The Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai
Governor Nasir El-Rufai has vowed to prosecute those behind the pogrom in southern Kaduna, just as he exonerated himself of any complicity, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The governor, who spoke while receiving the Kabiru Gaya-led Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Southern Kaduna yesterday at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, described his accusers as mischievous. He noted that no patriotic chief executive would allow his state to be on fire.
He regretted that the impasse was prolonged by the non-prosecution of the sponsors over the years.
His words: The reasons the southern Kaduna crisis has continued unabated is because those involved have neither been punished nor prosecuted in the 35 last years.”
The governor charge the committee “to see the reality of what is happening in southern Kaduna as against the fiction,” advising it not to believe anyone “based on his credibility or apparent credibility,” including the statement credited to the Catholic Church in Kafanchan, which he described as “totally false.”
He further told the panel that there were several “irresponsible comments on the crisis by people who should know better.”
According to him, even the figures released by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on the impasse were those of six local councils and involved trapped Christians, Muslims and traditionalists.”
El-Rufai also accused some traditional and community rulers in the area of perpetuating the crisis for selfish ends, pledging to prosecute them.
Gaya had told the governor that their target was to investigate and find a lasting solution to the crisis.
“Our mission is to interact, discuss with government, stakeholders, community leaders, security agencies on the remote causes of the continuous crisis in the southern part of the state,” he stated.
Also yesterday, the founder of Resurrection Praise Ministry Worldwide, Archbishop Samson Benjamin, sought restraint in order not to overheat the polity following the spate of killings in parts of the country.
The cleric, who gave the charge during an audience with the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, in Abuja, appealed for peace. He commended the police and other security agencies for being alive to their duties.
Meanwhile, Delta State Commissioner of Police, Zanna Ibrahim, has warned residents against resorting to jungle justice in the face of slightest provocation.
Giving the warning against the backdrop of the recent killing of herdsmen by some youths in parts of the state, noted that the lawless exercise was uncivilised, criminal and anti-justice, peace and security.
He cautioned the nomads against provocatively grazing their cattle on people’s farmlands.