By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna has said that the number of Fulanis killed in the recent attack on communities in Kajuru Local Government Area of his state has risen to 130.
The governor had previously announced that about 66 were killed in the attack, an assertion which was questioned by many of his critics.
But briefing State House correspondents in Abuja after a security meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari along with his counterparts from Borno and Adamawa states, Ibrahim Shettima and Mohammed Bindow, respectively, he described as irresponsible those who questioned the veracity of his claim.
He said that he had applied for the deployment of armed security men to flash point areas in the state to ensure adequate security in the forthcoming elections.
The governor, who briefed President Buhari on the development in his state,
said that the latest figure of 130 death in the Kujuru was contained in a report provided through an on-going investigation by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF).
He said, “Now, what we are hearing, the last report we got is that over 130 people were killed not even 66.”
El-Rufai added that Fulani leaders have already indicated interest to provide the full list of those killed in the attack to the government.
He assured that that his government was ready to make public, the pictures of the victims and footages of how the army helped to bury the dead two days after they were killed because their bodies were decomposing.
While attacking those who disputed his account, he stated: “Now, what we are hearing, the last report we got is that, over 130 people were killed not even 66. And the Fulani leaders are providing the names of all these people, we have the list and we will release it to the press.
“And I don’t want to be gross but we can release pictures of the people killed and how the army had to be there to help bury them two days after they were killed because the bodies were decomposing. But some people are being irresponsible, they are pretending this has not happened because it does not fit their ethnic or partisan narrative.
“It is totally irresponsible because this can happen to anyone of us.”
He further explained that the reason behind his appeal to the affected people for calm was because he knew that those that lost their relations could take laws into their own hands for revenge unless they perceived that the government was doing something to secure justice.
On the meeting with the President, El-Rufai said that he requested for enhanced military presence during the forthcoming election on February 23 and March 9 in the state.
He added: “In Kaduna State, we requested for enhanced military presence in particular locations that are either affected by rural banditry, these are the local government of Birnin-Gwari/Giwa Angchukwu and areas where there has been a history of either electoral violence or ethno-religious intolerance.
“We have already mapped out local arrangements with the garrison commander and the commissioner of police and we have made adequate arrangements to ensure that every citizen of Kaduna State will be free to vote in an atmosphere of peace and security.
“We got assurances from Mr. President that whatever security assets we need in addition to what is already on ground to ensure peaceful abs hitch-free elections on Saturday, those assets will be provided. All we need to do is ask.”
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Abdulrahman, has said that 11 persons have been arrested for the killings in Kujuru Local Government Area and will be arraigned in court on Thursday.