Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Yakowa Aides Disagree With JNI Over Jaji Commanders

Kaduna — Aides to Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa of Kaduna State on Religious Affairs yesterday kicked against the stand of the Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI) on the removal of the commandant of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) Jaji, Air Vice Marshal Abdullahi Kure and the Corps Commander, Infantry Jaji, Major General, Muhammad Isa, over the blasts that rocked the barrack about two weeks ago.

Yakowa's Special Adviser on Islamic Matters, Sheikh Haliru Maraya and his Christian counterpart, Reverend John Joseph Hayab, in separate telephone interviews, said religious sentiment on the postings of the commanders does not augur well for the country.

In his reaction to the stand of JNI, Reverend Hayab said, "Our religious leaders must stop politicising security issues; they should stop bringing issues of religion into the security of the country. Bringing politics of religion into security postings would not help us in our attempt to overcome the security challenges facing us. What is expected from our religious leaders is to intensify prayers for the country to overcome this challenge and if there is any security threat, they should intimate the security operatives. We are begging religious leaders to stop joining religious issues with security, particularly at this trying period".

For his part, Sheikh Maraya, urged JNI to always talk on issues that will unite the country, rather than issues that will create more confusion.

"When the GOC of 1 division was removed after the attack on the division's headquarters and replaced with a Muslim, nobody raised an eyebrow, so I am surprised that when these commanders were removed, JNI started complaining. Our security operatives were not engaged or recruited based on their religions, but they were recruited to defend the country irrespective of differences. Islam is a religion that preaches justice and fairness to all and as such, we should be fair and just in whatever we are doing. These officers were removed because there was security lapse in their formations," he said.

JNI had in a statement by its Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, on Tuesday in Kaduna said the fact that the two officers who were removed were Muslims, and were replaced by two officers who are non-Muslims, makes any discerning observer to be suspicious of the motives behind the exercise.

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