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Published On: Wed, Feb 20th, 2019

Death toll in Kajuru killings 130, not 66, says El-Rufai

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By Lawrence Olaoye

A clearer picture of those killed, last Friday, in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna state has emerged with state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai giving a new casualty figure of 130 and not 66 earlier reported.
Governor el-Rufai, had, last Friday, raised the alarm that unknown gunmen had killed 66 persons in the area.
Giving an update yesterday while addressing State House correspondents in Abuja, alongside his counterparts from Borno, Kashim Shettima and Adamawa, Jubrilla Bindow, after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari said they requested for more security for identified trouble spots particularly in his state ahead of the polls.
El- Rufai said that based on the security briefings he has received, the real figure of people killed was 130 and not 66.
Governor El-Rufai also described those doubting the killings as “grossly irresponsible.”
On the eve of the earlier scheduled general election, the governor had said that 66 persons were killed by unknown attackers.
Many people had doubted the Governor over the report.
But coming out from a security meeting he convened, attended by the governors of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, as well as the security chiefs, said he gets security briefings daily to know the situation in and around Kaduna, adding that, “I work only on that basis.”
Governor El-Rufai had earlier in a report, said that, “Only irresponsible and insensitive people can recklessly dismiss the deaths of members of a community with whom they have no contact.”
He also noted that, “the latest report shows that over 130 were killed, not even 66.”
He therefore restated his earlier resolve that, “The government of a state cannot be detained by parochial, ethno-religious, partisan or electoral calculations from doing its duty to provide security, confirm incidents of security breaches, take steps to reassure affected communities and ensure that perpetrators are arrested and brought to justice.”
in a statement issued by his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, two days ago, after the governor was led on the spot assessment of the area by the GOC 1 Div, the state commissioner of police and other security chiefs, he had warned that the state government cannot allow itself to be hamstrung by any consideration while performing her responsibilities.
The statement had partly read thus: “Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has visited the scenes of the Kajuru killings. The governor was accompanied on the trip by Major-General Faruk Yahaya, GOC 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Air Cmdr. I. Sani of the Nigerian Air Force, Police Commissioner, Ahmad Abdurrahman and State Director of the SSS, A.I. Koya. The chairman of Kajuru local government council, Cafra Caino, also joined the governor on the visit.
“The Kaduna State Government notes the concerted and apparently coordinated efforts by bigoted busy bodies to deny the Kajuru killings, or to minimise the casualty figures, and the specious arguments being deployed in this despicable quest. The Kaduna State Government condemns in the strongest terms attempts to politicise the killings.
“Only irresponsible and insensitive people can recklessly dismiss the deaths of members of a community with whom they have no contact.
Private individuals and unelected actors cannot be allowed to reduce weighty matters of state security to the province of their limited networks, inexperienced lenses and narrow agendas.
“The government of a state cannot be detained by parochial, ethno-religious, partisan or electoral calculations from doing its duty to provide security, confirm incidents of security breaches, take steps to reassure affected communities and ensure that perpetrators are arrested and brought to justice.”
Borno governor who also briefed dared the Boko Haram insurgents as he announced that he would be going to Gamboru-Ngala before the polls.

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