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Adamawa Clashes: Catholic Bishop Disagrees with Sultan

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Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Stephen Mamza
Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Stephen Mamza
Adamawa Clashes: Catholic Bishop Disagrees with Sultan

The Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Stephen Mamza, has disagreed with the comments of the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, regarding clashes in Adamawa, accusing the Sultan of making inciting comments.

Mamza who also doubles as the chairman of the Adamawa state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said the Sultan’s comment is creating tension in the state.

Speaking in an interview with Punch, Mamza urged Nigerians to wait for the release of the report of the investigative panel on the recent killings in Numan area of Adamawa state.

According to the Catholic Bishop, “Everybody in Adamawa State knows that what happened in three or four villages in Numan, where people were killed, had nothing to do with religion. I am sure many Muslims will concur with me that it is another in the series of clashes that are really very common here between farmers and herdsmen.

“It is not unusual for a particular group to suffer more casualties than another when such clashes occur. In this case, I don’t think there’s any religious intention in the whole thing.

“Let us go back to what happened in 2016 and this year, 2017, which makes it even baffling that the Sultan singled out this particular incident for condemnation.

“On the 24th of January, 2016, in Koh village, Girei, more than 80 persons were killed, while many houses were burnt. Bags of grains were destroyed and several other persons, who got missing, had yet to be found.

“But I didn’t hear a single comment from the Sultan of Sokoto then. Also, 30 people were killed in Kodomun between 29th of July and 1st of August last year. Again, I never heard any comment from the Sultan.

“Even, on the 7th of January this year, in a place called Kwayine, five gallant policemen were murdered. All the killings were actually carried out by herdsmen. Is it now that the Sultan is now aware that there were killings taking place in Adamawa?”

Mamza further added that the Sultan should be a bridge builder for all irrespective of religion or ethnicity and not a destroyer.

“The Sultan should be a bridge builder for the different religions and ethnic nationalities in the country. It is not in the interest of peace for us to single out a particular incident for condemnation. We shouldn’t create the impression that there are inferior and superior killings.

“Every murdered soul is important, whether he is a Fulani or a farmer. The life of a Fulani is not superior to that of a Bachama, a Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo. Life is sacred and every soul is very important,” he said.

The gunmen were said to have launched the attacks on Lawaru and Dung communities in Demsa local government area of Adamawa state on Monday, December 4 and also burnt down houses and destroyed property while attacking residents of the community.