Several people have been killed while dozens of others were injured when Hausa youths and locals clashed over girlfriend at Kasuwa Magani in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State. But the police said seven were killed while 15 others were injured. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Aliyu Mukhtar, said the situation had been brought under control.
He said: “We got a distress call this morning and the Commissioner of Police directed the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Operations, to move to the area. As I talk to you now, the ACP is already there.”
Mukhtar also disclosed that no arrest had been made. Governor Nasir el-Rufai also condemned the attack and called on the relevant security agencies to ensure the prosecution of the culprits. There are two versions of how the crisis actually started. One version claimed that Christians and Muslims were at logger heads for sometimes now in the area over Christian girls who were dating Muslims boys and Muslim girls who were dating Christian boys.
But a resident of the area told our correspondent that a Christian girl was abducted and forcibly converted to Islam and taken to the residence of the Sarkin (Chief of) Kasuwan Magani while the locals mobilised to rescue the girl.
Their attempt, however, infuriated Muslim youths who mobilised to counter the move. According to the resident, there has been suspicion between the Christians and Muslims over alleged move by youths to prevent Hausa boys from dating Christian girls.
But a Christian youth, who is also a resident of the area, alleged that Muslims were abducting Christian girls and converting them to Islam and that was what the crisis was all about. Sources said this problem had been a long standing issue in the community. Many residents, especially women and children, were fled their homes to safe zones.
The community, which is about 31 kilometres away from Kaduna city, is located on the highway connecting Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue states as well as the southern part of Kaduna State. Commuters plying that route were stranded for several hours following the incident.
Residents alleged that security personnel did not arrive until about 2p.m. when a combined team of soldiers and policemen were deployed to tackle the situation. Reacting to the development, el-Rufai directed the prosecution of all persons responsible for what he described as a ‘mayhem’ that occurred in Kasuwa Magani. He said: “Security agencies must investigate this unfortunate incident, arrest and make available for prosecution the perpetrators.”
The spokesman for the governor, Samuel Aruwan, said in a statement that government condemned the violence. According to Aruwan, government has directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to take inventory of damage and provide relief materials with immediate effect. The statement added that security forces had been deployed to contain the situation, protect lives and property as well as prevent any further breakdown of law and order.