By Veronica Dariya
The Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede on Wednesday called on residents of Bwari town to embrace peace to ensure sustainable development of the area.
Oloyede made the call during a meeting with security operatives and other stakeholders at the Bwari Area Council in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was organised to address the crisis that broke out on Christmas day in the town.
“I sincerely express my profound sympathy on behalf of other institutions situated in this area to the people of Bwari on this unfortunate incidence.
“We are in Bwari because there has always been peace and the assurance of peace in the town.
“I believe that we are all here, working for the progress of the country but when we begin to disrupt this peace based on ethnic or religious differences, it will only drive us away and put the nation’s interest on hold.
“So, I sincerely charge the traditional rulers to work together and harder, to ensure that the peace we have enjoyed in this place for so long is restored,’’ Oloyede said .
The registrar also commended security agents for their “prompt response’’ toward curtailing the situation, while adding that the Board would not hesitate to give its support to ensure that peace was restored in the area.
Mr Yahaya Jere, a representative of the Mandate Secretary of the Area Council Service of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) said that there was the need for traditional rulers to address segregation in the community.
According to him, the Nigerian constitution allows for everyone to reside in every part of the country, and so no life should be threatened in any part of the country.
He also said that indigenes or not, all hands must be on deck to ensure peace in the area, while urging parents and heads of institutions in the area to synergise to achieve the process.
Jere also said that people, who lost properties, especially in the market which was razed during the crisis should be compensated in order to alleviate their suffering.
In his remarks, Mr Thomas Bobai, the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bwari chapter, said there was the need to discourage people from fanning the embers of discord.
According to him, not all crises are religious and people must stop giving unconfirmed reports that will escalate crisis.
“With crisis like this, people are quick to begin to assume it is a religious thing which may not be and when we begin to make assumptions without confirmations, the news escalates and it becomes hazardous.
“We do not want people spreading what they are not sure of, and giving room for what was not there in the first place.’’
The Chief Imam of Bwari, Muhammadu Mahi also advised all and sundry to avoid vengeance.
“What has happened has happened. The remedy is forgiveness, but if we continue to say we must revenge what the other has done, we would not go forward.
“We want to leave a legacy behind for our children to follow and there must be peace before a good legacy is achieved.’’
Crisis broke out in the early hours of Christmas day when some suspected cultists stormed Bwari town, barricaded and burnt tires at major junctions.
The rioters deprived commuters and motorists from going about their businesses and forced many residents to remain indoors.