El-Rufai begs airlines, NRC to resume services to Kaduna

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The governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has called on airlines and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to resume operations to the northwest state.

He made the appeal following the lifting of the 24-hour-curfew he imposed on Kaduna metropolis and its environs in the wake of the tension generated by the killing of the Agom Adara, Dr. Maiwada Galadima, by suspected kidnappers.

Spokesman for the governor, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, said in a statement that the curfew would now commence from 5pm to 6am.

The chief with his wife were abducted penultimate Friday while a police orderly and three palace guards attached to the traditional ruler were killed.

Two days later, the wife was released while the kidnappers held her husband.

However, six days later, Galadima was killed and his corpse dumped near the bush along the Kaduna-Abuja highway at Kateri.

The body was taken to the St. Gerard’s Catholic Hospital, Kakuri in the state capital, forcing the government to reinstate the curfew earlier imposed on the state.

Aruwan said the review of the curfew was with immediate effect and requested that airlines and the NRC should “promptly resume services to Kaduna State.”

“From tomorrow, Monday, 29th October 2018, the curfew is relaxed from 6am to 5pm, daily. Residents of Kaduna metropolis, Kasuwan Magani, Kajuru, and Kateri now join the people of Kachi in having free movement during daytime hours.

“Banks and markets are expected to reopen and deliver services as usual. The Kaduna State government has also requested the airlines and the Nigerian Railway Corporation to promptly resume normal services to Kaduna,” said Aruwan in the statement.

However, in an interview with NewsGazette, spokesman for Air Peace, Mr. Chris Iwarah said the airline was still reviewing the situation.

“Once we are done with that, we will shortly announce a date for resumption,” he said.

It would be recalled that the airline had stopped its flights to the Kaduna International Airport following the Kasuwar Magani violence on October 19 which led to the death of in which hundreds of people were killed.

Consequently, the government imposed a 24-hour curfew on Kasuwar Magani and on Sunday extended the curfew to Kaduna town and its environs to forestall the any reprisal attacks.

Spokesman for Air Peace Mr. Chris Iwarah had said in an interview that the airline suspended its operations to the airport “until normalcy is restored.”

“If it was a half day curfew, we would have taken another approach to it but now what we heard is that the curfew is for 24 hours.

“We expect that this will not last for long, maybe a day or two and we can change our position, but for now, there is nothing we can do because we cannot risk the lives of our valued guests and crew.

“We don’t want anybody to be caught up in the clashes around that environment. We believe the government knows better,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) has deployed a detachment of Special Forces personnel to Kaduna to support the Internal Security operations in the troubled state.

Spokesman for NAF, Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said the detachment will join other NAF personnel in Kaduna and other security agencies to ensure that the spate of senseless killings in some parts of the state is brought to a complete end and normalcy expeditiously restored.

“The deployment is in addition to the earlier deployment of 2 helicopters and a DA-42 Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft on 22 October 2018, which have since been conducting aerial patrols over flash points in the state,” he said.

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