Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said the killings in Southern Kaduna by suspected herdsmen is pure criminality and has nothing to do with ethnicity and religion.

Speaking to reporters, the governor faulted the statement by President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Supo Ayokunle, who described the attacks as “religious cleansing”.

El-Rufai said: “The same Fulani are killing their kinsmen in hundreds in Zamfara State. It has nothing to do with religion or ethnicity. It is pure banditry.’’

According to the governor, the perpetrators were criminals, adding that “their ethnicity and religion do not matter”.

El-Rufai pleaded with leaders to be mindful of their utterances and to stop encouraging the people to resort to self-help.

‘’Let’s fight the problem. Let’s not bring sentiments, sensationalism and division into it,” he added.
The governor said his administration set up a committee, led by Gen Martin Luther Agwai (rtd), to investigate the killings.

He said the committee found out the killings were spill over from the 2011 post-election violence, where Fulani from Cameroun and Niger Republic were killed in Southern Kaduna while returning to their countries.

‘’They organised themselves and came back for revenge. A lot of what was happening in Southern Kaduna and Plateau State was from outside Nigeria.”

El-Rufai said the late Governor Patrick Yakowa sent peace emissaries to some Fulani communities in neighbouring countries ‘’but after his death, the whole thing stopped”.

He added that his administration continued from where Yakowa stopped, by sending people to explain to the Fulani that ‘’there is a new governor, who is interested in the peace deal”.

According to the governor, most communities forgave the killing of their relatives after hearing this explanation.

‘’There were one or two that asked for monetary compensation for their cattle. We paid,’’ he added.
The governor said there was peace when these steps were taken ‘’but what is happening now, I don’t want to restrict it to Southern Kaduna, is a case of pure banditry”.

According to the governor, these renewed killings had nothing to do with the fall- outs of post-election violence.

’It was a small problem that started in Ninte, Godogodo, that could have been handled better by the Fulani and community leaders,’’ he said.

El-Rufai added that the killings in Kaura were triggered by youths, who attacked a police station and killed a Fulani who reported his brother to the police for suspected criminal activities.

Appealing for restraint, he said: “I am very sad over the loss of life because the burden is on me. I am supposed to defend everyone. We regret the loss of life and property.”

Source:The Nation


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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