Army, Police speak on mass killings in Kaduna


Security agencies in Kaduna State have confirmed mass killings in villages in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state.

The Nigerian Army put the casualty figure at 66. The police did not state a casualty figure but said at least six people have been arrested in connection to the violence.

The confirmation came amidst criticisms trailing the announcement of the killings two days ago.

A statement by Samuel Aruwan, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, announced the killings on Friday.

The Kaduna government, in the statement, said it received a security report that 66 people were killed in Maro Gida and Iri axis of Kajuru Local Government.

Details in the statement were, however, not sufficient and many thereafter criticised the Governor.

Two days after the announcement, the core facts of how the 66 people were killed are yet to emerge.

While some people said the state government is not the proper body to announce such incident, others question the government on why it delayed the announcement till Friday evening when the killings started late last Sunday.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) criticised the government over the timing of its announcement of the killings.

In a statement on Sunday, the Kaduna State chapter of the association described the announcement as ‘intentional’ and a ‘false alarm’

“The statement by the spokesman for Kaduna State Governor, Mr Samuel Aruwan, suggests that “the killings in Kajuru Local Government were carried yesterday (Friday) 15/2/2019. This is false in its entirety.”

However, it was gathered that no part of the government statement suggested that the killings were carried out on Friday. It only stated that the security report came in on Friday.

Similarly, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) called on the Inspector-General of Police and the Director of the State Security Service (SSS) to carry out an independent investigation over the killings.

In a statement signed by its National Public Relations Officer, Yakubu Kuzamani, the group said it was startled that it was the governor himself and not the police that announced the alleged killings in Kajuru.

On his part, Kaduna Central Senator, Shehu Sani, said the El-Rufai government exaggerated the figures. Kajuru Local Government falls under his senatorial district.


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