- As Suspected Kurdish militants kill two in car bombing in Turkey’s Izmir
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered security agencies to take decisive measures to bring an end to the recurring acts of violence and destruction in the southern part of Kaduna State. This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu.
Shehu said that already, on the directive of President Buhari, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, was in Southern Kaduna on Saturday and Sunday to assess the situation. He said that in addition to the conventional policemen deployed to the area, a squadron of mobile policemen had now been stationed there to ensure law and order.
According to the Presidential aide, Nigerian army is also in the process of setting up two battalions in Southern Kaduna, while the military continues to carry out air surveillance across flash points of the area. “President Buhari has equally directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to carry out a joint assessment of the situation with the sister agency in Kaduna, SEMA, to determine the level of response required for urgent aid to the victims of the violence.
“These measures should soon ensure the return of normalcy to the region, while the Kaduna State government continues its peace building efforts,’’ he added. He said that the President condoled with the people of Southern Kaduna, who have lost loved ones in the recent violence.
President Buhari had been heavily criticised by the National leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN) over the manner the federal government was handling the Southern Kaduna killings. CAN described President Muhammadu Buhari’s silence on the matter as sad and unacceptable.
Briefing journalists in Abuja on the crisis last week in Southern Kaduna, CAN National General Secretary, Rev. Musa Asake, said although the church in Nigeria has been subjected to a “systemic genocide and persecution through the instrumentality of Boko Haram, which has killed thousands of Christians and destroyed churches and over 50,000 houses since 2009, the current unprecedented onslaught against Christians in southern Kaduna by Islamic fundamentalists disguising as Fulani herdsmen had reached an alarming stage.”
Other critics had said while Buhari was always quick to issue a statement when killings happened abroad, he had been quiet when such killings took place in Nigeria. Defending the cold silence of Pres. Buhari over the serial killings in Southern Kaduna, the presidency last week said that President Muhammadu Buhari had been mute because the state Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, had been on top of the situation.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, on a Channels Television’s programme: Sunrise Daily, said that it was needless for the president to speak on the bloodletting in the restive part of the North-western state since the governor assured that he was in full control of the violent crisis and had been briefing his boss regularly.
In the meantime, suspected Kurdish militants clashed with police and detonated a car bomb in western Turkey on Thursday after their vehicle was stopped at a checkpoint, killing a police officer and a court employee, officials said.
The explosion and gunfire outside the main courthouse in Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city, highlighted the country’s deteriorating security five days after a gunman killed 39 people in a New Year’s Day mass shooting at an Istanbul nightclub.
Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said a much larger attack was apparently being planned, based on the weapons found at the scene in Izmir, which is located on the Aegean coast. The local governor said the arms included Kalashnikov rifles, hand grenades and ammunition for rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
“Based on the preparation, the weapons, the bombs and ammunition seized, it is understood that a big atrocity was being planned,” Kaynak told reporters.
Izmir police shot dead two of the attackers and were hunting a third, a police source and the state-run Anadolu agency said.
Two people, believed to have sold the vehicle used in the attack to the assailants, were subsequently detained, security sources said.
Initial findings suggested that Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants were behind the attack, Izmir governor Erol Ayyildiz said.
He said a second vehicle had been detonated in a controlled explosion. Anadolu said police suspected the attackers had planned to escape in this vehicle.
NATO member Turkey is part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Syria and is also battling an insurgency by the PKK in the largely Kurdish southeast.
It regularly bombs PKK camps in northern Iraq and its military operations in Syria also aim to stop Kurdish militias it sees as an extension of the PKK from gaining territory there.
“Turkey will be instrumental in its region. These (attacks) will never prevent us from being present in areas like Iraq and Syria, which produce terrorists like viruses,” Kaynak said.
The Citizen with additional report from MSN