A Week of Crises in Kaduna

Sunday Trust - - PAGE 3 COMMENT -

As we wake up this morn­ing, the peo­ple of Kaduna city and its en­vi­rons would have been un­der a twenty-four-hour cur­few since Fri­day morn­ing. In fact, ex­cept for a few hours when the cur­few was re­laxed on Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day last week, Kaduna had been un­der a round-the-clock cur­few since the pre­vi­ous Sun­day. Some parts of the ad­join­ing Ka­juru Lo­cal Govern­ment had been in a lock down since cri­sis erupted there the pre­vi­ous Fri­day.

Last Fri­day’s re-im­po­si­tion of the cur­few fol­lowed the killing of the Ag­wom Adara Mai­wada Raphael Gal­adima, para­mount ruler of Adara Chief­dom with head­quar­ters in Kachia, south­ern Kaduna State. He was kid­napped on the high­way to­gether with his wife the pre­vi­ous Fri­day; his po­lice or­derly and three palace guards were killed at the scene. Although many thought the tra­di­tional ruler’s ab­duc­tion had to do with the in­ter­com­mu­nal clashes at Ka­suwar Ma­gani the pre­vi­ous day in which 70 peo­ple were killed, hopes that his life would be spared were raised when the kid­nap­pers later re­leased his wife and then de­manded for ran­som pay­ment.

Mean­while, the cri­sis spilled over into Kaduna me­trop­o­lis last Sun­day with burn­ing of tyres, loot­ing of shops and at­tack­ing of peo­ple across com­mu­nal lines in parts of the city. Gov­er­nor Nasiru el-Rufa’i then im­posed a 24-hour cur­few which he only be­gan to re­lax mid-week in ar­eas that had pre­served the peace. Hopes that the cur­few would grad­u­ally be lifted were abruptly shat­tered on Fri­day with the das­tardly mur­der of the Ag­wom Adara, which made Kaduna res­i­dents to run hel­ter skel­ter for fear of more vi­o­lence.

Th­ese re­cent events threaten to un­der­mine Kaduna’s sta­tus as the meet­ing point, melt­ing point and po­lit­i­cal cap­i­tal of North­ern Nige­ria, a city once fa­mous for its ac­com­mo­dat­ing na­ture, its vi­brant spirit and its cen­tral­ity in the na­tional scheme of things. Since the late 1980s how­ever, Kaduna has suf­fered many episodes of in­ter-com­mu­nal car­nage and it is now a city sharply di­vided along re­li­gious lines.

The loss of over 70 lives in the state within about 10 days is highly re­gret­table and the grue­some, das­tardly and in­sane mur­der of the Ag­wom Adara greatly com­pounded mat­ters. Whether he was killed by kid­nap­pers af­ter col­lect­ing ran­som or whether he was killed as so-called reprisal over the fra­cas at Ka­suwar Ma­gani, we can only know for sure when the au­thor­i­ties ap­pre­hend the cul­prits and bring them to jus­tice.

We urge the se­cu­rity agen­cies to leave no stone un­turned un­til they speed­ily ap­pre­hend the cul­prits. All other per­sons who were ar­rested for com­mit­ting mur­der, as­sault and ar­son, in­clud­ing those at Gonin Gora who are no­to­ri­ous for way­lay­ing high­way trav­ellers Dura-Du style, should be pros­e­cuted im­me­di­ately and made to pay for their ac­tions.

In the mean­time, we urge the peo­ple of Kaduna State to co­op­er­ate closely with the au­thor­i­ties and en­sure the re­turn of peace to the state as quickly as pos­si­ble. A round-the-clock cur­few is very hard on the peo­ple and it has also chocked off all trav­els by goods and per­sons through Kaduna to the far north­ern states. It was, how­ever, nec­es­sary to im­pose it as the only way to cur­tail blood-let­ting and con­tain crim­i­nals who want to hide un­der the guise of in­ter-com­mu­nal con­flict to per­pe­trate loot­ing, ar­son and mur­der.

Once peace is re­stored, it will be time for the el­ders, tra­di­tional rulers, cler­ics of the ma­jor re­li­gions, states­men, youth lead­ers, se­cu­rity agents, po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and other per­sons of good­will to sit down to­gether and map out a strategy to end cycli­cal crises and blood­let­ting in Kaduna State. A spe­cial strategy should be adopted to deal with ar­eas that have be­come no­to­ri­ous flash­points over the years, such as Ka­suwar Ma­gani.

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