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28 years after, Kaduna government set up committee to draft white paper on Zangon-Kataf riots of February 1992

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The Kaduna government has set up an eight-member committee to draw up a white paper on two reports on the perennial crisis in Zangon-Kataf local government area of the state.

The committee is to work on the recommendations of the Justice Rahila Cudjoe Commission of Inquiry.

The commission drew up recommendations in the aftermath of the crisis in the state between February and May 1992.

The local government has witnessed a series of riots (between the Hausa and Atyap people) that have led to the loss of lives and property.

In a statement on Monday, Muyiwa Adekeye, special adviser to Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, said the committee would also look into the report of a reconciliation committee chaired by Usman Muazu, a retired air vice marshal.

Adekeye said both the Cudjoe and Muazu reports have not received the needed attention.

“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,” he said.

“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 rioting spread.

“But 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, 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 former governor of the state, with equal representation from the Atyap and Hausa communities.

“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 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.

“The first step in this process is the constitution of a committee to draft a white paper on the reports for the consideration of the Kaduna state executive council.”

Members of the committee are; Adamu Mansur, permanent secretary of the ministry of human services; Chris Umar, permanent secretary of the ministry of justice; and Abdullahi Sani, permanent secretary of the ministry of internal security and home affairs.

Others are; Habiba Shekarau, permanent secretary of the ministry of housing and urban development; Ibrahim Jere, permanent secretary, public service office; Phoebe Yayi, permanent secretary of the ministry of education; Aisha K. Mohammed, permanent secretary of the state’s civil service commission and Bulus Audu, senior special assistant at the Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS).

The committee has six weeks to turn in its white paper.

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