January 23, 2021

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Sultan-led Council commends PREMIUM TIMES’ contribution to peace

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The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has commended PREMIUM TIMES for the newspaper’s special report on Southern Kaduna peace deals, noting the report’s contribution to the peace task in the historically troubled area.

In a statement, signed by its deputy secretary, Salisu Shehu, a professor, on Tuesday, the council said the newspaper’s report left no doubt as to the intendment which unarguably is that of ‘adding value’ to the overarching task of achieving peace and national cohesion in the country.

“The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (hereafter, Council) hereby appreciates the highly patriotic reportage of the tabloid,” said the council, which is under the leadership of Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar,

“It is of the view that Premium Times deserves plaudits for this Special Report not only because it is sui generis in comparison to others in the industry but because it seeks to open new directions in press coverage of the persistent and misreported ethno-religious conflicts and crises in Southern Kaduna.”

The report published in November followed an earlier investigation in the PREMIUM TIMES’ Southern Kaduna series and detailed community-led efforts towards peaceful co-existence in Southern Kaduna after decades-long conflicts between the majority Muslim Hausa-Fulani community and the Christian dominated over 50 groups, including the Kataf, Fantswam, and Adara, among others.

But the conflicts there have implications for national unity because the warring sides predominantly belong to different ethno-religious sections, which are the dominant pattern of political mobilisation and loyalty in Nigeria

The two reports in the series were based on-the-ground reporting and showed how all sides have suffered casualties following series of attacks and counter-attacks

But recent engagements between the groups, who have slaughtered one another in tit-for-tat killings over the years, underscore the importance of common understanding, other than armed security intervention, in engendering peaceful co-existence and mutual tolerance in Southern Kaduna, PREMIUM TIMES reported.

“It demonstrates that peace in Southern Kaduna not only as a possibility but equally as a desideratum,” the Sultan-led council said of PREMIUM TIMES’ report. “This is very pertinent considering the ‘popular’ notion among a section of the Nigerian elite that the conurbation of ethnic nationalities and the assemblage of often fractious.”

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