THE Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), on Wednesday, expressed worry over what it termed as the pettiness of some political and religious leaders over the Southern Kaduna crisis.
A statement by the group, signed by its General Secretary, Dr Khalid Aliyu, observed that hate speeches and fabrications by some selfish leaders in the area had exacerbated the crisis, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported on Wednesday.
It described as unfortunate, the deliberate attempt to manipulate reports coming out of the area with the aim of whipping up sentiments and escalating the crisis
“More worrisome was the ineptitude and pettiness from some religious leaders and individuals with sinister motives and political undertones alongside intent to foment trouble and imbalance reportage.
“Also at some quarters, unguarded utterances full of exaggerations, beating the drums of war were the order of the day.”
The JNI added that those engaged in the propaganda were doing so to plant the seed of discord and acrimony through hate speech and unguarded statements.
“Thank God, security agencies considered the alleged given figures as mere exaggerations.
“Additionally, a formidable Christian group rejected the call of dressing in mourning attire of black clothes.
“However, JNI is really worried with these aforementioned and ugly developments of accusations and counter-accusations from religious leaders, which could lead to an unending conflict.
“Nonetheless, as always, we reiterate that human life is sacred and should be treated so.
“It should be, however, noted that the 2011 post -election violence is still fresh in our memories, particularly the documented gruesome murder of Muslims.
“The then Federal Government had to set up a committee in order to investigate the immediate and remote causes that led to the saga and further advise the government.
“Likewise the Kaduna State government constituted a reconciliatory committee.
“It doesn’t matter the length of time, one day, perpetrators would be brought to justice, sooner or later.
“This is so opined because an adage says; “If the witch forgets, the mother of the bewitched son forgets not.”
It said the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, who is also the President-General of JNI, had however, called for calm and restraint.
Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 17 Southern states, on Wednesday, berated Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, for alleged complicity in the killing of Christians in the state.
Secretary of CAN in the region, Dr Joseph Aka Ajujungwa, who spoke alongside the chairman of CAN in the South-East, Most Reverend (Professor) David Eberechukwu, in separate press statements, declared that the group was holding el-Rufai responsible for the murder of hundreds of Christians in Kaduna State.
They said it was regrettable that the governor, who took oath of office to protect lives and properties in the state was now looking the other way while residents of the Southern Kaduna were being slaughtered.
“The nonsensical killings in the Southern Kaduna cannot be justified in whatever way and, as such, the CAN is holding Governor el-Rufai responsible for the activities of Fulani herdsmen in the area.
“How can the chief security officer of the state watch Christians die in their numbers even at a time he placed curfew on them? This is why we hold him responsible for the killings.
“It is even more surprising that at this point when we should be talking of solutions, some Muslim groups are busy attacking Christian leaders and calling for their arrest merely because they spoke out against these barbaric killings.
“The governors in the Southern region made concerted efforts, which saw to the end of the violent activities of these herdsmen, but in the case of Kaduna State, el-Rufai’s body language is questionable,” they noted.
They alleged that the development was “a subtle way to kill all the Christians in Kaduna State. We have seen it as a way of using the Funali herdsmen to destroy the Christian foundation in Kaduna and Nigeria in general.
They called on President Muhammadu Buhari “to quickly intervene in the ongoing killings by taking decisive action before the situation gets out of control.
“We want to make it clear that no matter the level of intimidation, the CAN would not fold its hands and watch this atrocity continue. We won’t be coerced into keeping quiet while our members are being mowed down in thousands.
“We, therefore, call on Christians and the good people of Nigeria to be vigilant and watchful so that these herdsmen will not take them unawares any longer.”