Kaduna State Government has imposed a 24-hour curfew on Kaduna town and environs with immediate effect.
The Senior Special Assistant to the state governor on Media and Publicity, Mr Samuel Aruwan stated this on Sunday in Kaduna.
“This is a notice of a 24-hour curfew imposed on Kaduna town and environs, with immediate effect.
“Residents are advised to comply by this directive.
The decision has been taken in the best interest of the state,” Governor Nasir El-Rufai tweeted.
The curfew is a fallout of the violence in Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru Local Government area, where a market dispute between porters led to the killing of 55 people and the burning of many homes, between 18 and 19 October.
Aruwan said the 24-hour curfew on Kaduna metropolis and environs was a preemptive measure to avert breakdown of law and order.
He said the decision was based on the advice of security chiefs in the state.
A curfew was already in place in Kasuwan Magani.
A check by NAN reveals that the latest crisis was said to have begun at Mararaba Rido, and spilled over to Sabon Tasha, Tudun Wada, Central Market and Ahmadu Bello way, the city center.
A resident of Mararaban Rido, Mrs Hanatu Simon said that the problem began at a Church in the area where a man was caught suspiciously recording the pastor’s sermon with his phone.
Simon said that the church officials reported the matter to the police and the man was arrested and taken away by the police.
“However, around 3 pm we heard gun shots around the market area with people running in all directions, houses were being burnt and everyone was running for his life.
“Although military and police officers are all over the place, we heard gun shots all over the place,” she said.
Another resident, Julius John said: “I don’t know what is happening, I am in my house, but all I can hear is gunshots with people shouting and running.”
At Sheikh Abubakar Gumi Market, a trader, Ibrahim Ya’u said that it was a spontaneous reaction as people “just started running when they heard there is crises in town.
“Most traders quickly closed their shops to prevent hoodlums from taking advantage of the situation to steal our goods.”
Some youths who reportedly blocked the busy Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway and Ahmadu Bello Way burning tires, were later dispersed by security agents.
“In the pandemonium, a car ran over my brother, a fruit seller at Lagos street. We are trying to get the police to help us take him to the hospital,” a resident, Malam Abubakar Abdullahi, told NAN.
In Janruwa community, a resident informed NAN that the youths there had barricaded the road, stopping and searching vehicles coming from both direction.
Stranded commuters from across the city were seen trekking to their destinations as vehicle owners kept off the roads.
NAN however reports that the city is calm after the initial pandemonium, with security agents deployed to strategic areas of the metropolis keeping vigil to avert further crisis
The security unease in Kaduna began in Kasuwan Magani.
To put an end to this crisis, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has deployed the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 7 Headquarters in charge of Kaduna State, Niger State and the FCT to lead the Police Special Intervention Force.
The force comprises four Units of Police Mobile Force (PMF) specially trained Anti Riot Policemen, Counter Terrorism Unit, Conventional Policemen, Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad (FSARS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU), State Intelligence Bureau (SIB), detachment of EOD, Police K9 (Sniffer Dogs Section), already on ground at Kasuwan Magani, Kajuru, Kaduna State.
“The operations will cover the entire Kasuwan Magani and environs, and other flash/trouble spots in Kaduna State.
“To achieve success in the operations, the Force will be proactive and strict in the enforcement of its mandates, Police standard operations procedures and rules of engagement.
“The Force will ensure the full enforcement of the curfew imposed on Kasuwan Magani and environs by the Kaduna State Government.
“The personnel of the Police special Intervention Force will carry out 24-hour surveillance and patrol, stop and search; continuous raids of identified criminal hideouts and black spots, with a view to arrest promptly trouble makers, their sponsors and nip in the bud any further attempt to cause violence and other criminality in the area.
“The deployment of the personnel will equally cover communities, towns, villages, vulnerable points, Government and private infrastructures and facilities in Kasuwan Magani, Kajuru Local Government Area and environs.