The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has confirmed the attacks on Saturday and Sunday in Goska, Kaninkon chiefdom of Jema’a Local Government Area of the state, describing them as the handiwork of forces of darkness.
The attacks in Goska occurred in spite of a 24-hour curfew the state government imposed on Jema’a and two other local governments in Kaduna. The other local governments are Zangon-Kataf and Kaura.
President Muhammadu Buhari had also endorsed the curfew after a closed door meeting with Mr. El-Rufai.
The curfew was put in place to prevent violent attacks like the one that occurred in Goska. It was announced a day after an attack by demonstrators in Kafanchan on the governor and his officials after a state security council meeting in the town.
The demonstrators had pelted the convoy of Mr. El-Rufai with stones before razing down the official residence of the local government chairman. They accused the government of not doing enough to stop the attacks by suspected herdsmen on their communities.
Mr. El-Rufai, in a statement on Sunday by his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, expressed sympathy with the families that lost loved ones in the renewed attack. Although the details of the attacks and the casualty were not stated, the governor charged security agencies to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“While the government and security agencies were working assiduously to block all windows to ensure that citizens throughout the three local government areas and the state at large are protected, these forces of darkness that represent evil and inhumanity struck again, killed innocent citizens, burnt their houses, injured some and terrified many”, the governor stated.
“Government and security agencies will not be deterred, we will continue to be resilient, up and doing and courageous in tackling this unfortunate situation.
“Their tactics are to create a chasm, divide people, breed hate and prejudice and plunge the state into chaos but we will triumph over these evil forces by the grace of almighty God”.
Mr. El-Rufai said the government would “continue to be firm and decisive” in its efforts to suppress the attackers and restore peace in the state.
He urged the people of the state to come together “irrespective of religion, ethnicity and political inclinations” to confront the attackers.
“They become stronger only when our people are divided instead of coming together to weaken and neutralize them and the evil they represent and to free our humanity from their devilish act”, he stressed.
“It is also clear that resorting to self-help compounds the precarious situation thereby, breeding the cycle of vicious killings. It must be clear to all by now that inciting of tit-for-tat does not help our security agencies and communities attain our quest for peace and those calling for that will also be brought to justice”.
He said he had directed the State Emergency Management Agency to take inventory of those affected and also bring relief materials to assist the victims of the attack.
“Our deep empathy and prayers go to the families that lost their loved ones and those that lost their homes and properties. May their souls rest in peace and may God see us through this challenging time,” the statement concluded.