Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Sunday condemned weekend’s protest by some villagers against troops in Kamaru Chawai, Chawai Chiefdom, Kauru Local Government.
The governor said the protest was unwarranted.
In a statement on Sunday by Internal Security and Home Affairs Commissioner Samuel Aruwan, the governor said the protest was triggered by an eyewitness’ account on an alleged killing of three persons in the village on Friday night.
The statement reads: “The eye-witness informed troops that the killers were strangers from outside the community, and spoke English. On Saturday evening however, some angry locals harassed the witness to change his earlier statement.
“In the process, some women attempted to burn their accommodation. The troops were able to stop the attempt and disperse the mob, although a patrol motorcycle and some personal belongings were burnt, including foodstuff.
“The local chief, Malam Jume Umaru, 77, who tried to caution the protesters against the violent action, was beaten to a pulp. He has been taken into safe custody by the military.
“Also, the youth leader of the village and four others were invited for questioning, as calm was eventually restored. The Sector 7 Commander, Col. David Nwakonobi has moved to the location and reached out to critical stakeholders.
“Governor Nasir el-Rufai on receiving the report, frowned at the conduct of some locals, recalling two prior similar incidents. He added that the protesters should have gone to the military intelligence with any emerging information, without resorting to violence.
“The governor added that troops and personnel are deployed to protect citizens, with some paying the supreme price and others incurring lifetime injuries. He thus reminded the citizenry to accord them due appreciation and collaboration against criminals.
“The governor commended the troops for being professional in handling the situation which could easily have escalated.
“He has directed that the violent protesters who burnt properties be fished out for appropriate action, and that the latest submission be incorporated into the ongoing investigation of the Friday killing.”