The curfew imposed by the Kaduna State government on Kafanchan and its environs in Jema’a local government area following reprisal attacks by irate youths along the Kafanchan-Kogoro road on Sunday has taken a heavy toll on residents and traders who are lamenting their loses.
The Kaduna State government declared a 24 hour curfew to quell the reprisal attacks by youths protesting an attack by Fulani herdsmen in which about 20 people were killed in Godogodo Chiefdom on Saturday.
The rampaging youths had set up road blocks along the Kafanchan-Kagoro road on Sunday burning several vehicles in the process.
The government on Tuesday reduced the curfew time from 24 hours to between 6pm and 6am, leaving the residents 12 hours of movement.
When our reporter visited the town yesterday, residents and traders lamented the hardship the curfew had inflicted on them as they said that businesses, especially those conducted at night had collapsed making them lose huge amounts.
Those suffering loses are the hospitality sector, supermarkets, filling stations and other small scale traders who are said to be losing millions of naira daily to the restriction of movement.
Also when the icirnigeria.org visited some commercial banks at about 3.00 pm on Wednesday, most of their Automated Teller Machines, ATM, were out of cash as several bank customers were seen on long queues.
While normal banking services were running in the town, most of the banks appeared helpless about the inability of their ATMs to dispense cash to their customers.
A staff of one of the commercial banks in the town told our reporter that they could not load the ATMs “because we are facing shortage of cash in the bank.”
Traders who spoke to the icirnigeria.org lamented that they were facing the worst time in business. “We make money at evenings when people go out for leisure, but with this curfew, no one is coming and you know what that means to our business”, says Abraham Tanko, a Bar manager.
For Ibrahim Suleiman who makes money from grilled chicken “life has been hard since Sunday and if this continue, hunger will take over the land.”
Security men remained visible in the metropolis and surrounding community as peace is gradually returning to the troubled town.
The interim Chairman, Jema’a local government, Bege Katuka, has announced that the curfew would remain in force until normalcy return to the area.
Katuka said the measure was to further check breaches of the law by youths who were setting up illegal road blocks in the council.
The chairman, therefore, urged residents to remain calm and not to take the law into their hands.
He also urged them to remain in-doors within the curfew time, explaining that the curfew was to allow the security agents carry out operations to restore peace.
Kafanchan has remained a flash point of crisis in Kaduna State for years resulting from religious and communal tensions with herdsmen attacks as the latest to hit the area.