By Ibrahim Umar
An officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, and three others were reportedly killed in a religious violence that broke out in Padongari, a town in Rafi local government area of Niger state. The violence followed the killing of one Methodus Emmanuel, a 24-year-old trader in Padongari accused of blasphemy, and killed on Sunday. However, the 31 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army said the intervention of troops had brought peace to the town. Its spokesman Njideka Agwu said “a dusk-to-dawn curfew was imposed in the town.” Agwu said the rioters torched a religious house, a house and a shop while 25 other shops were looted. She added that hoodlums involved in the violence and looting blocked the Lagos – Kaduna road, a major highway connecting the northern and southern parts of the country.
“As part of measures to de-escalate tension and ensure lasting peace in the town, the military is working with the local government council authorities and community leaders, including the Kagara Emirate Council, to pacify all aggrieved parties and build on the peace so far established.” She said those arrested for the violence had been handed over to the police.