Lauds El-Rufai, security agencies
By Abdullahi M. Gulloma
President Muhammadu Buhari has, over the past week, given instructions for decisive measures aimed at bringing an end to the recurring acts of violence and destruction in the Southern part of Kaduna state, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has said.
This pronouncement is coming amidst criticism of Buhari’s seeming silence over the disruption of peace in that part of the state, following the killings of natives by suspected herdsmen.
Both the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and the Christian Association of Nigeria, as well as the Catholic Church, have condemned the mayhem, asking the government to bring perpetrators of the violence to justice.
Specifically, both the CAN and Catholic put the casual figure at 808 while several others were also injured.
But the President’s Special Adviser, Femi Adesina, was reported to have justified the President’s silence, hinging it on the federal system of government the country operates, as well as the ‘proper’ handling of the situation by the state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
Breaking his silence yesterday in Abuja, President Buhari, in a statement by Shehu, directed the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, who was in the area on Saturday and Sunday, to assess the situation at first hand.
He similarly asked both the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency to take a stock of the damage caused by the violence, with a view to determining the level of response required by the victims.
“In addition to the conventional policemen deployed in the area, a squadron of mobile policemen has now been stationed there. The Nigerian Army is also in the process of setting up two battalions in Southern Kaduna while the military continues to carry out air surveillance across flash points of the area,” the statement said.
Shehu also disclosed that the President has directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to carry out a joint assessment of the situation with the sister agency in Kaduna, SEMA, to determine the level of response required for urgent aid to the victims of the violence.
“These measures should soon ensure the return of normalcy to the region, while the Kaduna State government continues its peace building efforts.
“The President commended efforts of the state government and the security agencies in the steps taken so far to curtail the violence. President Buhari has, once again, sent condolences to the people of Southern Kaduna, who have lost loved ones in the recent violence,” the statement said.