Ahmad Abdulrahman, Kaduna state police commissioner, says he advised Nasir el-Rufai, governor of the state, to leave out casualty figures of the killings in Kajuru local government area of the state.
Citing security reports, the governor said 66 persons were killed in the attacks.
Some had disputed the figure, with Chidi Odinkalu, a human rights lawyer, accusing el-Rufai of playing politics with human lives.
At a press conference in Aso Rock on Tuesday, the governor had tackled those said he was making political gain from the issue.
He also said the death toll had risen to 130.
But speaking at an interactive session with reporters on Thursday, Abdulrahman said from experience one could not get figures until investigation had been concluded.
“I told the governor that figures in a crisis of this magnitude should be left (unquoted) until all investigations have been concluded,” he said.
“You cannot come up with a figure otherwise you will quote a particular figure now and another later. This is what is happening now. As far as police is concerned, we are investigating and the investigation is still in the embryonic stage, until the time we have covered all the areas, we cannot ant quote any figure.”
Abdulrahman said he had sent officers to the scene of the attacks to make more findings.
He said most of the things that they had discovered were not in the public as of the time el-Rufai came forward with the figures.
“As we speak my men are still in the bush with humanitarian workers trying to actually find out the true position of things,” he said.
“The crisis occurred in a terrain of full of conglomerate of hamlets which were difficult to assess with our vehicles. We are still uncovering areas where nobody had visited. We are now at the stage of crisis management which is very delicate. That is why nobody should stampede our investigation.
“If the governor tells you that the casualty figure is 200, he is just quoting figures. It could be more than that or less than that. For example, the place where 36 people were said to have been buried, was not at the purview of the security agencies at the commencement of the investigation.
“We didn’t even know that something happened until when the Fulani themselves came out to tell us after we had secured the place in conjunction with the military, that they approached to accompany them to their hamlet in order to bury their dead relation. There was a mix up in the assertion by the Fulani that the policemen took pictures of the corpses they buried one after another.
“That very hamlet where they talked about burying 37 corpses was discovered by the military. The terrain was very terrible and we could not even identify areas affected by the crisis between 10th and 11th February when it started. So, no policemen went ahead of the military.”
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