Saturday, April 24, 2021

It’s Fake: CAN, NSCIA Say Of Document Linking Pantami To Yakowa Assassination Plot

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) have rejected the document allegedly linking communications minister Isa Pantami to the death of former Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa.

The chairman of CAN, Kaduna State Chapter, John Hayab, made his association’s position known in a statement.
Mr Hayab, who was Mr Yakowa’s former special adviser on religious affairs, said “as someone very close to the late Yakowa, I call on all Nigerians to ignore the insinuations linking Pantami with Sir Yakowa’s death, endangering national peace.
“This, I call on security agencies to step in and tame the circulation of such dangerous documents. We cannot afford to stoke fire when we should be pouring more water.”
“Sensitive documents like the ones purported to be from the JNI meeting in Bauchi should be subjected to thorough security investigation and trials, not tools for social media warfare,” Mr Hayab said.
Those circulating the document said it is the minutes of a July 2010 meeting of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) where the group, among other things, allegedly plotted to “eliminate” Mr Yakowa.
The report, which had been online since August 2010, quickly went viral when it was redistributed Wednesday. The document claimed the said meeting was chaired by embattled Mr Pantami.
Mr Yakowa died December 2012 in a helicopter crash alongside former National Security Adviser Owoye Azazi while returning from a funeral in Bayelsa State en route Port Harcourt.
But Mr Hayab said his group believed the ‘communique’ could have been doctored.
“We are aware that in this age of technological advancements, we have to take any allegations with a pinch of salt until we are confident of the authenticity of the source,” he said.
“Society’s discomforts and disagreements should, however, not be enough reasons for us to approve the circulation of phony and injurious statements against any perceived foe.”
He said CAN and Mr Yakowa’s family feared making the allegation “a media issue, instead of a legal and security issue that it ought to be, is that we stand to lose the most important point; that of bringing to justice persons accused to have wronged the law.”
He, therefore, called for caution to avert further chaos in communities with strained relationships as what is needed are mediatory interventions and peacebuilding.
He noted that after Mr Yakowa’s death, there was no inquiry to determine the cause of his death.
“We the Christian community and indeed his immediate family acknowledged the tragedy, submitting to the will of God Almighty. For that purpose, there is no point, now or later, to open up what will not bring back our leader and father but rather open up old wounds in a very controversial manner.
“Those who feel they have information to help the security agencies investigate whatever crimes against groups or individuals should do so within the provided window, without exacerbating the tension or formulating tales in the public space,” Mr Hayab said.

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