Why I declared 24-hour curfew in Kaduna, by El-Rufai

The Kaduna State Government on Sunday said the imposition of a 24-hour curfew on Kaduna metropolis and environs was a preemptive measure to avert breakdown of law and order.

Samuel Aruwan, Senior Special Assistant on Media to Gov. Nasiru El-Rufa’i said the decision was made to forestal breakdown of law and order.

“The Kaduna State Government today received and assessed reports of panic in Kujama, followed by Sabon Tasha and a few other places around Kaduna. Reports of the panic triggered a considerable sense of anxiety as rumours compounded a fraught situation following the violent clashes that occurred in Kasuwan Magani on Thursday,” Mr Aruwan said.

“The Kaduna State Government has acted to prevent this sense of panic from spreading or triggering any threat to law and order. Therefore, the state government has declared a curfew in Kaduna metropolis and its environs to manage the situation.

“Governor Nasir El-Rufai announced the curfew in a live statement broadcast on the Kaduna State Media Corporation (KSMC). In the statement, the governor appealed to all residents to do their best to uphold peace.

“The governor said that security agencies are taking necessary action to reassure our communities,  restore calm and uphold law and order.

“The Kaduna State Security Council will meet to review the situation on Monday, 22 October 2018. Further updates will be issued accordingly.

“The Kaduna State Government calls on all residents of the state to uphold harmony in their communities, respect the law and cooperate with security agencies to keep the peace.”

NAN reports that 55 people were on Thursday killed in Kasuwan Magani, Kachia Local Government Area of the state, which also prompted the government to impose curfew there.

A check by NAN reveals that the latest crisis was said to have began at Mararaba Rido, and spilled over to Sabon Tasha, Tudun Wada, Central Market and Ahmadu Bello way, the city center.

A resident of Mararaban Rido, Hanatu Simon, said the issue began at a church in the area where a man was caught suspiciously recording the pastor’s sermon with his phone.

Mr Simon said that the church officials reported the matter to the police and the man was arrested and taken away by the police.

“However, around 3 pm we heard gunshots around the market area with people running in all directions, houses were being burnt and everyone was running for his life.

“Although military and police officers are all over the place, we still hear gun shots all over the place,” she said.

Another residents, Julius John said: “I don’t know what is happening, I am in my house, but all I can here is gun shots with people shouting and running.”

At Sheikh Abubakar Gumi Market, a trader, Ibrahim Ya’u said that it was a spontaneous reaction as people “just started running when they heard there is crises in town.

“Most traders quickly close their shops to prevent hoodlums from taking advantage of the situation to steal our goods.”

Some youths who reportedly blocked the busy Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway and Ahmadu Bello Way burning tires, were later dispersed by security agents.

“In the pandemonium, a car ran over my brother, a fruit seller at Lagos street. We are trying to get the police to help us take him to the hospital,” a resident, Abubakar Abdullahi, told NAN.

In Janruwa community, a resident informed NAN that the youths there had barricaded the road, stopping and searching vehicles coming from both direction.

Stranded commuters from across the city were seen trekking to their destinations as vehicle owners kept off the roads.

NAN however reports that the city is calm after the initial pandemonium, with security agents deployed to strategic areas of the metropolis keeping vigil to avert further crisis.