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Bauchi Govt to deal with mischief makers

by Christiana Gokyo, Jos

Bauchi State Government says it is ready to deal decisively with any person or group of persons who may want to constitute himself or themselves as agents of causing disaffection among the people of the state using religious sentiments.

The State Government warned that, it would not entertain inciting statement from any religious cleric in the state. 

This was made known by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Barr Ibrahim Kashim Muhammmad, while addressing journalists about the outcome of the emergency meeting of the State Security Committee held recently at the Government House Bauchi. 

He stressed that, “The government will deal with any preacher making statements capable of causing division among the people of the state, thereby causing disaffection among them,” adding that, “There are two major issues threatening the relative peace in the state, which were extensively discussed during the meeting leading to some decisions taken, in order to douse the tension.”

The SSG stated that, the Council discussed the resurgence of young armed political thugs, popularly called “Sara Suka,” who are attacking innocent residents as well as looting their properties unabated in recent times.   

He noted that the recent preaching by an Islamic scholar in the state, during a Ramadan Tafsir, has generated a lot of heat, reactions and counter-preaching were also discussed extensively during the meeting, and a position has been taken by the Council.

“As you are aware, we are just coming out of a very rigorous electioneering period and elections, and a lot of things have been happening after the elections that need a lot of serious security measures,” he stated.

According to him, there has been some noise and some back-and-forth about issues relating to preaching and understanding of the context of the preaching and the heat it has generated. 

“We are concerned, because it is not the issue of Aqidah (creed), not the issue of politics, but, just the issue of inciting statements that are bound to cause division between our people,” he stressed.

According to him, “We have met, discussed it and we have resolved that Bauchi is a very peaceful place, and we will do everything within our power to make sure that it remains peaceful. We are not going to allow anybody’s actions or utterances to disrupt the peace that we have been enjoying in the state,” he said.

The SSG, who is also the Chairman of the Security Council, added that the State Government would not shirk away from its responsibility of protecting lives and property of the people as provided for in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.

According to him, “We are not going to allow anybody henceforth to insult anybody or insult the faith of anybody or other people with regards to their faith.”

Also speaking, the Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Aminu Alhassan, said that efforts are on to curtail activities capable of disrupting peaceful coexistence in the state. 

He assured that the synergy among the security agencies in the state will continue, in order to work as a team in the fight against insecurity, warning that nobody found wanting will be spared.

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