…Describes it as “unifying factor.”
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Islamic leaders, Council of Ulamas of Southern Kaduna chapter have described the first proposed NOK University in the zone as a unifying factor, which will lead to a lasting peaceful co-existence amongst its residents.
Chairman of the Council, who doubles as Chief Imam, Kafanchan Central Mosque, Muhammad Kassim, stated this when he led a delegation of Ulamas on a courtesy visit to founder of the proposed University, Chief Anthony Hassan, in Kachia.
He said the NOK University, which will be the first in the zone and fourth in the Northwestern region of Nigeria, will be an avenue for interaction and creation of bond between Muslim and Christian youths.
The chairman noted that, the initiative by Chief Anthony is highly commendable as it will give many youths the opportunity to get university education.
Imam Kassim, however, pleaded with the founder to consider Muslims during recruitment, admissions and issuing of contracts to give them a sense of belonging.
“We have many philanthropists in Southern Kaduna but none have thought of initiating such beautiful edifice for our people to benefit from. Outsiders are reluctant to come to this part of Kaduna to invest, but with this institution, the impression about Southern Kaduna will change.
“Aside building this institution, Mr Anthony is known for assisting people, irrespective of their tribe or religion; hence, our assurance that he is God’s blessing to our community as a peace maker, and we will continue to pray for him to succeed in all his endeavors,” he stated.
He also called on residents of the zone to make the best of the ongoing peaceful reconciliation process so that they can enjoy more investments and developmental projects by individuals and government.
In his response, the founder of the proposed NOK University, Chief Anthony, appreciated their visit and said the idea behind building the institution was to provide education for the youths, especially as public universities cannot accommodate everyone these days.
The founder said it was also necessary to provide job opportunities because unemployment and idleness are the major reasons youths are used as thugs to cause crisis, particular in Southern Kaduna.
He assured that, after the university project is concluded, he intends to identify youths and empower them with different skills “so they can in return, employ others, too. This will go a long way in addressing crises in the zone.
“I have also encouraged many people to embrace peace. To ensure peace is sustained, I have personally sponsored building of mosques and churches across Kaduna. I don’t believe in segregation at all,” he stressed.
He added that Muslims are already part of the contractors and will be considered for admissions, too. “We already have Muslims as members of board of trustees of the University, and the master plan has provision for Church and Mosque.
The proposed NOK University, which is awaiting NUC approval, will have faculties of engineering, medicine and environmental sciences.