Sola Ojo,, Kaduna
Council of Imams and Ulama, Saturday, disagreed with the position of Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) over the security challenge in Kaduna state.
The Islamic group accused the CAN Chairman in the State, Rev Joseph Ayab of politicising the security challenge by giving it religious colouration.
At a press conference held at the headquarters of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) in Kaduna, the Council through its Chairman, Sheikh Ibrahim Nakaka, expressed concern over the possibility of religious crisis in the State based on CAN’s assessment of the security situation in the state.
Rev. Ayab had raised the alarm over the incessant kidnapping, killing of pastors, abduction of their wives and subsequent payment of ransom, which according to him, had cost churches in the state about N300 million.
But the Council of Ulama insisted that people of other religions had also fallen victims of these criminalities at one time or the other, saying “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.”
The statement read: “As critical stakeholders in the state, we will no longer fold our arms and watch the divisive rhetoric of Reverend Ayab, which is endangering the lives of innocent citizens and pitching the people of Kaduna State and indeed Nigeria, against one another.
“Ayab who is a politician in celestial robes, is hiding under the platform of CAN to execute a hidden agenda. As followers of the religion of peace, the Council of Ulama finds it pertinent to sound this alarm in order to forestall breakdown of law and order.”
The Council decried the alleged divisive statement credited to Ayab, claiming that over 500 Christians had been kidnapped in the last two years and over N300 million paid as ransom.”
Shiekh Ibrahim said: “this statement is as divisive as it is patently false, stressing that kidnapping and other related crimes affect all tribes and religions.
“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.
“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. On this past Friday, the CAN Chairman also resorted to telling his tall tales on television by dressing a security issue as a religious one.”
“We are appealing to people of goodwill and conscience to put these divisive elements to shame by ignoring their drumbeat of war.
“Muslims should work together with genuine Christian faithful in order to curb the activities of hate-mongers and purveyours of falsehoods in the name of evangelism.”
Culled from the Sun