By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) on Tuesday tasked stakeholders in Southern Kaduna to ensure peace and unity to continue to reign in the area.
NSCIA gave the charge in a statement entitled Special Report New deals underscore prospects of peace in Southern Kaduna” Plaudit for Premium Times made available to newsmen in Ibadan by its Deputy Secretary General, Prof Salisu Shehu .
According to the council, the time has come for all stakeholders in Southern Kaduna to be more vigilance such that any threat to peace may be detected early and a more harmonious society may be established.
The Council specifically lauded the formation of an 80-member Community Peace and Security Partnership (CPSP) in October 2020, stressing, “it is high time our compatriots in Southern Kaduna gave peace a chance. There is no theatre of war and violence where the ‘victor’ is equally not the victim.
Emphasizing the need for the Nigerian press to imbibe ethical standards that undergrid the journalism profession in sustaining peace in Southern Kaduna.
NSCIA stated “if the effort of the state governor and the people of Southern Kaduna must produce enduring peace, most of the Nigerian press must imbibe ethical standards that undergird the journalism profession. Such include objectivity, honesty and truthfulness in reportage of events particularly in conflict-settings and centres”.
NSCIA added, “Council hereby enjoins leaders and elders on both sides of the conflict to avoid statements and remarks that are capable of inflaming passion and putting the peace already achieved in the area into a peril.
“It is against this backdrop that Council is especially pleased with the modest efforts of opinion leaders, youth leaders, religious leaders and traditional rulers, for their role in bringing together the feuding parties to the dialogue table through the formation of an 80-member Community Peace and Security Partnership (CPSP) in October 2020. Council wishes to appeal to the CPSP to sustain the consultations and consolidate on the fragile peace presently being enjoyed by the people by advancing a more potent narrative capable of countering all negativities”.
Appreciating Governor Nasir el-Rufai, “on the patriotic steps and efforts he has been making since he assumed office in order to achieve lasting peace in Southern Kaduna”, NSCIA stated “of note in this direction is the establishment of a Mobile Police Base and a Military Base in Southern Kaduna to promptly arrest any conflict before it spirals out of control in the future.”
The Council also appreciated the highly patriotic reportage of Premium Times, noting, ” it deserves plaudits for this Special Report not only because it is sui generis in comparison to others in the industry but because it seeks to open new directions in press coverage of the persistent and misreported ethno-religious conflicts and crises in Southern Kaduna.”
“The attention of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the able leadership of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni., has been drawn to the publication of a Special Report by Premium Times (an online tabloid) dated 15th November 2020 and titled “New Deals Underscore the Prospects of Peace in Southern Kaduna”, The NSCIA is amazed by the fact that the Report called attention to an assertion once made by John Chancellor, the late American Journalist and Television Broadcaster, that “the function of good journalism is to take information and add value to it
“The Special Report left no doubt in our mind as to the intendment which unarguably is that of ‘adding value’ to the overarching task of achieving peace and national cohesion in this country. In fact, this was epigraphically captured by the tabloid as follows- – “Most people in Southern Kaduna are Christians and Muslims; so, if we believe there is a supreme being, whether you call Him Allah or God, and when He sends rains He doesn’t discriminate, why can’t we sit and forgive and settle differences?.”