Nasir el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, has come under fire from religious leaders and traditional rulers over his threat to demolish Gonin Gora community, a Christian-dominated area along Kaduna – Abuja road.
On Saturday morning, during a state-wide broadcast, the governor threatened to demolish or relocate Gonin Gora community, if youth in the area refused to stop blocking roads and killing innocent people”.
However, according to the leaders, the decision of the governor was unfortunate and unacceptable, although they urged residents in the area to remain peaceful and law abiding.
The Sarki Samarina, Akila Luka, who spoke to SaharaReporters urged residents to remain calm and not to take law into their hands. He stressed that any attempt to demolish the community would not be resisted, adding that Gonin Gora is a settlement dominated by Christians.
According to Luka, the governor failed to threaten communities such as Mando, Nasarawa, Badiko, Ango Mazu, Pantaker and a host of others who are also guilty of the same accusation he levelled against Gonin Gora.
He said: “Anytime there is riot, people from these communities also block the highways indiscriminately. The governor has never said anything about those areas. Here in Gonin Gora, we don’t have problem; we are peaceful.”
Also speaking on the threat by the governor, Shekwolo Ayuba, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Chikun Local Government, urged residents to be peaceful and not to take laws into their hands. He expressed concern over the threat of demolition, noting that it would subject the residents to untold hardship.
“We don’t know what the governor means, but we will wait and see what will happen. For someone to wake up one day and said that he will demolish the entire community is unacceptable,” he said.
Gonin Gora, which is located along Kaduna – Abuja road, is a community of more than 800,000 people, and is home to a large percentage of Christians.
A press statement issued by Samuel Aruwan, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor (Media and Publicity) on Saturday after a meeting of a select committee of the Kaduna State Security Council, noted that 32 persons had been arrested in connection with the attacks in the state in recent times.
A 24-hour curfew is still imposed on parts of Kaduna State, while for residents of Kachia, there is freedom of movement daily from 6am to 5pm.