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The Nigerian Inspector General of of Police, Mr Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, has angrily denied the claims by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State chapter, for alleging that over 800 people were killed by the rampaging Islamist Fulani Herdsmen.
IG of Police, Mr Idris Ibrahim and President Muhammadu Buhari.
At a press conference in Kafanchan last Thursday, the Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kafanchan, Ibrahim Yakubu, said bandits had attacked four local government areas in Southern Kaduna, killing over 800 people since their new offensive enbolden by the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari and inaction of Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
At a dinner organised for top brass of Police hierarchy, yesterday, IG of Police Idris, commended them, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, for their support since he assumed office last year.
According to him, an on-spot assessment of the crisis by him across the Southern Kaduna settlements proved contrary to the allegation that over 800 people were killed in the attacks by bandits.
The IG said: “I went to Kafanchan Monday by road and visited all the villages; it was marvelous what I saw. Policemen were alert and on the ground in all the villages visited. I went to Kafanchan, Jere, Gwoma and Kwoi respectively, I saw people in festive mood enjoying themselves.”
While faulting CAN’s claim for the alleged killings of over 800, he said: “We have people coming to the media to say that there are 800 corpses in these places.
“This is sickening because when people from outside the country hear this kind of thing, they would think that something is wrong with this country.
“There is need for our leaders to love this country more than they love themselves. It is sickening for somebody to go on the news and say that he saw 800 corpses.
“Even in Rwanda, where there was genocide, I don’t think anybody can quote that kind of figures. It is very sickening. Here you have somebody who says he is a religious leader saying all these.”
The police boss berated political and religious leaders for lacking patriotism, stressing that some of them are yet to imbibe the principles of true leadership principles.
He said: “Whether you are a religious, political or community leader, you should have some principle and that is what is lacking here; we should have love for Nigeria as a country. This is one thing (patriotism) that an average American doesn’t lack.”
Commending the anti-kidnapping squad for living up to expectation, he said police had arrested five suspected kidnappers of the former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Bagudu Hirse, who was kidnapped in November last year in Kaduna.
He said the five suspects would soon be paraded at the force headquarters after all necessary investigations into their activities had been concluded.