Religious Leaders Seek Stronger Muslim-Christian Relationship

Religious Leaders Seek Stronger Muslim-Christian RelationshipReligious leaders are seeking for stronger Muslim-Christian relations, to end the ethno-religious conflicts that have engulfed Southern Kaduna and other parts of Nigeria over the years.

The leaders, including the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, and Sheik Ahmed Gumi, made the call at the graduation ceremony of some clerics from the Christian-Muslim Relations Centre in Kaduna State.

They identified ignorance about the teachings of Islam and Christianity as largely responsible for the various ethno-religious conflicts across the country.

The clerics asked government to rise up to its responsibilities of protecting lives and property, and to also ensure that those responsible for the Southern Kaduna crises were brought to justice.

Speaking at the ceremony, the General Secretary of the Anglican Church Worldwide and Founder of the Centre, Bishop Idowu Fearon, noted that diversity in religion and tribe is a blessing from God and not a tool for division.

“Kaduna will become a state where Christians and Muslims, in spite of our differences, can work together for peace, freedom and the culture of respect,” he said.

On his part, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, condemned the killing of innocent people in Southern Kaduna by gunmen.

He also warned religious, political and traditional rulers against making inflammatory statements that can worsen the situation.

“The responsibility of all persons of faith is so immense, including the obligation to uphold truth and to promote ethical conduct and respect for others.

“Anybody that wishes to be magisterial to issue statements laden with certainty to their followers must first ensure that what they say, or what they are saying is not only factual, but does not violate any laws”, he warned.

The Christian-Muslim Relations Centre is founded to serve as a veritable platform for genuine interaction, and to promote harmonious relationship among Christians and Muslims in Kaduna State.

Stakeholders expressed hope that the engagement would continue to promote interfaith platforms for religious scholars and leaders, as well as foster religious freedom among others.

Kaduna Government Labels IMN Insurgent Group

Kaduna Govt. Begins Construction Of Township RoadsThe Kaduna State government has described the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), as an insurgent group.

The government’s position was contained in a white paper released on Monday, on the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the December 2015 clash, between soldiers and members of the IMN in Zaria.

The white paper also blamed the group for the clash and recommended the investigation and prosecution of any of its members found to have been involved in any form of human rights abuse, since their existence in Zaria over 30 years ago.

The government’s white paper however absolved the Nigerian army from any act of human right violation in the Zaria clash, insisting that the army abides by the rules of engagement.

This is not the first in the series of statements and orders made against the Islamic group.

In October, the Kaduna State Government had issued an order declaring the IMN as an unlawful association.

Also in November, the Kaduna state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, had expressed concern that the group, also known as the Shiites Islamic sect, if allowed to exist, is capable of threatening the corporate existence of the country.

According to him, the group has an agenda to cause a religious conflict in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the group in a swift reaction by its spokesman Ibrahim Musa, rejected the white paper describing it as an exercise in futility by the Kaduna state governor, who according to him is trying to justify what they describe as the massacre by the army in 2015.

The Shiites have continued to protest against the detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been in custody since December 13, 2015.

A federal high court in Abuja has however ordered the Department of State Services (DSS), to release the leader of the outlawed Islamic movement in Nigeria, within 45 days.

 

Kaduna Govt. Inaugurates Committee To Eliminate Illegal Arms

Illegal ArmsThe Kaduna State Government has set up an amnesty committee that will be saddled with the responsibility of mopping up illegal arms and light weapons from bandits across the state.

The Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the State, Mrs Amina Sijuade, disclosed this to correspondents at the end of the weekly executive council meeting.

She noted that the illegal weapons in the hands of unauthorised users is a threat to the security of lives and property in the state.

Mrs Sijuade added that the exercise, which would last for a period of four months, is aimed at ensuring adequate protection of lives and property of the citizens.

She also explained that part of the amnesty programme would be the provision of jobs and other incentives to repentant criminals who return their arms.

Over the years, Kaduna State has witnessed several ethno-religious conflicts that claimed hundreds of lives and property worth billions of Naira.

The state government therefore, admonished persons in possession of prohibited firearms to immediately surrender them to the committee during the exercise.