Kaduna insecurity worsens as government confirms 545 killed, 1,723 kidnapped in 6 months

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Photo: Southern Kaduna now a killing field?

The Kaduna State government has announced that no fewer than 545 people have been killed, and 1,723 kidnapped in the state between January and June this year, hence confirming the worsening insecurity in the state.

This was disclosed in a security report presented to Governor Nasir el-Rufai by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, on Wednesday.

He revealed that an additional 222 people were killed and 774 kidnapped in the past three months alone, although unofficial sources have reported more staggering casualty figures within the same period.

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Receiving the report, the governor expressed regrets that the government’s efforts in curbing the state’s security challenges had not done enough to safeguard lives and property.

According to him, the considerable investments in security made by his government require structural changes in the security sector for them to become effective.

“On behalf of the state government, I offer our sympathy for all the pains and sorrow insecurity is causing despite our sincere and consistent efforts and investments of hard-earned resources.

“I assure you that we are working hard to solve this problem and it is our solemn duty to do so,” he said.

Governor el-Rufai further said that federal security agencies are limited by manpower deficits, and incapable of fully taking control of the situation.

He called on the Federal Government to empower the Kaduna Government to make up the deficit, and encourage the deployment of unconventional means to better protect communities.

The governor also advised that the Federal Government launch simultaneous operations across all the seven states of the north west zone, where insecurity has become most prevalent.

Earlier, the Commissioner had in his presentation reported that 323 people were killed and 949 kidnapped in the first quarter of the year, between January and March.

“Banditry has led to the near-total collapse of the local economy in frontline areas, which is mainly sustained by crop and livestock farming.

“The activities of bandits in these areas have dispossessed residents of their foremost means of sustenance and disrupted the operation of the usually dynamic weekly markets.

“Besides the rustling of cattle, the previously highlighted targeting of farmers by armed bandits has generally eroded the economic viability of rural communities, in addition to precipitating a food crisis,” he added.

Aruwan further explained that the casualties were victims of banditry attacks, communal clashes, and reprisals which took place across the troubled state, and noted that Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Kajuru, Giwa, and Igabi local government areas were the most affected by the wave of violence.

The Commissioner further disclosed that at least 20 people were raped in the past three months, adding that the attacks on rural communities were escalating food insecurity issues in the state as many farmers were living in fear.

Periscope International had earlier reported that a group, Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) had raised alarm over what it described as ongoing “siege and genocide” by Fulani herdsmen terrorists who were up in arms against them and viciously wiping out their communities in Southern Kaduna with impunity.

The group, which made this known in a statement signed by its spokesman, Luka Binniyat, decried the total siege and relentless massacre of its communities which it claimed had worsened in the past one week and called on the United Nations, the Federal Government and global humanitarian support organizations to come to their aid.

According to SOKAPU, which faulted the sincerity of the Kaduna State government in tackling the crisis, their assailants were clearly on a genocide mission to annihilate them and take over their ancestral lands and property, having already killed countless numbers and displaced thousands recently.

The group had in an earlier statement called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on Kaduna State in the wake of the scary and worsening security situation.

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