The Kaduna State Police Commissioner, Mr. Ahmad AbdulRahman, on Thursday disowned the casualty figures given by Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai on the number of Fulani killed in Kajuru Local Government Area. The governor had early in the week disclosed that the number had risen to about 130.
The police boss told journalists in Kaduna that he had cautioned the governor against releasing the casualty figures, as investigation was still at an embryonic stage.
“Until we fully conclude our investigations, we cannot come up with a figure. You may come up with a figure now and then later, you have to come and say it again.
As far as police is concerned, we are investigating and investigation is still in its embryonic stage. As I speak with you now, my men are in the bush plus SEMA and other civil society organisations and volunteers who felt the need to assist in finding out the actual happenings in the areas.
“And you know Fulani by their nature don’t put themselves in one area and say this is our town. Sometimes they live by family, by community, by nucleus and extended family.
“In some areas, they are saying they have been wiped out, some are still recovering the corpses and others are claiming that their persons are missing. We are still getting into that.
“That is why professionally as the police, we don’t come out with figure until when we are sure and until when we conclude our investigation,” declared the police boss.
He vowed that the police would never be stampeded in carrying out a thorough investigation on the crisis, as the police state command was committed to doing a thorough job. He promised that after the investigation, the figures could be more or less, depending on the final report.
During a visit to the crisis area on Wednesday by a select group journalists, Malam Adamu Lawal said he was personally involved in the burial of over 131 persons. He took the reporters to the spot where he claimed he buried no fewer than 37 persons, including his father and mother; he two wives and his grandchild.
Asked if he had pictures of the deceased and evidences of the corpses he claimed to have buried in the shallow grave, Lawal disclosed that the police and soldiers are in possession of photos of the corpses as they took snapshots of the victims as they were being buried.
“I do not have the pictures, but the police and soldiers who were present when we were burying them took pictures and they can show these pictures to you. These are some of the sticks (pointing to some two sticks) used by the Adara people to kill the Fulani,” Adamu recalled.
He further told the journalists that it took him about five days, beginning from Wednesday, to complete the burial of these victims.
Responding to claims that the police are in possession of photos of victims as they were being buried, the Kaduna police boss denied the claim, saying that only soldiers were present during the burial of the victims.
According to him, The assertion of the Fulani that policemen were there when he was burying the dead and taking pictures was a mix up because that very hamlet where they said that they buried 37 corpses or so was discovered by the military. The terrain was very terrible and it is difficult to know where and where were affected on February 11th when it happened.
“No policemen went to the area ahead of the military. It was the military that went there first to assist probably the Fulani that were affected and help them to bury their dead.
“We policemen came along with the GOC whose men discovered the place and we went together.
“It was when we went to Kasuwan Magani on one of our strategies for stakeholder meeting and trying to calm nerves and finding a lasting solution to this nonsense that we were informed that there is a camp inside Iri and that we should please go and have a look.
“That was when my policemen went. We went and met elements of the military and we saw the grave and that was when some pictures of the burnt hamlet were snapped plus the shallow grave which we could even felt the stinking ooze that was coming from dead bodies that were buried there, plus two motorcycles burnt down beside the grave.”
By Forefront Magazine