Ugar Ukandi Odey, Jos
The President, North Central Muslim Peace Initiative (NCMPI), Alhaji Saleh Zazzaga, has warned the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) to desist from making utterances that would cause disaffection in the country as well as division between ethno-religious groups and corporate bodies.
Zazzaga who spoke in Jos at a stakeholders’ meeting of the NCMPI, was responding to the statement credited to the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, who last Friday accused the Director General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Jos, Sir Joseph Ari, of being biased against Muslims.
The accusation which was contained in a press statement tagged ‘Investigate Mother of all Nepotism in ITF, Jos’, MURIC frontally accused Ari of nepotism, wrongful appointments, and marginalisation of Muslims in the running of the agency.
But Zazzaga said such accusation which has religious inclination should be carefully weighed before it is voiced out because the country is deeply polarized, and daily divided along religious lines, and such inflammatory remarks will easily aggravate an already combustible situation.
The President said religious groups should at all times be more concerned with building bridges of unity/national cohesion, avoid hate speech, and ‘unsubstantiated’ allegations as well as raising false alarms because it will cause violence and set the nation backwards.
According to him, even the manner in which the heading of the Press Release was worded was indicting, harsh, and inciting, and that such claims could be presented in a suggestive way without making any authoritative claim since it was still an allegation.
He also advised MURIC to always make wide consultations on any controversial issue before coming out with any claim.
Meanwhile, he stressed that Muslim individuals and groups close to Joe Ari right from his journalism days, and as the General Manager of the Plateau Radio and Television Corporation (PRTV) Jos, have never been discriminated against and he has been a detribalized Nigerian. He challenged MURIC to as well try and make their findings on that.