Nigeria to bolster security in Kaduna state


Nigeria will deploy troops and police to reduce violence in the northern state of Kaduna, the acting president’s spokesman said, as ethnically charged violence pressures a government already fighting Boko Haram in the north-east.

Clashes between Muslim herders and Christian farmers have killed hundreds in the region over the last few years. The violence is partly over land use in Nigeria’s middle belt region and some northern areas, but also has religious overtones in a country almost evenly split between two faiths.

Police said 32 people were killed on Tuesday in clashes between herdsmen and villagers in Kajuru local government area of southern Kaduna. Troops were deployed to the area in April amid an outbreak of inter-communal violence.
“Acting President Yemi Osinbajo ordered further security reinforcements in Kaduna state following reports of communal clashes,” presidency spokesman Laolu Akande said.

He said strengthened security would comprise troops and police special forces, adding “the number of the personnel will be determined by the military and the police authorities”.

Heightened tensions in Kaduna comes as security forces in the north-east are contending with a series of attacks by suspected members of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram that have killed at least 62 people since June 7.

Osinbajo is acting president in the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari, who vowed to restore order in Nigeria when he came to power in May 2015.

Buhari handed over power to his deputy, Osinbajo, when he travelled to Britain on May 7 on medical leave for treatment of an unspecified ailment.