Palpable fear and apprehension have enveloped Kaduna state and its environs in the last one month. The level of insecurity in the state is such that the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase, had to direct the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 7, AIG Ballah Nasarawa, to relocate to Kaduna State from Abuja for effective supervision of security situation in the State.
But another worrisome dimension to the security challenges of the state is the revelation on Wednesday by the state governor Mallam Nasir El Rufai that there was a security report of an emergence of a new dangerous Islamic group in the state.
Speaking in a Radio programme in Kaduna, the governor said “ We have a security report that a new Islamic organization called GAUSIYYA is springing up in one of our local government areas, precisely Makarfi,. After studying the group’s activities, we understand that it is not a sect that we should allow to stay in our state. They preach contrary to the teachings of Islam and are gradually recruiting youths in the name of religion.
“We have decided to stop the group and their activities before they grow and become a problem for the state. Negligence is what brought about the Maitatsine in the 80’s and the Boko Haram insurgents we are now fighting.”
To curtail the excesses of the growing sect, El-Rufai said his government came up with a proposed law to regulate religious activities in the state. The bill is before the state house of Assembly.
In recent times, kidnappings in and around Kaduna State have turned deadly, with the victims either killed or left to die unattended to by the kidnappers. This has heightened fear among residents, urban or rural, even travellers along the ever busy Abuja-Kaduna expressway.
There have been a number of high-profile abductions on that route in the last two weeks, which has brought attention to the rising wave of the crime. Those abducted within the period include: an Army Colonel, Samaila Inusa, a director in the Dangote Group, Mansur Ahmed and three clerics, Rev. Emmanuel Dziggau, Rev. Yakubu Dzarma and Rev. Ilya Anto and one Afolabi Alega. Out of these, four survived to tell the tale, while two, Colonel Inusa and Rev. Anto were not so lucky. Colonel Inusa, whose lifeless body was found in a bush at Ajyaita village, near Kaduna, is believed to have been killed by his abductors on the very day he was taken at an area called Kamazo, near the popular NNPC junction in Kaduna South. Anto is believed to have died in the hands of his abductors due to lack of medical attention, as he was said to have undergone major surgery two weeks before he was abducted.
While urging the AIG to evolve new intelligence gathering and crime-fighting techniques and methodologies to suit the local challenges, the IGP also directed that Police officers who have served in Kaduna State Command for a period of six years and above be transferred out of the Command with corresponding replacement.
He also charged the AIG to devise means of halting the incessant kidnapping as well as other forms of crimes and criminality, especially in Jere, Kagarko Local Government Area of the State
The manner in which people are being killed with impunity in the state still resembles the same fashion of mindless murder of innocent persons some years ago.
On June 5, 2015, Ayagan village in Bajju Chiefdom in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State was invaded by armed men. Four people were killed and several others injured when the invaders fired into a crowd of mourners, unprovoked.
On June 11, 2015, one Tanko Nyam,45, from Kyari Daddu village in Jaba, LGA was ambushed by yet another set of gunmen and killed, leaving behind his wife and five kids.
Again, on June 16, 2015, around 8pm, the peaceful village of Kastak, in Takad Chiefdom, Jema’a Local Government Area, LGA of Kaduna was invaded by well armed men. According to distress calls received and the reports of witnesses, shortly after the invasion, 9 people were killed, and 13 others critically injured.
As a responsible nation, the citizens cannot sit and claim that it will soon be well when no authority has shown any interest in the insecurity that has bedeviled the people of the state.
In the light of the above, we call on the Federal and state governments to expedite action on tackling the insecurity in Kaduna state.
While we commend the IGP for the actions he has taken so far, we quickly add that that alone is not enough. Both the Police authority and other security agencies including the military should join forces to rout the criminals terrorizing the state no matter under what name or group they operate. Those who kidnapped and killed the Army Colonel, the priest and other victims must be arrested and brought to book. And if the Governor’s hate speeches are one of the reasons fueling the problems in the state, as widely alleged, then Mallam El’Rufai should watch his actions and utterances. Enough of the impunity in Kaduna state.