilty”, El-Rufa’i stressed.
The governor called on the youths to stop the unnecessary killings in the area, warning that anyone of them caught would also face death penalty.
El-Rufa’i said the recurring killings in the local government has stunted its growth, noting that ” no community develops without peace; all developmental projects are meant for the youths as they are beneficiaries in the long run.”
He condoled families whose relatives were killed during the attack and promised to render help to victims whose houses were burnt.
Earlier, the Council Chairman, Mr Cafra Caino said miscreants in the communities have refused to allow peace to reign, adding that all peace loving people must work to expose the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
“We have given bikes to village heads to help us manage the security issues. We must not allow them divide us along religious and ethnic sentiments. We therefore urge all leaders to pinpoint the culprits”.
Also speaking, the Chief Imam of Adara kingdom, Nuhu Sha’aban who is also a Fulani leader said majority of those killed were women and children less than one year old.
“We the Fulanis have lived in this forest for over 41 years but the youths keep ambushing and killing us. Some of us were slaughtered and others burnt and thrown in ditches”, Sha’aban disclosed.
The Imam called on the Commissioner of Police to transfer most of the policemen in the area, whom he claimed were mostly indigenes of the communities who have been at their duty posts for over 10 years.
He however appreciated the new Divisional Police Officer recently deployed to the area and the military authorities for their efforts at ensuring security in the area.
The village head of Rafin Rogo, Jonah Luka-Sarki, also reechoed the claims of the governor that the perpetrators were very well known and must be brought to justice for peace to reign in the area.
“We don’t have to disclose their names in public, but we must ensure they are arrested because they have become nuisance to all the tribes in this LGA. We all must fear God and bring an end to this menace.
“Since the miscreants operate in the bushes using the same route, we call on government to send soldiers to secure our forests”, Luka-Sarki pleaded.