President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday in Kaduna, says “Federal Government will take strongest measures possible to punish perpetrators of the latest killings in Kaduna State”.
The President stated this when he paid a condolence visit to Kaduna State over recent communal clashes which claimed over 75 persons across the state.
Buhari, who met with senior government officials, security chiefs, traditional rulers, religious, political and community leaders at the Musa Yar’Adua Sports Complex, Kaduna, expressed sadness over the killings.
He condemned the recent tragic loss of lives and property in Kasuwan Magani and the unrest around Kaduna metropolis, demanding an end to such wanton killings.
He said: “if in the past, perpetrators got away scot-free, we shall now hold everyone to account for this latest killings.
“It is unacceptable that criminal elements can visit on citizens the wanton killings recorded in the Kasuwan Magani incident of October 18, 2018 and the unrest around Kaduna metropolis a few days later. This must stop.’’
The President directed the Nigeria Police Force to remain vigilant in securing communities and diligent in prosecuting criminal offences.
He added: “The Nigerian police are in the frontline of securing communities. For the judiciary, unless the investigations are credible and rapidly done, there is nothing they can do.
“From now on, the Nigeria police, you better watch it, I am going to watch you closely.”
He appealed to community leaders, including ward heads, village heads and traditional rulers to be closer to their people and not to shield those planning to wreak havoc on the community from law enforcement agencies.
While commiserating with government and people of Kaduna State, and families who lost loved ones in the unfortunate incidents, Buhari paid tribute to the late Agom Adara, Dr Maiwada Galadima.
He eulogised the traditional ruler of Adara chiefdom for serving his community and Kaduna State with dedication.
The president appealed to residents of Kaduna to do their best to uphold peace in their respective communities.
He warned that chaos and anarchy exacerbate whatever issues were agitating a community.
He said: “Violence shatters and divides people and stifles the prospect of any community that succumbs to its tragic logic.
“The Federal Government commends the efforts of the Kaduna State Government in responding to and managing the crisis.
“More Federal Security assets are being provided at the request of the Kaduna State Government to help uphold and keep the peace.
“The Federal Government will continue to work to ensure that more security assets are recruited and deployed across the country to protect citizens going about their lawful businesses and to reinforce the authority of the government.”
The President welcomed the decision of the Kaduna State Government and its local governments to build and provide facilities for the take-off of more police divisions and civil defence offices in the state.
He maintained that it was duty-bound for all citizens to be law-abiding in their conduct and within their communities.
He said: “There is a need to avoid violence as tool of negotiation or obtaining advantage, and learn to listen to each other and commit to resolving differences through peaceful means.
“Kaduna, once the home of the Premier and home of the New Nigerian must not earn itself a new name as home of violence.’’
According to him, security agencies will hunt and prosecute all those who sponsored these acts of violence.
He noted that individuals and communities had obligations to comply with the law and uphold peace.
He said: “These obligations include respecting the rights of others to live wherever they choose, to worship freely and to pursue lawful livelihoods anywhere in this country.
“These are constitutional and human rights that we as a government and people must uphold and defend.’’
Buhari said Federal Government would continue to do its best to develop human capital and address poverty and inequality in all parts of the country.
He pledged that his administration would continue to provide decent education and healthcare service to all citizens.
He said: “I am delighted with the successful collaboration between federal institutions like the Bank of Industry and the Kaduna State Government to provide vocational and entrepreneurship skills, and low-interest credit to expand economic opportunities.’’
He assured the Kaduna State Government that the Federal Government would give due consideration to concerns raised by Gov. Nasir el-Rufa’i,
about the outstanding issues of payment of compensation and resettlement of communities that lingered since the post-election violence of 2011.