By Kola Bola
Muslim Rights Concerns (MURIC) has condemned the mindless killings in Southern Kaduna, Kaduna State, saying all the stakeholders should be given access to air their view in the public.
Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director, MURIC, in a press release issued Thursday stated that “We hate violence. We detest the sight of blood. Human life is sacred and nobody has the right to take the life of a fellow human being.”
Akintola added that “We remind all stakeholders that both the Qur’an and the Bible enjoin caution in cases like this. The two scriptures ask mankind to investigate all cases before jumping to conclusions.”
He cited Qur’an 49:6 and the Bible in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to buttress the need to thoroughly investigate issues before reaching conclusions.
It would be recalled that the past one week has witnessed reckless violence in Southern Kaduna. While the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Catholic Archdiocese of Kafanchan claimed that about 808 people have been killed so far in 53 villages. Though the number of those killed in the mayhem has been contested by government officials, claiming far fewer figures.
According to MURIC, “Both the press and the security agencies have questions to answer on the pogrom going on in Southern Kaduna: the press for giving the Nigerian public only one side of the story and the security agencies for allowing the killings to continue unabated.
“We remind the Federal Government (FG) that the primary duty of government is to protect the citizens’ lives and properties. Article 14 Section 2(b) of the 1999 Constitution states that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”
MURIC noted that its concerns stemmed out of the fact that the public has been fed with only the Christian side of the story.
“Justice and fair hearing demands that we hear from the other side. What happened to professionalism on the part of the press? Is hearing from the other side also not part of investigative journalism? Are there no Islamic organisations in Southern Kaduna? What of the Muslim Youth Foundation of Southern Kaduna (MYFOSKA)? Why haven’t they been interviewed?”
MURIC said reports in major media merely serve as mouth pieces for a side in the escalating crisis, while the side of the Muslim was grossly ignored. This unprofessional coverage of the imbroglio, MURIC added, betrays the ethic of the noble calling.
“MURIC is in possession of documents which prove that Muslims were the first victims of attacks in Southern Kaduna and the attacks which targeted Muslim business premises, homes and families had begun since October 2016. But we will not release the documents yet so that the conflict will not exacerbate. Suffice it to note that security agents have caught some Christians with arms in the area since the conflict began some days ago.”
MURIC further said it would take CAN’s allegation of official endorsement of the killings as blackmail.
“Why must CAN’s handling of every crisis be clouded in religious profiling? It is high time we started to see our leaders as Nigerians and not as belonging to any particular tribe or faith. Criminals also must be seen from the point of view of their actions and not necessarily associated with their religion or ethnic group. Herdsmen must therefore be called herdsmen and not necessarily tied to the aprons of Muslims or Fulanis.”