Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The Commissioner of Police, Kaduna state Command, Ahmad Abdulrahman, has revealed that the figures of alleged killings of 130 Fulanis in Kajuru local government area, as quoted by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state, is “yet to be confirmed.”
The CP, who disclosed this in an interview with journalists in his office on Thursday, said, “I told the governor that figures in a crisis of this magnitude should be left (unquoted) until all investigations have been concluded in all the areas where we are getting information from are covered.
“You cannot come up with a figure; otherwise you will quote a particular figure now and quote another later. This is what is happening now. As far as police is concerned, we are investigating and the investigation is still in the embryonic stage. Until the time we covered all the areas, we can’t quote any figure. As we speak, my men are still in the bush with humanitarian workers trying to actually find out the true position of things.
“The crisis occurred in a terrain of full conglomerate of hamlets, which were difficult to assess with our vehicles. We are still uncovering areas where nobody had visited. We are now at the stage of crisis management, which is very delicate; that is why nobody should stampede our investigation.
“If the governor tells you that the casualty figure is 200, he is just quoting figures. It could be more than that or less than that. For example, the place where 36 people were said to have been buried, was not at the purview of the security agencies at the commencement of the investigation. We didn’t even know that something happened until when the Fulani themselves came out to tell after we have secured the place in conjunction with the military, that they approached the military to accompany them to their hamlet, in order to bury their dead relation.”
The CP also explained that “There was a mixed-up in the assertion by the Fulani that the policemen took pictures of the corpses they buried, one after another. That every hamlet where they talked about burying 37 corpses was discovered by the military.
“The terrain was very terrible, and we could not even identify areas affected by the crisis between 10th and 11th February when it started. So, no policemen went ahead of the military. It was the military that went there first to assist the native Fulani that were affected, helped them bury their dead relatives.
“The Policemen went there later with the GOC whose men discovered the place, for a stakeholders meeting, in order to calm nerves and to find a lasting solution to the nonsense that we were informed that there was a camp, which they would want us to see.
“That was when my policemen went there and met some military personnel there, and we also saw the graves. That was the day the police took pictures of the burnt hamlets and the shallow grave. We were actually perceiving the stinking smell of the decomposing corpses, oozing out of the place. We also saw two motorcycles burnt there, too.
“That was the first time that we saw the man, who claimed that 37 dead persons were buried in the shallow grave. He even said that his parents, wife, uncle and relations were also among the dead bodies that were buried. We believed him because the whole hamlet was cleared. We could only see the carcasses of animals full of maggots.
“We are working on three prominent theories. First is that unknown gunmen believed to be Fulani, attacked the Adara people and escaped in the night on 11 February. The DPO in-charge of the area immediately mobilised his men to the area, combed the bushes in search of the perpetrators in the middle of the night. It was there that they started seeing the carnage.
“Unfortunately, the Adara natives went to the Fulani communities and carried out a reprisal attacks. At that time, it was easier to identify the perpetrators of those instigated the reprisal. However, we have arrested one of the suspected Fulani that attacked the Adara people and we are still pursuing the others. Although the only Fulani man, who was arrested, had denied any involvement, but our men are still working on his case.”