The Kaduna State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has dismissed claims by Governor Nasir El-Rufai that 66 persons were killed by gunmen in the Kajuru Local Government Area of the state.
Backstory: The state chairman of CAN, Rev. Joseph Hayab, stated that El-Rufai deliberately gave out the wrong information to deceive Nigerians and the international community.
His statement read, “The press statement by the spokesman for Kaduna State Governor, Samuel Aruwan, suggests that the killings in Kajuru Local Government were carried yesterday (Friday) 15/2/2019. This is false in its entirety.”
He added that “We are aware that the incident happened in the late hours of Sunday 10 February to February 12, 2019, at about 1 a.m. at Gindin Gada in the Maro Ward of Kajuru Local Government, Kaduna State where unidentified hoodlums went into the village and killed about 11 people in their sleep.”
“The incident led to reprisals. Two of the suspects were said to have been apprehended and handed over to the Divisional Police Officer in the area. It was in the afternoon of the said date of the attack (as contained in the press statement) that the District Head of Kufana, Titus Dauda, and four of his local chiefs were released after their invitation by the Department of State Services.”
Hayab said, “We see this as an illogical intentional, premeditated attempt at stirring violence in the state for whatever expected gains. The incidence of raising a false alarm by the Kaduna State Government should make Nigerians realize that some of our leaders are also guilty of hate speech and that makes them major actors in the game that has denied us peace and has claimed the lives of our loved ones.”
Shehu Sani also reacts: Meanwhile, the senator representing Kaduna Central senatorial district whose constituency covers the affected local government, Shehu Sani, also wondered why the incident which happened on Sunday would be made an issue on the eve of the general elections.
He said, “What the people of the area told me was that the issue happened since Sunday and the security agencies waded in and resolved it immediately. There was no tension that can threaten peace in the area.”
Sani added that the people were ready to vote and refused to be provoked despite desperate attempts by some people to instigate them.
NEMA Zonal Coordinator: The Zonal Coordinator, North-West office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Ishaya Chonoko, reportedly stated that there were no fresh killings in Kajuru LGA on Friday as claimed by the governor.
He claimed that the false reports were being sent out by “unpatriotic Nigerians” who were out to take advantage of the general elections to instigate violence in the state.