Chaos In Kaduna Over Burning Of Shops

Aug. 31, 2011

KADUNA – There is tension in Kaduna State following reports that two shops belonging to Christians which were among those rebuilt after they were razed in the last April  election violence in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area,  were burnt again.

   By yesterday morning, the situation had become tensed in Kaduna, as text messages either blaming Christians or Muslims for the incident flew around, while security was beefed up around the city.

Meantime, the government sent warning signals to the residents against the rumour, to douse the tension, even as Christian and Muslim camps, on learning about the fire incident, were said to have evacuated their families, with youths on both sides beefing up security as they expected the other side to strike first.

There were  two accounts o+n the fire which started around 2 a.m. yesterday. Director of State Security Service, SSS, in Kaduna State, Mr. Yomi Samba, said 10 traders, mostly dealing in foodstuff, were affected by the fire incident.

According to Emmanuel Musa, the incident was caused by some vandals who wore black T-shirts and trousers, adding that their aim was to chase away the few non-Muslim traders in the market.

Another account said it was Christian youths that carried out the arson to force Muslim traders to relocate to a new market site, which they had earlier rejected for fear of their safety.
Alhaji Ayuba Garanti, Chairman Kaduna State Butcher Association, however, confirmed that no life was lost in the market as a result of the arson.

He said: “The incident happened around 2  O clock in the morning while it was thought everybody was asleep but people around the area quenched the fire  but not before it had razed two shops containing various commodities belonging to different traders.”