23 September 2006

Nigeria: Tension in Kaduna Over Jigawa Riots

Kaduna — There was tension in Kaduna State yesterday following rumours that the religious crises which erupted in Jigawa state few days ago in which about 10 worship places were burnt would spread to the state.

Following the tension, some traders yesterday abandoned their shops while armed soldiers and policemen were drafted to strategic places to maintain peace.

There was an uneasy calm throughout the city as residents restricted their movements to areas were they felt safer for fear of any ugly incident.

Kaduna state which had experienced intense religious crises in the past had been peaceful in the last four years following decision of the government to deal appropriately with trouble makers.

However, the state police Commissioner, Mr Enerst Ibhaze has assured that his men were equal to the task of ensuring peace in the state has urged people to go about their lawful businesses.

In a special announcement made on the state-owned Kaduna State Radio Corporation (KSMC) Mr Ibhaze said his command was reliably informed that trouble makers wanted to ferment trouble either yesterday or immediately after today's Jumat prayers pointing out that the aim was to cause violence and destruction.

Ibhaze said: "good morning the good and peace loving people of Kaduna State. As we look forward to sighting the moon any moment from today, I wish you Allah's blessings and a rewarding ramadan fast.

"We are reliably informed that some trouble makers want to infiltrate our faithful worshippers today (22/9/2006) during or immediately after the Friday prayers. Their aim is to cause trouble and cause a reign of destruction in this peace loving state.

"My dear good people of Kaduna state, I urge you to say no to violence; no to riots and no to destruction.

"What we need at this stage, is prayers and sober reflection so that Muslims and their Christian brothers can continue to live in peace. The police has not granted any body or group permit to do a precession or rally.

"Anyone who ferments trouble or sponsors chaos will be arrested and prosecuted. A word is enough for the wise."

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