The death toll in Kajuru LGA of Kaduna state has risen from 66 to 130, Nasir el-Rufai, the governor, said on Tuesday.
Briefing journalists in Abuja after the security meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, el-Rufai said it was a case of genocide.
Chidi Odinkalu, former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, had queried the casualty figure released by the state government over the crisis.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) also said it was false.
El-Rufai said those doubting the Kajuru killings are “grossly irresponsible”.
He said: “I think that anybody that is still questioning whether these attacks took place or not is being grossly irresponsible. I think as the governor of the state, and everyone knows me and my records of public service, I would not be irresponsible enough to stand before the media and say something has happened that has not happened. I don’t work based on telephone calls for rumours.
“As governor of the state, the first thing I receive every morning is a security briefing on what happens in the last 24 hours. That is the first thing I read and I ask questions and I work on the basis of security briefings from the experts, the Garrison Commander, the commissioner of police, the head of the air force. We have every security agency in Kaduna state and they send me briefings including the DSS. I work only on that basis.
“Anybody that wants to contradict what I said should have superior information and it is impossible for you other than the president of the country to have superior information that I have about my state. So, people are being grossly irresponsible. I don’t know what their agenda is. But I know there is a prevailing narrative in the Nigerian media that only certain lives are more important than others. We see that clearly in the slant of reporting and the denial.”
He said the state was ready for the forthcoming elections nonetheless.
“In Kaduna state, we requested for enhanced military presence in particular locations that are either afflicted by rural banditry. These are the local government of Birnin-Gwari/Giwa Angchukwu and areas where there has been a history of either electoral violence or ethnoreligious intolerance,” he said.