By Abdallah el-Kurebe, Editor
Kaduna State chapter of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has stressed the need for tolerance and peaceful coexistence among residents of the state, following last Saturday’s breakdown of law and order, prompting the imposition of 24-hour curfew on Sunday.
The state chapter chairman of the organisation, Alhaji Bashir Chedi, gave the charge in a statement in Kaduna on Tuesday.
He condemned the latest communal violence which claimed many lives in Kasuwan Magani, Kujama Local Government Area, and subsequent reprisal attacks in some parts of Kaduna Town.
He stressed that “people should be able to tolerate each other in spite of their religious and ethnic differences.”
Chedi stated that the state’s NIPR chapter was happy with the prompt action taken by Gov. Nasir el-Rufa’i in ensuring that security personal took charge of the situation and commended him for the timely imposition of curfew that stopped the spread of the violence.
He noted that “we also support the governor’s pronouncement to prosecute culprits involved in causing this crisis.”
He urged religious clerics, traditional/opinion leaders, NGO’s and youth leaders to intensify efforts toward preaching peaceful coexistence in the state and the country in general.
He cautioned the public against the danger of spreading fake news, hate speech and rumours through social media.
According to him the Kaduna NIPR in conjunction with stakeholders, will come up with relevant peace advocacy programmes to further sensitise the public on peaceful association and mutual understanding among people.
The latest Kaduna violence broke out on Saturday, Oct. 20, following argument between two people at Kasuwan Magani in Kujama Local Government Area of the state but escalated to other areas, claiming many lives, prompting the state government to impose 24-hour curfew immediately to check the spread.
However, the state government, on Tuesday, varied the 24-hour curfew on Kaduna metropolis, giving residents a window between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. “to restock on essentials”.
Mr Samuel Aruwan, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity said in a statement in Kaduna, that the window did not include residents of Kabala West, Kabala Doki, Sabon-Tasha, Narayi and Maraban Rido, where the 24-hour curfew still remains in place.
According to him, the decision follow the State Security Council meeting held on Tuesday.
He disclosed that the security council also relaxed the curfew on Kasuwan Magani and Kujama situated about 50 kilometers from Kaduna, allowing movement between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.
“The curfew in Kasuwan Magani and Kujama remains but will now be enforced from dusk to dawn – from 5pm in the evening to 6am in the morning, till further notice. The State Security Council determined that threats continue in Kabala West, Kabala Doki, Sabon-Tasha, Narayi and Maraban Rido within Kaduna metropolis where attacks on places of worship were either attempted overnight or contemplated.
“Therefore, the Security Council has decided that the 24-hour curfew should remain in these places, and will be vigorously enforced. Any individual that violates it will be arrested, and the security agencies directed to engage any hoodlum or unauthorized groups with appropriate force.
“For the rest of Kaduna metropolis, the Security Council has noted an improvement in the security situation, and therefore decided that a window be provided for residents to be able to restock on essentials. Therefore, the curfew in the rest of Kaduna Metropolis is relaxed from 1pm to 5pm today to enable all markets, shops and businesses to open and operate.
“Also Security agents will patrol and protect the markets to ensure safety and deal with any attempt by hoodlums to engage in criminal conduct. The 24-hour curfew in Kaduna Metropolis will be reimposed from 5pm today, and until further notice,” he stated.
Aruwan added that the security council regrets the inconvenience caused by the action to residents, but stressed that it was in line with the obligations on government to secure the lives and property of residents.
“Government will continue to monitor the situation, and make further announcements based on the guidance of the security agencies,” he said.