By Luka Binniyat & Gbenga Oke
KADUNA—The Council of Imams and Ulama, Kaduna State, has called for the arrest of Senator representing Southern Kaduna Senatorial Zone, Senator Danjuma La’ah; President, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, and the President of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, Dr. Musa Solomon, among others, for what it said were their inflammatory comments over Southern Kaduna killings.
However, Senator Laah responded promptly, saying the call for his arrest and others by the Imans and Ulama of Kaduna State was a ploy to cover their (Ulamas) fear and shame resulting from the cruelty meted out to Southern Kaduna people by those they mentored.
On his part, Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State of not doing enough to put an end to the killings in Southern Kaduna.
As for the council of Imans and Ulamas, it made the call, at a briefing by the Chairman and Secretary General, Sheikh Abubakar Babantune, and Yusuf Arrigasiyyu, respectively, in Kaduna, yesterday.
They said: “In the last one year or so, Kaduna State has not been in peace resulting from the activities of some mischief-makers and the reckless utterances of southern Kaduna political and religious leaders.
“Several news reports credited to southern Kaduna political and religious leaders, urged their people to take up arms to defend themselves and nothing was done to prevent its occurrence until the worse had happened.
“Thus, the situation degenera-ted into the senseless and merciless massacre of Hausa/Fulani Muslims in that area.
‘Arrest these people’
“These drew the attention of the Council to call on the government to arrest and prosecute persons who made inflammatory statements that instigated the crises, these include Reverend Zachariah Gado, Chairman, ECWA 19 DCC Fellowship, Kaduna State.
“Others are Dr. Samson Olasopu Ayokunle, President, Christians Association of Nigeria, CAN, and the Secretary General, Rev. Dr. Musa Asake; Senator Danjuma La’ah, Senator representing Southern Kaduna Senatorial Zone; Mr. Sunday Marshall Katung, member representing Zangon Kataf/Java Federal Constituency; Mr. Solomon Musa, SOKAPU President, and all his executive members; Dr. John Danfulani and any person found involved.”
Senator Laah reacts
Speaking on behalf of Senator Laah, his legislative aide, Media and Public Relations, Mr. Balla Duniya, said: “They are afraid and too ashamed to own up and face the horror and cruelty terrorists herdsmen, who may have been mentored by the Ulamas, carried out.
“There was not a word the Senator uttered that was unlawful or profane. As a devout Christian, a parent, business-man with extensive investment in Southern Kaduna and a sitting Senator, he stands to lose the most if the violence goes on.
“The Imans and Ulamas have nothing to lose, but gain new conquered territories if the killings and occupation of more parts of Southern Kaduna goes on by those who look to them for divine guidance.
“All he has ever wanted was for the killings to be put to an end. This curious blame game is distasteful, as the Senator is yet to see the Ulamas’ call for the arrest of the murderers, who have been on a killing spree since May last year, with over 800 reportedly killed and properties worth billions lost.
“Why are the Ulamas not calling for the arrest of some leaders of Miyetti Allah, who have come out on several occasions to defend the pogrom in Southern Kaduna carried by their members as ‘reprisals,’ whatever meaning they make out of that word.
“The Senator is committed to peace, development and progress of Southern Kaduna, while the Ulamas are clearly not for that. They only care about the murderers.”
Meanwhile, Mohammed, yesterday, also warned that if something urgent is not done about the killings, it was likely to spread to other parts of Kaduna State.
Speaking with Vanguard, Mohammed said that the lack of decisive action on how to stop the genocide going on in Kaduna has further shown that the Federal Government lacks the capability to deal with issues of national importance.
According to him, “even though no one really knows what is going on in Southern Kaduna, it is evident that the Federal Government and the state government have not done much to ameliorate the sufferings of the people in Southern Kaduna.
“The problems in Southern Kaduna did not start with the administration of President Buhari; it started during the administration of General Sanni Abacha.”