A judicial commission of inquiry is to be established to look into the recent massacre in Zaria, the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, announced on Thursday.
In a press statement issued by Governor El-Rufai’s spokesman, Samuel Arwan, the governor assured the people of Kaduna State that the government is committed to securing the State and upholding the rights of every citizen.
“We have witnessed sad events in Zaria,” the governor declared. “There have been tragic consequences and the needless loss of lives, and we extend our condolences to the families that have been affected.”
Governor El-Rufai disclosed that the government ordered that steps be taken to address the humanitarian fallouts of the security operations, and that the composition and terms of reference of the commission of inquiry will be announced within two weeks.
He noted that while everyone has a fundamental right to their faiths and beliefs, no one has any right to practice their faith in ways that diminish, distress, or inconvenience others.
“Henceforth, no person or group, under any guise will be allowed to block any road, obstruct public highways, occupy public facilities, or inconvenience citizens in Kaduna State. Anybody that needs to march may do so, but they cannot take over public facilities or disrupt social services and commercial activities in Kaduna State, and any march or procession can be undertaken only with the prior knowledge of, and protection of the police to prevent the breakdown of law and order.”
Enumerating what the government has learnt from security reports regarding the events in Zaria, the governor explained that he believed that the interests of accountability and transparency are best served by a judicial commission of inquiry.
He said the commission of inquiry will be set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, and that it will examine the immediate and remote causes of the Zaria incident, and assemble a factual and authoritative account that the government can study and act upon.
Governor El-Rufai warned that he will not tolerate any escalation of lawlessness, insisting that, “the government continues to invest heavily in security as a foundation for the successful execution of our economic and social agenda to develop Kaduna State.”
Noting that Kaduna State has endured too many upheavals in its recent history, he called for a collective stance for peace.
“We all should jointly say no to actions that divide people, reject conduct that ignores or violates the legal and constitutional rights of others, and oppose practices that contest the prerogatives of State institutions to safeguard and protect every citizen,” he said.
He reassured citizens that they can go about their normal activities, but urged vigilance and prompt reporting of anything suspicions.