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Scramble In Kaduna As Residents Flee
While the members of the Hausa community trooped to markets to transact business shops belonging to mostly southerners resident in the city remained firmly locked.
Though there was palpable apprehension around the city, scores of combat-ready soldiers were on red alert around mosques and other strategic places in the state capital, ostensibly to forstal possible outbreak of law and order after Jumu’at service.
However, there was no report of any major crisis in the state after the Muslim prayer, demystifying the earlier notion that non-Muslims could be attacked on Friday.
At the Sultan Bello Mosque Kaduna, where many Muslims converged to pray, the Chief Imam admonished worshippers on the need to stay peacefully with adherents of other religions, just as he reminded them about the sanctity of life, as no one should be killed unjustly.
Our correspondent, who went round the city, observed very long queues at fuel stations and at ATM because banks on the ever -busy Ahmadu Bello Way remained closed to business.
A few Hausa traders were seen at the Central market, but the majority of Igbo and Yoruba traders did not open their shops.
However, the situation was different at the Kasuwan Barchi in Tudun Wada part of the city, as the market was besieged by hundreds from the neighboring Hausa communities, who rushed to restock their food stores before 4pm.
At the Ondo Transport terminus near Lagos Street and the Mando Garage, hordes of people were seen rushing to board the few vehicles around fleeing the city.
Earlier, the state Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa had, in a broadcast, announced that the curfew had been reduced to 4p m and described the recent crisis that necessitated it as sad, unfortunate and uncalled for.
Part of his address read: “We have been having close consultation with the security agencies, traditional and religious leaders on the way forward. We also recognize the passion of our citizens for honouring and observing the tenets of their respective religions.”
“ We covet the prayers of all for peace and security of the land and assure all and sundry that we shall continue to do everything possible to protect lives and properties in the length and breadth of the state.”
“We want the adherents of the two main religions in the state to use the two days to fast and pray for the peace of the state. Based on this, we have decided to create a window to allow the adherents of the two religions to pray in their places of worship nearest to them, and have therefore reviewed the curfew hours for only these two days to run as follows: “Friday 22nd June 2012 - from 12 noon to 4pm. Members are allowed to go and pray in their mosques. Saturday 23rd June 2012 – 24 hours curfew. Sunday 24th June 2012 - from 9am to 1pm, members are allowed to go and worship in their churches.
“The windows that have been created are specifically to allow our citizens to go to their places of worship and pray for the peace of our land. It is therefore hoped that they use this opportunity to pray for peace, forgiveness of one another, healing to the wounded and comfort to the bereaved. It is further hoped that we would be orderly and peaceful as we go to observe our prayers at our places of worship and also return peacefully to our homes.
“The state government is appealing to Imams and Pastors to admonish their adherents on the need to ensure peaceful coexistence and tolerance for one another and to be our brother’s keepers, while all are advise to shun rumour mongering and ignore mischievous texts messages that are meant to cause further chaos in the state.”Share