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Tension in Southern Kaduna over counter-attacks; killings worries Govt

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Tension in Atyap in Zangon-Kataf local government area of Southern Kaduna, in Kaduna State, has become a source of serious worry by government, the state security update for Saturday, 27th March, 2021, has revealed.

The State Government has also expressed worry over the escalating tensions in the Atyap Chiefdom, the stronghold of Southern Kaduna area where three of its leaders are missing, including a secretary to the district head.

Government, in a statement on Saturday by the State Internal Security and Home Affairs commissioner, Mr Samuel Aruwan, “has appealed against killings, counter-killings and destruction of farms and killing of cattle in the area.”

It stated that Kaduna State Government has “noted with increasing concern the sequence of violent incidents, attacks and counter-attacks in Atyap Chiefdom of Zangon-Kataf local government area over the past week. 

“It is very disturbing that groups opposed to peaceful coexistence are perpetuating violence against innocent citizens, which has assumed very worrisome dimensions.

“The government assures the peace-loving people of the affected communities and the state at large of its commitment to law and order.

“In furtherance of this, the government has directed security agencies to take drastic actions to forestall any recurrence of violence. Search-and-rescue operations by troops and police are in progress to protect lives and property, rescue missing citizens and apprehend the perpetrators of violence.

“Amidst the grim situation, it is clear that the vast majority of the citizens from all the ethnic groups in the area sincerely desire, and are working for peace. These men and women have stood out as shining examples of resistance to the violent actions of few criminals and people of ill-will. 

“The Government of Kaduna State commends their exemplary action and appeals to them to continue their sacrificial work, until we collectively triumph over the forces of darkness,” it stated. 

In the meantime, the government is working with security agencies to ensure the thorough investigation of all incidents of violence in the area and perpetrators identified and prosecuted. 

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has called on community leaders to de-escalate tensions and actively ramp-up efforts for peaceful coexistence in the area, to enable the success of these processes without disruption. 

“The Kaduna State Government also appeals to men and women of goodwill to join this campaign, and dominate the area with the message of peace and togetherness.

“The government remains open to collaboration towards this end; citizens may volunteer useful information on the Operations Room emergency lines 09034000060 and 08170189999,” they stated. 

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