The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar-led Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has blamed the lingering Southern Kaduna crisis on some elders who have turned the situation to a pot of cash and rights’ groups crying more than the bereaved.
By AbdulGafar Alabelewe, Kaduna
JNI said unguarded utterances of some citizens, including elder statesmen, whom it said were making economic fortunes out of the Southern Kaduna crisis, were making peace difficult in the region.
The apex Islamic also said some individuals and groups who have been crying more than the bereaved over Southern Kaduna killings, were sabotaging government efforts in restoring peace to the region.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by its Secretary-General Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the JNI called on both the Federal and State governments to act fast to ensure that such groups do not jeopardise the already fragile situation, but step up efforts to bring an end to the crises.
The statement reads: “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 JNI 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, 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 deterrent. It is hardly imaginable that such dastardly acts could still re-occur 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.
“Hence, the JNI is seriously perturbed by such re-occurrences particularly that, the JNI National Headquarters is hosted in Kaduna State.
“The ICIPH which has its head office in Kaduna with the Sultan of Sokoto co-Chairing it, is ever ready to partner with the Kaduna state government in finding lasting solutions for the restoration of peace.”
The group commiserated with the families of the unrest in Southern Kaduna.
“We must not however relent in fervent prayers to Allah, for an end to the too many bloodbaths in Nigeria, while calling on government at all levels, as well as security agencies to do more in tackling insecurity in Nigeria, as there would not be development without peace and security,” the statement said