Council of Imams and Ulama, Kaduna State, has called on the federal government to arrest President of CAN along with his Secretary-General, SUKAPU, and Senator La’ah, among others, for making what they termed as ‘instigative’ statements over the killings in Southern Kaduna.
The call was made by the Islamic leaders at a press conference in Kaduna Monday at its headquarters in Kaduna.
The Council said, “These few cases and others drew the attention of the Council to call on the government to arrest and prosecute persons, who made inflammatory statements that instigated the crises.”
Those named for arrest includes: Reverend Zachariah Gado – chairman 19 District Church Council (DCC) Fellowship, Dr Samson Olasopu Ayokunle – the President Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) and its Secretary-General, Rev Dr Musa Asake.
Others are: Senator Danjuma La’ah – Senator representing Southern Kaduna Senatorial Zone, Barrister Sunday Marshall Katung – Member representing Zongon Kataf/Jaba Federal Constituency, Barrister Solomon Musa, SOKAPU President with all his executive members, Dr John Danfulani, and any persons found involved.
The statement added that, “Council is in support of the Federal and Kaduna State Governments in taking any measures legally to deal with any individual or group of persons without fear or favour with the intention of causing further disturbances or breach of peace, in order to have a lasting peace in the state,” it stressed.
the Council, however, commended the sense of maturity exhibited by the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir Ahmad EI-Rufai, and all the members of the state’s Security Council for not responding to the “provocation and molestation by some misguided and irresponsible women and youths of Southern Kaduna enclave,” while calling on all Imams and Ulama to pray for a permanent peace and economic prosperity in Kaduna State and the country in general.
Earlier, the Council noted that in the last one year, or so, Kaduna State had not been in peace resulting from the activities of some mischief makers and the reckless utterances of Southern Kaduna political and religious leaders.
“The Council of Imams and Ulama is most disturbed with the recent events in the southern part of the State, in particular the recent demonstration organized by persons, who don’t want peace in Kafanchan, which led to the merciless killings and destruction of property worth millions of Naira.
“To actualize their sentimental zeal by way of making insinuative statements that could destabilize the state, several news reports credited to Southern Kaduna political and religious leaders urging their people to take arms to defend themselves, and nothing was done to prevent its occurrence until the worse had happened. Thus, the situation degenerated into the senseless and merciless massacre of hundreds of Hausa/Fulani Muslims in that area,” they said.
Some of these obnoxious statements made, according to the Council, among others, could be summarized, thus: “On Tuesday, October 18th, 2016, Barrister Sunday Marshall Katung, a member representing Zangon Kataf/Jaba Federal Constituency, said in a statement, “the people of Southern Kaduna might be left with no option than to resort to self help should the Federal Government failed to act fast.”
“On Thursday, November 18, 2016, the Chairman of the 19 Fellowship of District Church Council (DCC), Reverend Zachariah Gado, in a press statement on the creation of grazing reserves called on the State and Federal Governments to restore all occupied areas to their rightful owners, saying, ‘failure to do so would not only encourage further lawlessness but could compel the owners of the villages to resort to forceful means to recover their ancestral lands.’ ”
“On Wednesday, November 24h, 2016, the President of the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), Dr Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, while speaking in Abuja alleged that, “102 Christians were killed, 50,000 houses burnt, while another 215 injured since May, 2015, by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Kaduna state.”
“On December 24th, 2016, Mr. Danjuma La’ah, the Senator representing Southern Kaduna Senatorial Zone, appealed to his people to ‘henceforth defend themselves, their lives and property against such attacks,’ but contradicted himself by adding that, ‘they should not take the law into their hands.’ ”
“On Monday, December 26th, 2016, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), an indivisible part of the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), issued a very inflammatory press statement making a wild allegation against the Muslims as well as accusing the Kaduna State Governor of complicity in all the crises,” it maintained.
According to them, the foregoing statements worsened the security situation in the area, even while the “victims are still mourning the death, nursing the wounded and counting their losses, and in spite of the efforts by all relevant stakeholders to restore peace in the troubled areas, one trouble maker, Dr John Danfaulani, featured in Sunday interview of The AUTHENTIC News Magazine where he was quoted as saying, “the only solution to Southern Kaduna crises is bearing of arms by everybody.”
“No wonder, some people had already heeded to the advice and stockpiling weapons. In the same vein, 17 Christian Militias were recently arrested by the Police Joint Tactical Operation Squad attached to the Operation Harmony. One of the suspects, Nelson Kpok, aged 48 years, confirmed that he has been running arms for several years, while another Yakubu Dangana told journalists that he has possessed the gun to defend himself. The suspects were also found with large catchment of AK-47s, local guns, ammunitions and N400,000.00 in cash, and two others were also arrested in Kagoma by the Army.
“The failure of previous governments to punish the perpetrators of past crises led to all subsequent crises in the State. For example, The Justice Okadigbo’s Tribunal of 1992 on Zangon Kataf crises found General Zamani Lekwot (Rtd) and five others guilty and sentenced them to death, which was not executed.
“The White Paper of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Kaduna State Religious disturbances of 2001 recommended for further investigation and reprimand of Elder Saidu Dogo, Archbishop P.Y. Jatau, Archbishop B.A. Achigili.