police officer

The police have promised to give an update on the latest killings in Kaduna state.

Yakubu Sabo, spokesman of the state police command, was responding to an enquiry from TheCable on Sunday morning.

“The police commissioner will give an update on the situation later today,” Sabo told TheCable via telephone.

TheCable understands that on Saturday, Nasir el-Rufai, governor of the state, led top security operatives on a tour of the villages where people were killed in Kajuru local government area of the state.

In a statement on Friday, Samuel Aruwan, spokesman of the governor, had said 66 people were killed in the attacks.

The statement did not give details of how the incident took place but TheCable gathered that the killings occurred following a bloody clash between the Adara and Fulani communities in the area.

Sources said the problem started on Sunday night when gunmen invaded Angwan Barde, an Adara community, and killed 11 people.

On Monday, angry youth in the community were said to have embarked on reprisal attacks, killing an unspecified number of people.

El-Rufai also confirmed the killing, saying they were meant to destabilise the local government during the elections.

The governor’s comment, made on the eve of the rescheduled elections, was received with criticism. Many described it as inciting.

Chidi Odinkalu, human rights lawyer, had accused the governor of politicising the killings.

Speaking during a Channels Television programme, Odinkalu said from the findings he made, not up to 66 people were killed.

“That story, if you noticed, that story was broken by the Kaduna state governor with his publicist, Muyiwa Adekeye standing by his shoulder. No police officer, no SSS officer, no security person in the vicinity and he was throwing out words that were calculated to be very incendiary on the eve of very difficult elections about a location that is very difficult and has had historical problems of violence across communities,” Odinkalu had said.

“And he was dropping this bromide like he was on some substance, with all due respect. I spent all of last night from all the sources in Kajuru and nobody can verify or substantiate that there has been a killing of 66 people in Kajuru over the past few days.”

The lawyer asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to pay close attention to the comments of politicians in the election period.

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