Less than 24 hours to the 2019 presidential elections, 66 lives, including women and children, have been lost to violence in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Details were sketchy Friday evening, but many attributed the killings to handiwork of unknown gunmen employing “scare tactics”, while others said it was all part of the ethnic tensions that have engulfed the Southern Kaduna area.
It was gathered that the security forces have made arrests of some natives following the discovery of the remains of some persons.
“We heard that gunmen suspected to be non-natives mauled down some natives, which led a gruesome retaliatory attacks, a source said.
A statement by the Governor’s Office confirmed the killings.
It reads: “Security agencies today reported the recovery of 66 bodies that were killed in attacks by criminal elements on various dispersed hamlets in the Maro Gida and Iri axis of Kajuru LGA. The settlements affected include Ruga Bahago, Ruga Daku, Ruga Ori, Ruga Haruna, Ruga Yukka Abubakar, Ruga Duni Kadiri, Ruga Shewuka and Ruga Shuaibu Yau.
“Among the victims were 22 children and 12 women. Four wounded persons rescued by the security agencies are now receiving medical attention.
“Government condemns the attacks and commiserates with the families of the victims. Security agencies have been deployed to the area and arrests have been made.
Government urges community, traditional and religious leaders in the area to encourage residents to avoid any reprisal attacks and to leave the matter in the hands of the security and law enforcement agencies. The killings are being investigated and residents are assured that indicted persons will be prosecuted.
“Residents of Kaduna State are enjoined to uphold peace and harmony, shun violence and allow the elections to be held in an atmosphere of calm. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the security agencies in person or through the following lines: 09034000060 and 08170189999.”
The statement was signed by Governor Nasir el Rufai’s spokesman, Mr. Samuel Aruwan.