At least 55 people were confirmed dead in the latest communal clash in northern Nigerian state of Kaduna over the last few days.
Police Commissioner Ahmad Abdur-Rahman said the clashes between two communities in the Kasuwan Magani area of southern Kaduna had led to 22 arrests.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the violence in a statement issued late on Saturday.
Reacting to the violent clashes, President Buhari said the frequent resort to bloodshed by Nigerians over misunderstandings that can be resolved peacefully, is worrisome.
According to the President, “No culture and religion support the disregard for the sanctity of life,” adding that “peaceful coexistence is necessary for the progress of any society and its wellbeing.”
He noted that without communal harmony, the environment for the conduct of “our everyday businesses would be impossible to achieve.”
President Buhari explained that “violence cannot be an alternative to peace. On the contrary, reliance on violence leads to ultimate self-destruction. Violence is an ill wind that blows nobody any good. Embracing peace is a necessity.”
In commending the Kaduna State government for its rapid response to the crisis, the President appealed to community leaders to engage in regular dialogue to nip imminent crises in the bud, while admonishing the people to develop the spirit of tolerance and patience at all times.
According to reports, the latest killings in Kaduna resulted from the clashes between young Christians and Muslims in Kasuwan Magani market..
The clashes followed a dispute among wheelbarrow porters.
Two persons were said to have been killed in the market fracas on Thursday. The violence was temporarily halted by police but Christian youth later mobilised and attacked Hausa residents, burning homes.
“Most of the killings were done in the second attack which took the Hausa community off guard,” said Muhammadu Bala, a Kasuwar Magani resident who lost his home.
Kaduna state police commissioner Ahmad Abdur-Rahman told reporters on Friday 22 people had been arrested in connection with the violence.
The Kaduna state government also imposed a round-the-clock curfew in Kasuwan Magani on Friday.
A similar crisis in February left at least 10 people dead and hundreds of homes and businesses burnt.
Over 60 people are facing charges over the February violence.