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Truth From Strange Quarters. Is This A Sign Of Good Omen?

Imam Blames FG Over Ethno-religious Crises

http://www.independentngonline.com/news/arew/article01

By Chinwendu Nnadozie , Reporter Minna

Islamic cleric, Imam Muhammad Ashafa, has blamed the Federal Government for the series of ethno-religious crises in parts of the country.

"You cannot lure an individual into voting for you during elections only to deprive the person of certain rights when it comes to distribution of social amenities or dividends accruable to other citizens within the system," he said. Ashafa, who spoke to Daily Independent, traced some of the crisis he described as avoidable to Federal Government's policy of demanding for regional, religious tribal status from among Nigerians before employments are offered to them.

Ashafa, also the co-joint executive director, Inter-faith Mediation Centre, (Muslim-Christian dialogue forum) based in Kaduna, faulted some of the Federal Government's policies, which he claimed, were giving rise to disaffection among ethnic and religious groups in the country.

He regretted that what is happening in some states is a reflection of what is obtainable at the national level where issues of quota system is highly celebrated and wondered why the Federal Government should not adopt, "State of residence instead of state of origin and as well, principles of quota system be abolished."

"If we truly want to pursue the oneness and equality of every citizen of this country," Ashafa, who is also the leader of the muslim group that fought Christians during the Zango-Kataf mayhem in Kaduna State before he repented and now a crusader of peaceful co-existence, said, "Imbalances in school fees obtainable in some states, rights of ownership of properties, issues of quota system in admissions and related benefits be abolished."

"A situation whereby a southerner seeking for admission in a school in the north is made to under-go extra ordinary rigours before being admitted or vice versa for a northerner seeking for admission in a southern school is also another way of fueling ethno-religious differences and must be stopped," the religious leader said.

He traced the Jos, Plateau State; Taraba, Benue, Kano, Kaduna, Ife-Modakeke and crisis in some other parts of the country to discrepancy in the ownership of land, lack of equality in benefits and social discrimination and suggested that, the Lagos system of everybody having equal rights to social amenities and landed properties based on your financial capabilities be adopted in all parts of the country.

"Nigerians are suffering because of this quota system syndrome, which promotes indigeneship and similar nomenclature. What we need to do to have a new Nigeria is to remove indigene clause and apply spirit of sportsmanship to move beyond where we are.

"Instead of inclusive we create issues of exclusion in our system and that is part of the problems we have as a nation." Ashafa said Nigeria should learn from what happened in America whereby issues of tribe or race were de-emphasized in leadership.

"Let us be judged by the contents of our character and not by the contents of our religion, tribe or racial considerations," he advised.

The cleric also advised Federal Government to "abolish any regional, tribal and religious concept that causes division among us as a nation and emphasize on issues that will not only guarantee unity, bring honour and glory not only to us as individuals but to the most populous black nation in the world. "Take for instance, when we talk about image branding and re-branding, wooing investors and making our environment conducive for economic growth to thrive. All we need is to promote peace and harmony through favourable government policies and programmes; by so doing visitors and other expatriates can testify through the number of investments we have been able to convince them invest in Nigeria instead of spending monies on image re-branding and similar tendencies we are hearing about."

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17 answers

@ asha 80

Good, one has exposed himself. I'm pretty sure you are an illiterate by any standard. Certainly, you are one of those that have never travelled beyond their village and as such can not see the truth let alone embrace it. I'm sorry for you!!!

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This message should be to the almajiris and mullahs up north.

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@ Afaukwu

I don't have an iota of support for inter-religious and inter-ethnic violence becouse it is senseless, unreasonable and uncivilised. No body should be forced to embrace any religion, my scripture (The holy Qur'an) is very clear about that. people should be allowed to practice without hinderence a religion of their choice. I want to believe that is also in the Bible. At the same time people should not be killed or even discriminated against on ethnic grounds. I am Hausa by tribe, i personally don't see any reason why i shall detest anybody simply becouse he/she does not belong to my tribe. what matters the most is one's attitude (how one conducts him/herself). people should also be allowed to live wherever they want regardless of their ethnic background. But, i tell you until and unless ordinary nigerians learn to tolerate and respect one another's religion and values and also stop yielding to the malicious inducements of some political and religious elites, this menace will continue to rage people in different parts of the country.

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Ndigbo set to avenge further killings in North E-mail

Written by TONY EDIKE

Monday, 16 March 2009

ENUGU—THE pan Igbo socio cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo reviewed the continued attacks on Ndigbo living in the Northern parts of the country at the weekend and declared that it can neither rule out nor restrain Ndigbo from carrying out reprisal attacks against the indigenes of any section of the country where Igbos are killed or have their properties destroyed during religious or ethnic riots.

The organisation also said it would not rest until an additional state was created in the Igbo speaking areas of the country, just as it described as a fiction the reported dispute over the position of its Secretary General.

Chairman of the Anioma, Delta state chapter of the organisation, Amba Leo Okogwu, made these positions of the organisation known while speaking with reporters.

He said the leadership of Ohanaeze has come to the conclusion that its pacifist postures in the past has not been able to deter people from other parts of the country from continually and whimsically attacking and killing Ndigbo, noting that the posture has appeared instead to have created the notion that Ndigbo were weak and incapable of taking similar measures against their attackers.

His words: “It has become very obvious to us in Ohanaeze that these killings will continue unless our people begin to carry out reprisals each time they occur. This is a situation we have been trying to avoid all the while but from all indications our fellow countrymen are not about to give up the wanton killing of our people and so it has become very difficult for us to restrain our people from carrying out reprisals”.

“Each time we Igbos hear that something like that nonsense has happened again, we get very annoyed. For example, the last crisis in Jos claimed nine people from my area (Anioma) alone and we lost N61 million worth of property just because we are Igbos. How do you think our people should feel about the people who carried out this wicked act and to think that they do it repeatedly and at will is certainly too much to bear. It is time Igbo people told the others, if you don’t stop killing us, then we will pay you back in the same coin each time you attack us”, he said.

Okogwu, who expressed disgust at the inability and incapacitation of the many panels of inquiry set up to look into the several crises in the past, observed that the nature of their composition and the assignment given to them have always shown that they were doomed to fail and that those who set them up were never serious about getting to the root cause of the problems and finding a permanent solution to them.

While Ohanaeze has continued to urge Ndigbo to invest in Igboland, he stressed, it would not support the idea of Ndigbo leaving their businesses in other lands to return home, as according to him, this would negate the notion of one Nigerian nation and would further undermine national unity.

http://www.vanguardngr.com/content/view/31077/45/

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It is pertinent to make it bold and clear to everyone that in as much as the so called christians in this country continue to show blunt intolerance to muslims and Islam in this country crisis will never end. for example, on the issue of Shari'a legal system, it had categorically been stated countless times that shari'a is applicable only on muslims. Shari'a does not have anything to do with the unbelievers. But they remained adamant on their move to stop muslims from being guided by the system of their choice. This intolerance and is manifest everywhere even here on NL.

The showdown continues!!!

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Let us not be blinded by the Imam's "sincereity".

FG is not the cause of the religious crises like he said.

Islam is!

Stop being deceived into admiring his "truthfulness". The subject matter is not tribalism, its religious crises and last time I checked, its the moslems that are behind it.

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Shine ur eyes, before they shine it for you; unless of course you are of the "strange quarters". Look deeper and dig deeper than the surface, therein lies the truth.

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@poster

The title of your post is malignant,

People just assume that in religious crises Muslims must be blamed and christians are saints, it takes two to tangle, pls.

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Theorectically it is a good idea, but in practice, its not workable there might be resentment. Example if the 1st 100 students that has the highest mark for admission in Bayero University Kano are southerners. Would the University Authorities be able to give the admission to these students without any prejudice or consideration for local indigenes. It might be a case there are only 120 spots to be filled, if southerners take 100, that lives all other northern states and kano state 20 spots to fill. But at the moment lets assume that all northern states constitute 85% of admissions, so the state will have a net loss of 80% if they are to adopt the merit system as suppose to quota system. Quota system is even used in America to help the blacks and other disadvantage people. What we really need to do is strike a balance between affirmative action or quota system and the merit system.

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wow! for an islamic cleric to speak out raw truth like that. that man must be courageous and bold. ethnicity and religious bigotry is the problem with this country, i wish above all thing that we will all come to appreciate and respect one another religion and tribe even at the expense of sacrificing some of our comfort

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We need more people to advocate for inter religious harmony and tolerance!

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I thought I was dreaming when I first read this article. Still, I will adopt a wait-and-see attitude to see if the man will not come up tomorrow to deny that he ever made those comments, that the press twisted what he said. This is too good to be true, considering where it is coming from.

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I have lamented that Nigerian government had practiced and continue to indulge in institutionalized discrimination through quota-system and insidious federal character.   

My people say that “if person throws another person to ground and held the person thrown to the ground, the person who holding someone to the ground is equally holding him or her self on the ground”

However we must not lose the sight that this apparent change of view about things on the part of the Imam is due to the determination of the certain section of people to fight back.

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Goodmorning Imam! and everyone else that just woke up to this fact. At this stage of our national development, the issue of oneness among religious and ethnic nationalities should be a top priority to any sincere Government. Nigeria is becoming more tribalised and segregated by her ethno/religious differences because of certain mistakes that have been made in the past and in recent times.

Just like the Imam said, nationality and state of residence should be used among other things as part of the  prequalification exercise for eligibility to contest in an election. Furthermore, the issue of power shift should also be scraped with immediate effect because you cant practice true democracy with such a policy and worst still, it incites division. Every appilication form should seize to bear columns that require information such as religion, ethnicity, home town catchment area etc, and indigene forms should neither be requested nor accepted by any group or organisation,- Nigerian nationality and merit should be the koko. Lastly, I know my yoruba friends will not like this but I also think that speaking of other languages apart from english in public institutions should be banned.

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Kudos to Him for seeing the Truth and speaking out,

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