Less than 24 hours to the presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled for Saturday, sixty-six people have been killed by gunmen in Kajuru Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State.
They were killed on Friday.
Among those killed are 22 children and 12 women.
Speaking on the incident, Nasir el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, expressed sadness at the development, and said the perpetrators would be brought to book.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Government has condemned the killing and warned all communities against instigating attacks or reprisals.
A statement issued by Samuel Aruwan, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor (Media and Publicity), on Friday, noted that four persons who sustained injuries have been rescued by security agencies and are now receiving medical attention.
The statement read: “Security agencies today reported the recovery of 66 bodies that were killed in attacks by criminal elements on various dispersed hamlets in the Maro Gida and Iri axis of Kajuru LGA.
The settlements affected include Ruga Bahago, Ruga Daku, Ruga Ori, Ruga Haruna, Ruga Yukka Abubakar, Ruga Duni Kadiri, Ruga Shewuka and Ruga Shuaibu Yau.
“Among the victims were 22 children and 12 women. Four wounded persons rescued by the security agencies are now receiving medical attention.
“Government condemns the attacks and commiserates with the families of the victims. Security agencies have been deployed to the area and arrests have been made.
Government urges community, traditional and religious leaders in the area to encourage residents to avoid any reprisal attacks and to leave the matter in the hands of the security and law enforcement agencies.
The killings are being investigated and residents are assured that indicted persons will be prosecuted.
“Residents of Kaduna State are enjoined to uphold peace and harmony, shun violence and allow the elections to be held in an atmosphere of calm.
Any suspicious activity should be reported to the security agencies in person or through the following lines: 09034000060 and 08170189999.”