Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai has said the statements made by some religious leaders in the state are the cause of the violence and killings in the southern area of the state.
The governor stated this when he received the National Chairman of Jama’atul Izalatul Bid’ah wa Iqamatul Sunnah, Sheikh Abdullahi Lau, and other Izala leaders on Saturday.
According to him, peace can only be restored in the area if the religious leaders decide to preach love and not instigate their followers to commit violence.
He said: “We also solicited their support and prayers to see the end of this crisis because we are of the strong view that at the bottom of this crisis are the reckless statements of some religious leaders.
“If religious leaders decide firmly that people should live in peace and preach that consistently, it will lead to peaceful coexistence in our state.”
He insisted that the root of the crisis in southern Kaduna “lies in differences in religion and ethnicity. And religious leaders can play a very unifying or divisive role. What we have witnessed in the last few years is that they have been playing a more divisive than a unifying role.
“That is why we welcome the outreach by religious leaders and we presented them with all the facts, and for them to use the holy books to guide how they will preach to their congregations.”