Christian officials in the Kaduna State government led by the deputy governor, Barnabas Bantex, have called on Christian clerics to desist from spreading rumours among their followers.
In a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, Mr Bantex alleged some Christian clerics were maliciously linking the killing of a traditional ruler, Maiwada Galadima, by kidnappers to the state government.
Read the statement
With me today are some of the senior government officials of the Kaduna State Government, who like me, are Christians serving the state with all the commitment we can muster.
This kind of gathering of Christians in Government has hardly ever been necessary due to the fact that our government has never designed and or implemented policies on the selective basis of Religion or Ethnicity. This government values everyone who lives in Kaduna State, treating all residents with the equality that the constitution prescribes and encouraging law-abiding conduct by all residents.
We have met to review the threat to peace in Kaduna State, and the focused steps taken by the leadership of Malam Nasir El-Rufai to restore calm. We are proud of the way the state government has contained and managed the crisis, collaborating with the security agencies and constantly assuring and engaging citizens. By acting swiftly to declare a curfew, and meeting with religious, traditional and community leaders, including those from flash point communities, the Kaduna State Government tried assiduously to build a coalition of peace.
For many residents of the state, the crisis was rightly seen as a struggle between those who want the good society, with its premium on harmony, law and order, and criminals who hanker after division, violence and destruction.
So effective was the calming action of imposing a curfew and the attendant security patrols that even the Secretary of the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria publicly called on the Kaduna State Governor not to relax the curfew too soon. The panoply of actions taken by by the Kaduna State government has been rightly praised as the surest means to restore calm and save lives and livelihoods in an atmosphere of tension. Consequently, demonstrable progress has been recorded to improve the situation in the state, encourage peaceful relations and bring people together.
We are therefore appalled by the role of certain pastors in spreading hate, encouraging violence and undermining the security efforts in Kaduna State. These apostles of hatred do not speak for us, and we condemn the attempt to reduce our religion into a vehicle or a convenient mask for the bloodthirsty to practice their trade of division, violence and destruction. We cannot condone illegal conduct even if it is perpetrated by people with whom we share the same faith.
We are shocked that pastors have desecrated the altar of faith to spew lies about the situation in Kaduna State. It has saddened and shocked us to watch videos of pastors preaching fiction and needlessly inciting people. Apart from creating the impression that the curfew affected only Christian residents of Kaduna, these pastors irresponsibly lied about the circumstances that led to the abduction and murder of HRH Agom Adara, Dr. Maiwada Galadima. Their professed knowledge of the motivations that led to the unfortunate situation around the late monarch should be of interest to the security agencies.
But as senior leaders of the Kaduna State Government, we wish to debunk their tissue of lies:
A. HRH Agom Adara was not coming from or going to a meeting with the Governor or any official of the Kaduna State Government on the day of his abduction.
b. The government and the security agencies tried their best to secure the release of the monarch from the abductors.
C. HRH Agom Adara was respected for his dedication and commitment to leading his chiefdom well. There was no contention or dispute between the Kaduna State Government and the late chief on
Source: PREMIUM TIMES