- …24-hour curfew imposed
From Muhammad Ibrahim & Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
There was tension and panic within Kachia town of Kaduna state yesterday, as some mosques and churches were burnt by youths in the area .
However, the police said no life was lost in the crisis, which lasted several hours within the town.
Residents said the crisis erupted between two communities, which led to a forceful demolition and burning of mosques and churches in the area.
Sources said the crisis began when some youths went to erect a fence in a prayer-ground to prevent encroachment, but discovered that a part of the mosque earlier renovated had been damaged by unknown persons.
Our correspondents gathered that the incident was reported to the local government chairman, Mr. Peter Agaite, who promised to renovate the damaged prayer-ground (Idi), but failed to do so.
The incidence was said to have started two weeks ago in the area.
“The youths alerted the local government chairman, Mr. Agaite and he promised to repair the damaged portion, but failed to do so. Today (yesterday) when the youth went back to continue the work, they saw another portion of the ground damaged again. And out of suspicion, they demolished a near-by church,” he said
It was gathered that the youths of the demolished church reacted, and they too demolished a near-by mosque, which led to tension and panic within Kachia and its environs.
Meanwhile, the state government swiftly reacted by imposing a 24-hour curfew to restrict movement in the town. The Police Public Relations Officer in the State, SP Aminu Lawal, on telephone said the situation is under control as their men are fully on ground.
“No life is lost and we don’t have the number of worship places that were burnt; we will let you know in due course as we don’t want to give wrong figures,” he said.
Also, Kaduna state governor of, Dr. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero called on the people in Kachia town and environs to remain calm and shun any attempt by enemies of peace to escalate misunderstanding in the area into confusion as, according to him, government has brought the situation under control.
As at the time of filing this report, vehicles moving towards southern Kaduna were being diverted from the rail crossing to Fadan Kamaton.
Similarly troops from Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Kachia have been mobilized to help the police to return peace to the area.