- The Sultan of Sokoto, Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar III, has warned Southern Kaduna leaders against inflammatory comments that would further aggravate the crisis situation in the area.
Scores of persons have recently been killed in Southern Kaduna, and this has triggered reactions from stakeholders in the polity.
Expressing concern over the unfortunate blood-letting and serial killings in the area, the JNI in a statement signed yesterday by the Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, said inflammatory comments by leaders in the area had narrowed the path to a resolution of the crisis, describing it as condemnable in its entirety.
The group also said it strongly believed that the politically-driven crisis was being deliberately turned into ethno-religious conflict of worrisome dimension.
According to JNI, since ethno-religious conflicts are very difficult to resolve, efforts should be made to avoid them.
The statement read: “The Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, under the leadership of Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and its President-General, observed carefully with serious concern the unfortunate unfolding events of blood-letting and serial killings, as well as the resultant inflammatory commentaries being aired which are utterly condemnable in their entirety.
“We strongly believe that the politically-driven crisis is being deliberately turned into ethno-religious conflict of worrisome dimension. Thus, we call for caution and restraint from all parties involved.
“It should, however, be noted that ethno-religious conflict isn’t easily manageable and hence, we must all rise to the occasion to forestall its recurrence in Kaduna state, as it is often said, a stitch in time saves nine!
“We have nonetheless observed with dismay the unguarded utterances of some citizens including elder statesmen, who through the print, electronic and social media, are at best should be doing everything possible to curtail the tensed situation but instead prefer to serve as conflict entrepreneurs in exasperating the already worsened situation.
“Therefore, all hopes should not be lost in tackling the matter, the government should do more and whosoever is found wanting should accordingly be brought to book, as Nigerians are tired of the lingering crises bedeviling the Southern Kaduna region and by extension the entire country.
“In addition, government must do everything possible to bring an end to the fracas and change the narrative of violence to that of peace. It is time that culprits be identified and punished so as to serve as a deterrent.
“It is hardly imaginable that such dastardly acts could still recur in Kaduna State, despite several efforts to bring peace and harmony through the good works of the Kaduna Peace Commission and the International Center for Interfaith Peace and Harmony, ICIPH, hosted in Kaduna, Kaduna State, in collaboration with the JNI National Headquarters and the Christian Council of Nigeria, which the Executive Governor of Kaduna State personally commissioned sometimes in August, 2016.
“The JNI is seriously perturbed by such recurrence, particularly that, the JNI National Headquarters is hosted in Kaduna State.
“It is very clear that some interest groups cried wolf than the bereaved in the present circumstance and thus, the need for government to quickly act before such interest groups exacerbate the already precarious situation that could jeopardize frantic efforts aimed at restoring law and order through dialogue and commitment for peace with all relevant stakeholders in the state.
“The ICIPH which has its head office in Kaduna, with the Sultan of Sokoto co-chairing it, is ever ready to partner with Kaduna State government in finding lasting solutions to the crises and restore peace in the area.
“Meanwhile, we commiserate with the families of the victims of these inhuman attacks, and we particularly condole with the parents as well as guardians who lost their children/wards in the crises.
“May Allah, the Most High console them all, while those that sustained injuries, may He grant them quick recovery,” the statement added.