While residents are claiming that over 80 people lost their lives, the Kaduna State Police Command, on Friday said 55 people were killed in Thursday’s communal crisis at Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state.
The State Commissioner of Police Ahmad Abdur-Rahman who disclosed this at a press briefing in Kaduna, said that the police had arrested 22 suspects in connection with the mayhem.
Abdul-Rahaman said mobile and conventional policemen, as well as a team of the state joint security operatives, Operation Yaki, dispatched to the town had restored normalcy in the area.
According to him, he has also visited the town and engaged youth leaders, traditional and religious leaders in the efforts to stop the crisis and prevent its spread.
He noted that the timely imposition of curfew by the Kaduna State Government also helped to douse tension in the area.
The police chief assured that all perpetrators of the mayhem would be brought to book.
“Anybody that has a hand in this crisis must face the full wrath of law, we will not allow lawlessness; we remain committed to saving lives and property of every citizens,” he said.
He appealed to the public to continue to live in peace and assist the command with useful information to track the perpetrators.
A similar crisis in February left more than 10 people dead and hundreds of shops and residences burnt.
A total of 65 people alleged to have been involved in the February crisis were arraigned in court but the case is still pending.
Also on Friday, residents of Kasuwan Magani were charged to shun violence and learn to live in peace.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai gave this admonition on Friday when he visited the community following violent clashes between rival youth groups there on Thursday.
In a statement on Friday by his spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan, the governor called on the residents to live in harmony, despite the religious and ethnic diversity of their community.
Mr El-Rufai assured residents that the government will prosecute those responsible for the violence in their community.
According to the statement, the governor led a team of senior government officials to Kasuwan Magani around 4 p.m. and immediately received briefings from Mr Abdur-rahaman.
He thereafter moved around the town, accompanied by traditional and religious leaders.
Following the tour, Mr El-Rufai interacted with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) in the local government area.
“We are here to see and to listen for ourselves. We must live in peace and never use violence to solve a problem. We are not happy with this and government will pursue and punish those responsible for this devilish act,” he said.
“We must value the sanctity of life. I want to beg you to cooperate with the security agencies because prosecution of conflict entrepreneurs is inevitable. I will come back in one week time to see how things are.”