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Kaduna Government sets up eight-member White Paper drafting committee - Zangon Kataf crisis

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Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
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calendar-icon Posted on: 2020-06-30 11:01:42
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The Kaduna State Executive Council has set up an eight-member committee to draft a White Paper on the two reports of the Justice Rahila Cudjoe Commission of Inquiry into the Zangon-Kataf riots of February and May 1992.
The eight-member committee comprises Adamu Mansur, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Human Services; Chris Umar, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice and Abdullahi Sani, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs.
The rest members of the committee are Habiba Shekarau, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Development; Ibrahim Jere, Permanent Secretary, Public Service Office and Phoebe Yayi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education as well as Aisha K. Mohammed, Permanent Secretary, Civil Service Commission and Bulus Audu, Senior Special Assistant at the Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS).
The Special Adviser to governor Nasir El-Rufai on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, in a statement said that the committee has six weeks to submit its report.
The statement explained that the events of 11th and 12th June, 2020 in Zangon-Kataf and Kauru local governments offer compelling evidence that these persistent contentions over farmlands is a conflict that has to be boldly addressed, rather than wished away.
It added that the Kaduna State Executive Council is determined to find a permanent solution to the perennial crises that keep erupting in Zangon Kataf local government area.
The statement further said that the White Paper drafting committee would also consider the 1995 report of the Zangon-Kataf Reconciliation Committee, chaired by Air Vice Marshall Usman Muazu.
It recalled that violent clashes broke out in Zangon-Kataf LGA on 11th June, 2020, between two communities that were reportedly disputing over ownership of farmlands whose place in the conflict is mentioned in the 1992 and 1995 reports.
The statement explained that the recommendations in both the Justice Cudjoe Commission of Inquiry and the Air Vice Marshall Mu’azu reports have not received comprehensive response or attention.
According to the statement, “No White Paper was drafted or adopted by the Dabo Lere government that established the Justice Cudjoe Commission and the Colonel Lawal Jafar Isa government that appointed the AVM Muazu Reconciliation Committee.”
The statement recalled that the February 1992 riots in Zangon-Kataf LGA led to 95 deaths and injuries to 233 persons.
The statement explained, “In the May 1992 riots, the death toll increased, with 1,528 persons killed in Zangon-Kataf and 305 others in Zaria, Ikara and other parts of the state to which the riot spread.”
The Special Adviser noted that the Federal Government of General Ibrahim Babangida detained and prosecuted some persons.
It noted that the elected government of Kaduna State, led by Alhaji Dabo Lere, did not produce a White Paper to set out its official position on the recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry.
On 30th November 1994, As stated by the statement, the military administrator of Kaduna State, Colonel Lawal Jafar Isa, appointed the Committee for Reconciliation and Search for Peace in Zangon-Kataf community, under the chairmanship of AVM Usman Muazu, himself a Ex-governor of the state, with equal representation from the Atyap and Hausa communities.
The AVM Muazu Reconciliation Committee, the statement added could not resolve three burning issues, including ownership of disputed farmlands, release of White Paper on the report of the Cudjoe Commission of Inquiry and the release of detainees.
It explained that following skirmishes a week earlier, disputes over the same farmlands again led to an outbreak of violence and killings in Zangon-Kataf and Kauru LGAs on Thursday, 11th June 2020.
This, the statement said compelled the State Government to impose a 24-hour curfew on the two LGAs, to contain the crisis and enable the return of law and order.
It said that it is unacceptable that one of the factors identified by the Justice Cudjoe Commission as an immediate cause of the 1992 carnage in Zangon-Kataf is still a trigger for murder and unlawful conduct, 28 years after that tragedy.
Therefore, the Kaduna State Government said it considers it vital for the promotion of peace and harmony and the rule of law that a comprehensive position be taken on the recommendations of the Justice Cudjoe Commission and the AVM Muazu Reconciliation Committee.
The first step the statement explained in the process is the constitution of a committee to draft a White Paper on the reports for the consideration of the Kaduna State Executive Council.

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