By John Shiklam in Kaduna
Emir of Zazzau (Zaria) and Alhaji Shehu Idris; the PDP deputy governor candidate in the just concluded elections, Hon. Sunday Katung, and the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) have called on Nigerians to continue to pray and work for peace and unity of the country.
In their separate messages on Tuesday to mark Eid-el-Fitr celebrations in Kaduna, they urged Nigerians to cooperate with security agencies to tackle the challenges of banditry, kidnappings and other criminal activities bedevilling the country.
In his message, Alhaji Idris who is also the Chairman of Kaduna State Council of Chiefs, called on the people of the state to cooperate with security agencies in the fight against kidnapping, armed banditry, drug abuse and other social vices.
He advised the people to report all suspicious activities of individuals and groups that are inimical to peace to security agencies.
He also called on the Kaduna state government to provide fertilizer and soft loans to farmers to boost food production.
He congratulated the Muslim Ummah for the successful completion of the Ramadan fast.
In his message, Katung urged Nigerians to intensify prayers for the unity, peace and progress of the country.
Katung who represents Zangon Kataf/Jaba federal constituency, in the House of Representatives, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure justice for all Nigerians irrespective of tribe and religious beliefs, so as to promote unity among the people.
“I wish to use this occasion of Eid-el-Fitr to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to lead Nigerians with justice and equity.
“He must treat all Nigerians equally irrespective of where they come from or the religion they profess. This is the only way to bring back Nigeria to the path of progress and unity,” he said.
On its part, the ACF in a message signed by its spokesman, Muhammad Ibrahim, urged Nigerians to continue to pray, worship and work for the peace and unity of the country.
The forum condemned the killings and kidnappings of Nigerians by bandits, noting that it is against the tenets of all religions.
”ACF wishes to observe that the killings of innocent souls by insurgents, armed bandits, by clashes between herds men and farmers as well as cult and militia groups and kidnapping in parts of the North and Nigeria are inconsistent with the tenets of all religions” the forum said.
The forum charged security agencies to redouble their efforts in combating the crimes which had continued to be worrisome to Nigerians.
”In the spirit of the season, ACF calls on Nigerians to embrace peaceful dialogue and forgiveness as the most religious and civilized means of addressing grievances, rather than engage in hate speeches, threats and intimidation which are capable of degenerating into avoidable conflicts and conflagration that do no one or group any good.
”Specifically, ACF wishes to appeal to those beating the drums of seccession, separation and balkanization of Nigeria along ethnic and religious lines to have a rethink, as we are all better in a united, larger Nigeria than in small confederation of regions.
”ACF also wishes to use this opportunity to call on all elected public officers in both executive and legislative positions to hit the ground running for the express purpose of delivering on their campaign promises as the only way they can justify the trust and confidence reposed in them by Nigerians.
”It is worthy to note that the political mandates given to our leaders at all levels are meant to bring about rapid socio-economic development through good governance that comes with justice, liberty and common decency,“ the forum said.