by Dare Lawal
Jema’a local government area of Kaduna has imposed a 24 hours curfew on Kafanchan as a result of the alleged killing of two youths who were said to be among an unruly crowd insisting that jungle justice be meted out to suspected 32 Fulani men arrested by the Army with weapons in Kafanchan.
There is now tension in southern Kaduna as a result of the incident and this has prompted former Head of State and a Chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari, to cancel his visit to Bondong in Kaura local government area of the state to condole with victims of the recent attack on three villages in the district which left over 120 people dead.
One of the organisers of the planned visit by Gen. Buhari to Kaura, Barrister Francis Kozah said “We have been making preparation to receive Gen. Mohammadu Buhari in Kafanchan this morning. He was to take relief materials to Bondong. But because of the violence and curfew in Kafanchan, his visit has been cancelled.”
Meanwhile the state governor, Mukthar Ramalan Yero has called on residents of the area to remain calm and law abiding as Government is doing all within its powers to sustain peace in the entire state.
In a statement signed by the Director General, Media and Publicity to the Governor, Ahmed Maiyaki, the governor said the people should remain calm and desist from taking the laws into their hands to avoid throwing the state into confusion and anarchy.
The governor said “this is not the time for people to obstruct the course of justice by attempting to perpetrate barbaric acts of jungle justice. Government and indeed security forces will never fold their arms and allow people take laws into their own hands.
“We want to assure the entire people of Kaduna State that in our resolve to end the spate of unwarranted attacks on innocent citizens, Government will continue to work with security agencies to ensure that those behind the various killings in the state are brought to justice. This will be vigorously pursued without fear or favour”.
According to the Nation newspaper, sources in the area said that soldiers on routine patrol in the area had arrested some men with weapons and once the information filtered into the town, some youth gathered and insisted that they be released to them.
One Yashim Bonnat who claimed to be a youth leader in Kafanchan, “I am around the Railway Junction of Kafanchan town. Youths have surrounded an office around here where soldiers are keeping 32 Fulani men that they caught this morning around 10am while trying to fuel their truck.
“I saw with my eyes the weapons recovered from them. They included 12 AK riffles, about 13 den guns, a bag of ammunition, all kinds of machetes, knives, and what looks like improvised explosives among others. They are displaying the arms and made the men to seat in front of them. No one needs tell you that they are Fulani men. . . This is making the youths here very angry.
“They are saying that the men were coming to attack Kafanchan and that it was God that apprehended them. So they want the soldiers to release them to be lynched by them. You can hear the shooting of guns in the air to scare them away. My nose is choking with tear gas too”, he said and hung up.
When contacted, spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command DSP Aminu Lawan, said he was not in a position to comment on the issue as it was an operation of the Army and not the police saying “It is the Army that arrested the people. It is the Army that is said to have shot people. They have not briefed us. I cannot speak for them,” he said.
Assistant Director, Army Public Relations office of the One Mechanised Infantry Division, Kaduna, Col.Usman Abdul said though he had heard of the arrests and the violence in Kafanchan, he has not been sufficiently briefed to make any statement to the Press, and asked for more time.