Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, says no fewer than 20,000 persons have been killed in various crises recorded in the state since 1980, asserting that enforcement of the law and prosecution of perpetrators remain the solution to killings with impunity in the state.
He stated this on Tuesday when he received a delegation of the executive team of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, who paid him a solidarity visit at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna.
The delegation was led by the NBA President, Abubakar Mahmoud SAN, first Vice-President, Caleb Dajan, national executive members and other prominent lawyers in the state.
El-Rufai informed the lawyers that aside the Justice Benedict Okadigbo Tribunal on the 1992 Zango-Kataf Religious Crisis, no government had prosecuted anybody over their involvement in various crises in the state.
He then vowed to prosecute all those found to be behind the recent killings in the three local government areas of Jema’a, Zango-Kataf and Kaura.
The Governor disclosed that a number of arrests had been made, assuring that more people in connection with the crises would soon be picked up.
According to him, “Since 1980, about 10,000 to 20,000 were killed in Kaduna State during crises and government did not prosecute anybody. We are determined to end the killings in Kaduna. Henceforth, the law will fully apply without fear or favour.
“We have made some arrests and you will be shocked to see the calibre of perpetrators that we are going to prosecute. No matter how highly-placed the person is, we will bring him or her to face the full wrath of the law, to serve as deterrent to others who may want to sponsor crisis.
“Some of the things you are hearing are not true. Some people have made up their minds to spread hatred and falsehood especially in the media. We thank you for your visit to Kaduna. Don’t stop at Kafanchan, go to communities to see things for yourself and also interact with all the stakeholders to have correct and accurate facts. By doing so, your delegation will know the truth.
“Let me correct this impression, it is not the entire Southern Kaduna that is under attacks, we have problem in three local government areas but crisis in the areas have been brought under control,” El-Rufai stated.
Speaking earlier, the NBA President explained that he led the delegation to express the concern of lawyers about the crisis, and show solidarity with the state over the killings in Southern Kaduna.
“The objective of our visit this morning is the issue of some of the recent happenings in some of the local governments in the southern part of the state. We are concerned because of the level of violence and listening to our colleagues, we understand that the scale of violence has really been unprecedented,” Mahmud said.