From John Shiklam in Kaduna
Hundreds of irate youths protesting the frequent attacks and killings in Southern Kaduna communities, yesterday pelted the convoy of the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, with stones.
The mob also set the residence of the Caretaker Chairman of Jama’a Local Government Area, Dr. Bege Katuka, ablaze.
A 24-hour curfew was imposed on the area last Monday after a protest by the youths over persistent killings in communities in the southern part of the state.
The governor, his deputy, Barnabas Bantex, other top government officials alongside heads of security agencies were on a visit to the crisis prone areas to appeal for calm and to assure them that government was taking steps to address the situation.
It was the fifth time the governor was visiting the areas affected by the attacks.
Yesterday visit was said to have been prompted following rising tension in Kafanchan after a 24 hour curfew was imposed by the council chairman last Monday.
The governor, however, assured the people of the area that everything was being done to put an end to the killings.
Speaking when he visited the Emir of Jema’a, Alhaji Muhammadu Isah Muhammadu, and the Chief of Kagoro, Ufoi Bonet and Chief of Marwa, Tagwai Sambo, in their palaces, el-Rufai urged all aggrieved parties to sheath their swords and embrace peace.
He said the state government was working very hard to ensure that necessary security measures were put in place to protect lives and property and maintain law and order.
“I and the deputy governor took oath of office to protect lives and property of all citizens, and we are committed to ensuring that this is achieved,” he said.
He appealed to the people to avoid taking laws into their hands in the event of any crisis and urged traditional rulers to talk to their subjects against taking vengeance each time there was problem between or among the persons.
The governor commended the Emir of Jema’a for taking prompt action to stop his subjects from crisis that could have erupted during Monday’s protest in Kafanchan, stating that the other government was left with no option than to impose the 24-hour in the area.
He further called on all leaders , irrespective of background or political affiliation, to support efforts aimed at ensuring peace, assuring them that proactive measures were being adopted to stop the killings and restore lasting peace in Southern Kaduna.