Death toll rises to 26
Kaduna State Government has imposed a 24-hour curfew on troubled southern communities following the escalation of violence as a result of alleged attacks and killings by armed Fulani herdsmen.
Already, the death toll from the invasion of three villages in Kaura and one in Jema’a local councils in the southern part of the state by alleged herdsmen rose from 21 to 26 yesterday after the Atakad Development Association (ADA) confirmed the recovery of four more dead bodies and the death of another victim.
State Police Commissioner, Mr. Agyole Abeh, confirmed that he lost two of his men during the attack on Bakin Kogo village in Jema’a.
He said he had relocated to Kafanchan to co-ordinate the police efforts to ensure peace and security in the troubled area.
Abeh said: “Yes, two of my men were killed in Jema’a. But the situation has been brought under control. I have already relocated to Kafanchan as directed by the governor. I have just returned to Kaduna to brief the governor on the situation. But I want to assure you that we have the situation under control. From now on, I will be operating from Southern Kaduna.”
A statement by the governor’s media aide, Samuel Aruwan, said: “The Kaduna State Security Council has imposed a 24-hour curfew on Jema’a and Kaura Local Council of Kaduna State with immediate effect. The action became necessary to protect lives and property and avoid further breakdown of law and order in the two local councils.
“All security agencies on a special operation in the two local councils have been directed to ensure strict compliance. Only essential workers and those on humanitarian services are allowed movement after due clearance by security agencies.”
Meanwhile, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU has faulted the 24 hours curfew imposed on the two councils. It said that innocent natives have suffered both death and hunger than peace and security under such total curfew in the past.
And, reacting to the alleged attack by herdsmen yesterday, SOKAPU’s president, Dr. Musa Kaptain Solomon, said: “I want the position of SOKAPU to be clear. We are all in support of any lawful measure that would bring succour, peace and security to our people. We are not against any curfew if it would make us more secure.
“But our experience in the past few weeks has shown that anytime a curfew was imposed, it keeps our people at home for the marauders to easily attack. It was under a curfew and the heavy presence of police that Goska, a short distance from Kafanchan, was attacked last December.”