Daily Trust (Abuja)

12 February 2013

Nigeria: Crises Have Divided Kaduna Along Religious Lines - Yero

Kaduna — Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State yesterday said recurring crises have divided the state into two, with Christians and Muslims staying in different parts.

Speaking when officials of the Interfaith Mediation Centre, Kaduna, paid him a courtesy call, he said the situation is affecting the development of the state badly.

"Kaduna town is divided into two, it wasn't like this before. For some years now, the town has been divided. The town is divided from the River Kaduna bridge.

The Muslims are staying on one side while the Christians are staying at the other side. This is not good for development. This thing is not going to help us. Right now, any Christian who is coming from the other side to where the Muslims are, will dress in Muslim attire. Likewise, any Muslim, who is going to the Christians dominated side, will have to wear cloth that will portray him/her like one of them. This is not going to help us. It is high time we go back to the way we were. We lived together peacefully before now," he said.

While stressing that no meaningful development will take place with the division, Yero urged the people of the state to tolerate one another irrespective of their differences.

" For us to move forward, people must be allowed to practise their religion anywhere they find themselves. We must all live together. We are all serving the same God, and we must serve Him in a peaceful way," Yero added.

He pledged to partner with the centre to promote religious tolerance among people of the state.

Earlier in his address, the co-executive director of the centre, Pastor James Wuye, reiterated the commitment of his organisation to partner the state government in its quest for peace.

"We facilitated the Kaduna Peace Declaration of 2002, which introduced almost a decade of peace in our state. The structure we put in place that facilitated the peace declaration still exists, but needs to be revived. This we intend to do so that an era of unbroken peace can be entrenched in our beloved state," he said.

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