by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Participants at a monthly Peace Journalism Forum of Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC) in Kaduna state have lamented increase in acrimonies between Christians and Muslims in Kaduna, attributing it to lack of harmonization and intermarriage on both sides, as well as high rate of insecurity in the state.
The participants at the end of the year 2020 Peace Journalism Meeting also decried what they described as “gross insecurity in the country,” especially on Kaduna-Abuja high way, Plateau, Borno, Katsina, Benue and Nasarawa states, among others.
Participants comprising religious leaders, journalists and civilians in a communiqué issued stated that they condemned the recent abduction of students of GSS Kankara in Katsina state, and observed that the development was a serious blow to the western education, especially in the northern part of Nigeria.
The communiqué, signed by Pastor Dr. James Movel Wuye and Imam Dr. Muhammad Nurayn Ashafa, the Co-Executive Directors of the IMC, Kaduna State, stressed that “whatever anyone is doing, the people should put Nigeria first as our Number One project.”
While some participants attributed the escalation of insecurity in the country to widespread sins committed in the country, they urged people to repent for God to end the insecurity in the country.
Communiqué described the forum as a sign of coming back to live together with Muslims and Christians, like in the past years, as brothers and sisters.
According to them, government officials contributed in dividing Nigerians so as to apply divide-and-rule style, saying this has badly affected the country.
They called on authorities in the country to desist from taking sides in punishing any law breaker in the society, stressing that no matter highly placed and influential in status or faith, punishment should be meted out to offenders, according to the law of the land.
They urged the country’s authorities to ensure that they adjust syllabus so that Muslims and Christians are made to teach and learn CRK and IRK at various schools so as to promote peaceful co-existence among the students.
The participants also decried the recent attack on the group of northern body by armed thugs at the Arewa House Kaduna, describing the attack as unfortunate, as the attack came at a time when issues of insecurity in the region were being discussed.
They equally lamented over the persistent farmers and herders conflicts in parts of the country and also decried the continued skyrocketing of foodstuff prices, which they noted has hit to 200 percent within the period.
They noted that some communities in Kaduna state are still living in a segregated form, saying this could affect the peaceful co-existence and, consequently, affect the next generation, adding that until there’s change of attitudes for the better, it remained a threat.
They emphasized on the need for living together for peaceful co-existence, saying that “There is need for us to leave together and shun this segregation,” and urged people to desist from using their various religions negatively – to promote chaos, mischief and evil in the society.
Some invited participants, from different communities in Kaduna like Barnawa, Mando, Tudun Wada, Sabon Tasha, Barakallahu, to encompass various tribes, also made their testimonies and lamentation on the negative effects of living in a segregated communities.