From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Council of Imams and Ulama Kaduna State has expressed dismay over the politicization of the security challenge in state, saying it is worrisome.
The Chairman of the Council, Sheikh Ibrahim Nakaka, made the assertion during a press conference held in Kaduna yesterday.
The Council reacting was to a statement recently credited to Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Rev Joseph Ayab, said such a politicization
will lead to breakdown of law and order in the state if urgent steps are not taken.
“The politicization of the security challenge in Kaduna State by the CAN chairman, for only God-knows why, is worrisome and he should be called to order before it’s too late.
“ Failure to do this, the consequences of his unbridled verbiage will no doubt lead to breakdown of law and order in the State if urgent steps are not taken.
“As critical stakeholders in the State, we will no longer fold our arms and watch the divisive rhetoric of Reverend Hayab, which is endangering the lives of innocent citizens and pitching the people of Kaduna State and indeed Nigeria, against each other.
“On the 9th August 2019, the CAN Chairman, in a widely circulated press statement, had claimed that over 500 Christians have been kidnapped in the last two years and over N300 million has been paid as ransom to Fulani kidnappers.
“Significantly, this statement is as divisive as it is patently false, especially the claim that kidnappers only abduct Christians in Kaduna State.
“Kidnapping has become a nationwide security challenge and the criminals as well as their victims cut across ethno-religious divides.
“For instance, along Birnin Gwari-Kaduna Road alone, between 22nd June and 30th July 2019, over 55 persons have been kidnapped and over 20 persons were killed, including five Nigerian Air Force and Army personnel, according to news reports.
“Specifically, majority of the citizens killed and kidnapped along Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi and Abuja-Kaduna roads and the border towns with Niger, Katsina and Zamfara States have been Muslims.
“However, we never viewed the unfortunate situation from a religious angle. In fact, we have always condemned the act of criminality and have called on the State and Federal Governments to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians, irrespective of where they are or how they worship.
“If we may ask , where was Rev Hayab when on the 24 July 2018, Professor Halima Idris, former Commissioner of Education in Katsina State was killed along Kaduna-Abuja Road by kidnappers?
“Where was he on 18 September 2017, when Sherrif Abidu Yazid was killed on the same Kaduna-Abuja Road by bandits who also went away with his wife?
“ Even recently, top civil servants from Zamfara State where kidnapped and killed on 16 July 2019 along Kachia-Kaduna road, what did the likes of Rev Hayab say about all these killings? “ the statement reads.