By Hussaina Yakubu
Kaduna – Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, has urged elected officials, traditional and community leaders to counter the false claims on the crisis in Zangon Kataf and Kauru Local Government Areas of the state.
A statement by the governor’s media aide, Muyiwa Adekeye, said El-Rufai gave the advice on Wednesday in Kaduna at a meeting with local leaders from the two local government areas over the crisis.
He said that the local leaders should not abdicate their responsibilities and allow those benefiting from the cycle of clashes and reprisals to twist the situation.
El Rufai assured that the government would uphold the right of every citizen to live in peace and harmony, but said communities must expose and report the few that engage in the incitement and violent actions.
Responding to the request for firm action against persons using conventional and social media to spread fake news and panic, El-Rufai agreed that ceding the narrative of events in the area “to non-formal actors is not helpful to the cause of peace and the rule of law.”
He added that it was “up to the stakeholders from the area to openly controvert the false narratives.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Zangon Kataf and Kauru local governments have been under 24-hour curfew, following violent clashes on June 11.
The governor said that the meeting was part of measures to restore stability, promote peace and harmony between the affected communities.
El Rufai noted that “the portrayal of parts of southern Kaduna as unsafe spaces deters development and investments,’’ and welcomed the apparent determination of the stakeholders to turn the page on the cycle of clashes and reprisals.
The governor assured the leaders that he was awaiting advice from core security agencies on the request to review the curfew, but promised to address their demand for roads.
He directed the Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure to construct the Sabo-Kigudu Bridge on Kibori-Kigudu road in Zangon-Kataf LGA and the Bakin Kogi to Kamarun-Chawai road in Kauru LGA.
The local leaders of the two local governments had expressed regret at the violent clashes, loss of lives and property, and assured that they were working to restore peace through consultations to rebuild the confidence of victims.
They requested the state government to review the 24-hour curfew to enable farmers take utmost advantage of the rainy season.
The meeting was attended by the Agwatyap, Mr Dominic Yahaya and Chief of Chawai, Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed, as well as Mukhtar Chawai and Amos Magaji, members representing Kauru and Zangon/Jaba federal constituencies, respectively.
Others at the meeting were Isaac-Auta Zankai, Deputy Speaker Kaduna State House of Assembly representing Kauru constituency and Angulu Kwasau representing Zangon Kataf.
The rest are Mr Elias Manza, Chairman Zangon-Kataf local government council, and Shuaibu Goma, Chairman Kauru LGA, community leaders from Atyap, Fulani and Chawai communities, and head of the state peace commission, among others.