From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
A former Commissioner of Information in Kogi state, Tom Ohikere has cautioned the people of Ebira land to refrain from acts or statements that could ignite religious crisis between christians and muslims in the zone
Ohikere in a statement made available to journalists in Lokoja on Wednesday, said this followed the recent uproar in Ebira land where he hails from, over the anti- people elements in the zone not to overheat the polity on the issues of Governor Bello’s Chief of Staff’s statement ,”disparaging Christians while trying to address the leadership tussle between members of the Izala and the Tijanniyah sects, that has engulfed the Okene Central Mosque as a result of the death of the Imam, Sheikh Musa Galadima last year that Abdulkareem Asuku didn’t insult Christians in any way.”
Ohikere said Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and his Chief of Staff, Abdulkareem Jamiu Asuku has not on any occasion displayed any acts of religious bigotry, his administration has been fair in all sense of judgment to both the Muslims and the Christians alike and the people of Kogi has been living together as a one people in the state.
He said; “I am a catholic born but now worship with mountain of fire and miracle ministry. I am a practicing Christian with very strong belief in Christ, religious leadership should be a divine call to serve for both the Muslims and Christians and should not be politicize to the extent of expecting a governor to leave issues of economic importance and got involved on selecting Iman if not for glutton and insensitivity of our minds”.
“Asuku didn’t insult Christian religion and he will never do that with government or without governmentt, he was only addressing the insensitivity of the people for fighting over religious leadership. He had helped both Christians and Muslim without discrimination and abuse of religion, so, his statement on 93.5 FM was a reference to the issues on ground among the Muslim Ummah, so my Christians brothers and sisters disregard any kind of misinterpretation from biased minds that are bent at defaming the Bello’s administration at all cost.
“For record purposes, Christians never worshiped in the confines of Government House in Kogi state and there had being Governors and Chief Of Staffers before the emergence of His Excellency. In all of these past years. However, today there is a Christian Chapel in the Government House and this is possible in the time of Chief Pharm Abdulkareem Asuku Jamiu without any rumour of opposing such policy before or after it’s implementation. This is an extreme show and display of religious tolerance on his part.
“I am very sure that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in Kogi central can attest to the fact that the relationship between them, that’s the government and the Christians is mutually beneficial and I advise my Christian brothers to differ from the faceless elements that are trying to misinform the public. Ebira Christians are too informed to be misled by shortsighted ones.”
The said Abdulkareem Asuku Jamiu was paying NECO, WAEC, NABTEB, empowering the market women, paying hospital bills as part of his humanitarian service to humanity and gave scholarship to our students in the higher institution of learning to both Christians and muslim.
“What he said was that the governor would not have been involved in the issue of choosing an Imam were it not for the fact that as the State’s chief executive, the security and well-being of the society rests on his shoulders.
“We won’t sit down and allow Ebira land to be engulfed in crisis, otherwise the governor is too big to come home and be participating in the process of picking an Imam”, he said in the 44 minutes, 20 seconds video.
Asuku warned Ebira youths against abusing the state governor on the social media, promising that one of such people would soon be made a scapegoat in order to serve as a deterrent to others.