Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has advised the Federal and Kaduna state governments to approach the conflict in Southern Kaduna holistically with a view to preventing similar occurrences in the future.

 The Council also harped on the need for machinery be put in place to determine the causes, scope and victims of the conflict with appropriate punishment meted out to deserving perpetrators according to the law. 

These were contained in a statement signed yesterday by the Director of Administration of NSCIA, Ustaz Christian Isa Okonkwo.

The NSCIA recommended that adequate compensation and rehabilitation should be given not only to those who suffered human and material losses during the event of 26 December 2016, but equally to those who experienced similar losses during the massacre of April 2011.

The Council harped on the need for constructive peace-building efforts be embarked upon by the Kaduna State government with a view to putting an end to the notions of indigenes and settlers among the citizenry in Southern Kaduna.

The Kaduna State government, it advised, should tap into some of the recommendations of the 2013 National Conference with a view to implementing aspects of the resolutions of the Conference with regards to the establishment of grazing reserve areas.

It added that the National Orientation Agency (NOA) should be mandated to embark on national campaign that would promote national integration, peace-building and give full effect to constitutional provisions that guarantee the survival of all citizens of Nigeria anywhere in the country no matter their ethnic or religious affiliations. 

The Council advised further that the Kaduna State government should uphold, at all times, equity and justice in political and social representation.

 It said, “In other words, the state government should put into full effect the plurality of Kaduna State in all matters possible such that appointments into public offices, recruitment into Civil Service, Military and other security institutions, and location of development projects should reflect the above diversities. 

“That Kaduna State government should constitute a Truth and Reconciliation Commission with fair representation of all stakeholders to work towards ensuring lasting peace in Southern Kaduna. 

“That Media practitioners in the country should uphold the eternal ethical standards”, it said.

 The NSCIA however expressed its sadness over the recent dastardly acts of brigandage and heinous crimes perpetrated by elements who have sold their hearts and soul to evil in Southern Kaduna.

The Council said that it is particularly “seized by these events not only because these faceless elements succeeded in wrecking such destructions of lives and properties but equally because such horrendous actions were hitherto deemed to be possible only in the jungle”.

 It added, “Even then, the Council is concerned that whereas acts of killings in the jungle are said to be premised on the simple principle eat or be eaten’, the kind of killings that this nation has witnessed recently in Southern Kaduna and in other parts of the country where criminality has become fashionable is such that even the animals in the wild would be ashamed to engage in. 

“Further, the NSCIA is compelled to issue this new statement having realized the ease with which the event in Southern Kaduna is being exploited by shameless political jobbers and over-night religious zealots and critics as an opportunity to gain cheap popularity and political relevance. 

“We are equally concerned that as it is common in this nation, the opportunity offered by the unfortunate event in Southern Kaduna for this nation to correct existing anomalies in the system run the risk of being lost, no thanks to fetishized analyses of issues involved and the laundry of extremely jejune and simplistic argument that the event in Southern Kaduna is all about Christians in the region, not Nigeria as a whole. 

“The NSCIA is concerned that when the “part begins to see itself as the whole”, those imbued with intellection must quickly intervene. Such intervention, however, must show fidelity to history; it must separate myth from reality; it must equally distill between the grain and the chaff”, it said.

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