…warns residents not to make Kaduna ‘home of violence’
…says FG to prosecute culprits
President Muhammadu BUhari, yesterday, in Kaduna noted sadly that Nigeria was slowly sliding into global irrelevance over the continued killings in the country.
The president, who was on a visit to Kaduna State, vowed that those implicated in the killings in the state would be prosecuted by the Federal Government.
Buhari argued that the because of the frequency of killings in the country, the world appeared not very much concerned again with the Nigerian situation.
Buhari, who cited the publicity blitz attracted by the killing of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, said that on the contrary, the death of many Nigerians in the Kaduna crisis has not attracted much international attention.
He said: ‘‘I observed that more than 75 people were killed in Kaduna alone and I haven’t seen anything about it.
‘‘It means we are pushing ourselves as a nation and a people towards irrelevance, seen by the world itself,’’ he said.
The president, who was on a condolence visit to Kaduna State following the violence in the state, said if previous administrations had allowed merchants of violence to go free, his government would hunt them down and prosecute them.
He also appealed to residents not to make the state a home of violence.
While addressing government officials and other stakeholders at the Murtala Muhammad Square, Buhari said: ” The Federal Government welcomes the decision of the Kaduna State Government and its local governments to build and provide facilities for the takeoff of more police divisions and civil defence offices in the state.
“On their part, citizens also have a duty to be law-abiding in their conduct and within their communities. There is a need to avoid violence as a tool of negotiation or obtaining advantage, and learn to listen to each other and commit to resolving differences through peaceful means.
“The Federal Security Agencies will hunt and prosecute all those who sponsored these acts of violence.
“The Federal Government will take strongest measures possible to punish perpetrators of these crimes. If, in the past they got away scot free, we shall now hold everyone to account for these latest killings.”
Buhari added: “It is my earnest appeal to all who call Kaduna home to do their best to uphold peace in their respective communities. Chaos and anarchy tend to worsen and exacerbate whatever issues are agitating a community.
“The Federal Government commends the efforts of the Kaduna State Government in responding to, and managing the crisis. More Federal Security assets are being provided at the request of the Kaduna State Government to help uphold and keep the peace.”
Continuing, he said: ” The Federal Government will continue to work to ensure that more security assets are recruited and deployed across the country to protect all citizens going about their lawful business and to reinforce the authority of the government.”
Speaking on the 2011 post election violence, Buhari said: ” I have noted the concerns raised by the Governor of Kaduna State about the outstanding issues of payment of compensation and resettlement of communities that have lingered since the post-election violence of 2011.
“I assure you that the Federal Government will give due consideration to the matter.”
Speaking earlier, Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, said: “It is clear to us in the Kaduna State Government that we have to extend the strong presence of the instruments of state power and security in our communities.
” We need more military, police and paramilitary forces on the ground to affirm the prerogatives of the state, reassure and secure our people, and deter and arrest criminals.
“New police divisions are, therefore, proposed in Narayi, Sabon Tasha and other identified locations. We are grateful to the police authorities for also agreeing to establish a new police division in Kasuwan Magani. The state government and the relevant local government councils will provide the buildings to house these new police and civil defence formations. More military Strike Force bases will also be established in known flash points.
“We thank Mr. President for the approval to establish two Army formations in Kaduna South Senatorial District. We recommend that in addition to the one already being developed in Kafanchan, the second should be located near Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru Local Government to complement the presence of the Nigerian Army School of Artillery and the Nigerian Navy School of Armament Technology in Kachia.
“Therefore, there must be clear consequences and sanctions for communities that encourage or enable violence. Our communities have an obligation to keep the peace and to report and expose criminal elements. This is a civic duty. Our communities should reject and marginalise the few criminal elements that indulge in violence. Let there be a resolve to deny criminals any hiding place. Let no criminal be allowed to find succour in tribe or faith.”