El-Rufai and the Closure of Churches in Saminaka Kaduna State.
The task must have been an odious one, trying to tow the line of religious divides very carefully, but seeing it from the angle of Governance and the desire for the maintenance of peace, any action can be justified. Especially in the light of several, as reported, attempts to the divisive factions reconcile on peacefully agreeable terms.
Saminaka a very important town to several tribal groups in the eastern-lies of Kaduna State, bordering Bauchi, Kano and Plateau States. A junction town of sort, with routes enjoyed by especially smugglers from time. It links to Jos, Kano, bauchi, Zaria/Kaduna or Abuja/Kafanchan axis. Historically a number of the tribes migrated from Bauchi, Jos or Kano to the region. Before now called Rahama, it has a twin Rahama in Bauchi and the present name of the Local Government area Lere (which is also the name of a town Lere), also has it’s twin in Bauchi South from where a Senator Ali Wakili is from.
The Theological College of Northern Nigeria or is it Theological Seminary, has been in Saminaka, from the colonial era predating independence, it has graduated so many clerics and evangelists, amongst which my father is, in the 1940’s and ’50’s. As a primary school pupil in Samaru Zaria, I got in contact with the International Correspondence Institute Jos Plateau State. On registering, I realised the Institution was domiciled in Saminaka and faculty in The United States of America. I was privileged to do a number of Certificate and later a Diploma programs before my finishing Primary School, from the Institute. I still remember the name of my Tutor in America, one Mrs Gladys Rosenburg, a person I have never met in life. I am, also, one of myriads that have benefitted from the Saminaka Institute. Assembly of God’s Mission, like the Seventh Day Adventist have been very silent workers in the remote villages and towns of this region and have my respect for the selfless service they have been rendering to humanity.
I did my secondary school there like many others, thanks to the educational integration policy of our fathers to have students from different parts of the state. We were the third graduating set of the Government Secondary School, Saminaka now Government College Saminaka. As students we had severally interacted with this peace loving churches and they with us. They were all family, irrespective of the ECWA, Baptist, Anglican, Seven Days Assembly or Assemblies of God’s Mission, we originally were from. While not fishing for worms that have led to the fracas in the Assemblies, I still cannot imagine how the foundations laid by decades of ‘sweats, bloods and sacrifices’ of millions, could be allowed to decay under the selfish uncompromising stance of a few?
The intervention of the Governor is welcome as am told, crisis in that region is not one you will want to experience, Ahmed Makarfi and his Successors will attest to that. I only wish the situation would have the serious intervention of the National Headship of the Church and CAN / PFN. (I am sure the likes of Pastor Abel Damina, the Youth President of PFN, being an Indigene of the locality, could grant both insight and be part of the resolvers). The situation where religious leaders are resorting to civil courts, leaves the followers with a big hole as spiritual/religious matters are best resolved spiritually/religious.
May be Peace reign increasingly in our land. Shalom