Several persons have been confirmed dead and dozens injured as locals in Kasuwan Magani, in Kajuru local government area of Kaduna state and Hausa youths clashed over girlfriends.
The crisis which started at about 10 Am on Monday left churches, mosque and shops razed down.
Residents of the area could not confirm the actual persons that lost their lives but the causality ranges from 3-10 according to different sources in the troubled area.
On their part, the Kaduna State police command confirmed the crisis that death of persons but said it was too early to ascertain the actual number of persons that lost their lives and those injured.
The PPRO of the command, Aliyu Mukhtar said, “the situation has been brought under control. We got a distress call this morning and the Commissioner of Police directed the Assistant Commissioner of Police operations to move to the area.
” As I talk to you now, the ACP is already there”.
He, however, said he cannot confirm the number casualty, as they were still carrying out an investigation. He also disclosed that no arrest has been made.
The Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai has condemned the attack and called on the relevant security agencies to ensure the prosecution of the culprits.
There are two versions of how the crisis actually started, One version claimed that Christians and Muslims were at logger heads for some time now in the area over Christian girls who were dating Muslims boys and Muslim girls who were dating Christian boys.
But another resident of the area told our correspondent that a Christian girl was abducted and forcefully converted to Islam and taken to the residence of the Sarkin (Chief of ) Kasuwan Magani and the locals mobilized to rescue the girl a development that angered the Muslim youths who mobilize to counter the move.
According to the resident, there have been suspicion and tension between the Christians and Muslims over an alleged move by the Youths to prevent Hausa boys from dating their girls.
But a Christian youths also resident in the area who did not want his name in print alleged that Muslims were abducting Christian girls and converting them to Islam and that is what the crisis was all about.
Sources said this problem had been a long-standing issue in the community.
Many residents especially women and children were said to have fled their homes to safe zones.
The community which is about 31 kilometres away from Kaduna city is located along the highway connecting Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue States as well as the southern part of Kaduna state.
Commuters plying that route were stranded for several hours following the incident.
Residents alleged that security personnel could did not arrive until around 2 pm when a combined team of soldiers and police were deployed to tackle the situation.
Reacting to the development, Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai has directed the prosecution of all persons responsible for what he described as a ‘mayhem’ that occurred in Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru local government area.
The government said, “security agencies must investigate this unfortunate incident, arrest and make available for prosecution the perpetrators”.
Samuel Aruwan, Governor El-Rufai’s spokesperson in a statement said government condemns the violence, and “regrets the wanton shattering of lives”.
He further disclosed that the government has expressed its sympathy to the victims and their families.
According to Aruwan, the government has directed the State Emergency Management Agency to take inventory of damages and provide relief materials with immediate effect.
The statement added that security forces have been deployed to contain the situation, protect lives and properties and to prevent any further breakdown of law and order.
The statement also added that “the government urges all citizens and communities to reject violence and division, and uphold their neighbours in peace and harmony”.