The Kaduna State government earlier Wednesday yielded to appeals to lift the 24-hour curfew imposed Sunday after a fresh breakdown of law and order in the capital and other towns.
But by Friday morning, as residents prepared to step out, tension returned as news filtered in that the Agom Adara, Dr. Maiwada Galadima, who was earlier abducted with his wife, Mrs. Victoria Galadima, penultimate Friday, had been killed by his abductors.
The news shook the state as hopes had built up that the traditional ruler would regain freedom following the release of his wife on Sunday and the payment of ransom to his abductors.
Early yesterday, a body which was later identified as his was found in a bush around Kateri and taken to the mortuary of St. Gerald Hospital, Kakuri, Kaduna.
In Kachia where the palace of the traditional ruler is located, our correspondents learnt that people started gathering to discuss the matter as the youths became agitated over the killing. The panic spread to towns and communities in between Kachia and Kaduna.
In places like Kasuwan Magani and Mararaban Rido, those who came out early for their businesses sensing danger, quickly locked their shops and ran back home. Some were not very lucky. A man in suit was stoned to death around the Leventis Round about on Ahmadu Bello way, many passengers coming from Abuja were attacked along the by-pass, forced to come down from their vehicles and robbed of their belongings.
A leader of the Adara youths who does not want to be named said the crisis started when a young man identified as Hausa was trying take what did not belong to him and when attempts were made to arrest him, he raised an alarm and some Hausa youths tried to stop his arrest which resulted in a free for all that engulfed the whole town.
“He took some things in a wheel barrow and when he was caught, his brothers tried to save him,” the youth leader said. A Hausa trader at Kasuwan Magani who gave his name as Malam Rilwanu however has a slightly different version.
He said it started with a fight between two wheelbarrow pushers in the market who he said were both Adara youths.
“Later, one of them ran into the market and created confusion. Many traders in the market ran away leaving their goods behind. When I saw the confusion I decided to pack my goods and leave the market before things got out of hand,” he said.
Some however said the last week Thursday incident started when some shop owners tried to prevent some Hausa traders from putting their wares in front of their shops.
By the time soldiers and other security personnel were drafted to Kasuwan Magani in the evening of that day, no less than 55 people had died.
Many thought that with the high casualty rate and with the high presence of security personnel, normalcy had been restored.
Three days later and on Sunday, the state capital was in another round of chaos.
The Sunday crisis was said to have been due to rumours that the abducted traditional ruler had been killed. It turned out that when his wife was released by their abductors and his people did not see him, it was taken that he had been killed. Abductors of the Agom Adara had to allow him speak with his daughter before it was confirmed that he was alive.
Malam Rilwan who was at Kujama on Sunday however said the crisis occurred when soldiers were trying to arrest a certain youth said to have participated in Thursday’s crisis.
“The JTF at Kujama were patrolling the market to maintain law and order. During their patrol, they sighted one of the boys that participated in the Kasuwar Magani crisis. When they saw him making call they decided to arrest him but he tried to escape.
“When traders saw him running away from the JTF some people started running and shouting that they had started fighting,” he said.
Passers-by were attacked at Sabon Tasha and Kawo areas while youths in places like Hayin Bello, Narayi, Tudun Wanda, Kabala West and Kaballa Doki took to the streets with weapons.
Several cars were burnt at Sabon Tasha and around Jos and Kano roads by Ahmadu Bello Way.
A correspondent of Nagarta Radio, Kaduna, Joy Odor, was stabbed in the arm on Sunday. Odor said she escaped being killed by the will of God Almighty.
She said, “I was in a commercial bus around 5pm on Sunday on my way to Mando along Ali Akilu Road when we noticed a large crowd of youths carrying knives and daggers running towards the road close to Kawo branch of First Bank.
“Immediately the driver of the bus stopped, the youths opened the door and started stabbing people, they stabbed two people in the front seat and threw them on the floor, then they moved to the second seat where I was.
“One of them tried to stab me repeatedly, but I kept dodging his knife and that was when another one who had gone around stabbed me on my arm from the window. The pain forced me to drop my Tecno tablet and the one who tried to stab me from the car grabbed it.”
“While they were in our bus, another bus approached the spot and the youths pounced on the occupants, taking their attention away from us, that was when our driver sped off into the Dalet barracks in Kawo where we got help and our wounds were treated.”
Even after the imposition of the curfew, the state capital remained tense as at Monday morning when it was reported that three youths were abducted by some men in security uniform and later killed.
The situation remained tense in areas like Kawo New Extension, Anguwan Dosa, Badarawa, Malali, Anguwan Rimi, Narayi and the Nnamdi Azikiwe Express Way.
Another round of panic yesterday followed the imposition of curfew in central and southern parts of the state up to Kachia. Though the curfew had helped to keep people indoors, the mood has generally been that of anger fueled by all rumours.
People coming from Abuja and Zaria had to turn back as they could not enter Kaduna.
The Kaduna State Chapter of Supreme Council for Shari’ah in Nigeria urged the government to constitute a committee to investigate the crisis. The council in a communiqué issued at the end its meeting yesterday signed by its Secretary Engineer AbdurRahman Hassan condemned the crisis and condoled families of victims.
“All imams should call on their followership to live in peace and harmony with their neighbours and caution youth on drug abuse,” he said.
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) commiserated with families of the dead and injured and prayed to God for quick healing.
“We make a passionate appeal to the government to set up an impartial probe panel to investigate the Kasuwan Magani massacre that led to scores of deaths and fish out the instigators of the crisis.
“We are aware that bereaved families are yet to receive corpses for decent burials. We urge relevant security agencies to ensure release of the corpses to their relatives for proper burial,” said a statement signed by Mr. Yakubu Kuzamani, the spokesman of the union.
Islamic scholar, Dr. Ahmad Gumi, also urged residents to live in peace.
Gumi who spoke with Daily Trust said no nation can progress without peace.
“Without peace we will continue in this cycle of poverty and ignorance. So I’m calling on both Muslims and Christians to live peacefully,” he said.
General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division Nigerian Army Kaduna, Major General Mohammed Mohammed (2nd right), addresses Kawo New extension community, leaders during his tour to assess the crisis in Kaduna yesterday.
The news of the killing of Dr. Maiwada Galadima, Agom Adara by kidnappers sparked the latest urgy of violence.
The 24-hour curfew relaxed on Thursday was re-ordered by the state government
Houses were torched
Cars were burnt in yesterday’s crisis in Kaduna PHOTOS Shehu K. Goro