By Mohammad Ibrahim
Kaduna (Nigeria) — Governor Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State has issued a warning saying no person or group, under any guise will be allowed to block any road, obstruct public highways, occupy public facilities or inconvenience citizens in the State.
He also said a judicial commission of inquiry is to be established to look into last Saturday’s security clash in Zaria, between Shi’ites and Army.
Speaking in a broadcast, the governor said the composition and terms of reference of the commission of inquiry will be announced within two weeks.
He assured the people of the state that the government is committed to securing the state and upholding the rights of every citizen.
“We have witnessed sad events in Zaria. There have been tragic consequences and needless loss of lives, and we extend our condolences to the families that have been affected.
“Henceforth, no person or group, under any guise will be allowed to block any road, obstruct public highways, occupy public facilities or inconvenience citizens in Kaduna State.
“Anybody that needs to march may do so, but they cannot take over public facilities or disrupt social services and commercial activities in Kaduna State, and any march or procession can be undertaken only with the prior knowledge of, and protection of the police to prevent the breakdown of law and order,” he warned.
The commission of inquiry is to be set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act. It will examine the immediate and remote causes of the Zaria incident, and assemble a factual and authoritative account that the government can study and act upon.
The governor further added that he will not tolerate any escalation of lawlessness, insisting that “the government continues to invest heavily in security as a foundation for the successful execution of our economic and social agenda to develop Kaduna State.
“We all should jointly say no to actions that divide people, reject conduct that ignores or violates the legal and constitutional rights of others and oppose practices that contest the prerogatives of state institutions to safeguard and protect every citizen.”He said.
He explained that Kaduna State is persuaded that the interests of accountability and transparency are best served by a judicial commission of inquiry that will allow all claims to be tested with judicial rigour.
The governor reassured citizens that they can go about their normal activities, but he urged vigilance and prompt reporting of any suspicions.
“Let us all redouble our commitment to sustaining the peace, and to uphold each other in our God-given humanity.”