By NBF News

Bauchi State Governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda has denied media reports that he was indifferent to the death of the nine graduates observing the mandatory national youth service in his state.

The youth corps members were killed by irate youths who unleashed violence on the state while protesting the results of the April 16 presidential election won by the PDP presidential candidate, Dr Goodluck Jonathan. Yuguda had been at the receiving end of scathing remarks following his alleged comments that the corps members were destined to die. But speaking with journalists in Abuja during the weekend, Yuguda denied ever making the unsavoury comments, but noted that as the Chief Security Officer, he was culpable for the demise of the youths on national assignment in his state.

'I sympathize with the parents and I sympathize with myself; I sympathize with the parents, because they lost their children whom they have spent close to 20 years to train: looking up to them to finish and help them, when they eventually reach age of infirmity and I sympathize with myself, because if those who were killed, now that I am governor; tomorrow when I enter my grave God will ask me about those nine on national service who were killed! I stand accountable for those nine and Allah will ask me. What am I going to tell Almighty Allah? So, I am also awaiting punishment for their deaths. That's why I wept in the night, remembering the day I would be in my grave and Allah would ask me about those nine that were killed. One of them was even caught performing ablution, he was going to pray!'

The Bauchi Governor disclosed that over 500 culprits believed to be perpetrators of the violence were in police custody and vowed that the law would take its course.'The only thing is that the law must take its course. We have arrested over 600 people, some of them actually did the killings and we are going to prosecute them. If the law would allow me, after their being found guilty, if the law would allow me, to shoot them, I will take the gun and shoot them myself.

So, what was the correlation between what I said and the report that I spat on the grave of the dead youth corps members. These boys that had toiled for 20 years with their parents paying school fees and fending for them; they had come to serve me and they were happy serving me.

Anytime I went to them, they woud mill around me and I had offered to give them jobs immediately after they finished. Each and everyone of them were willing to take up jobs in Bauchi, because by the provision of the constitution, I told them anyone of you after seven years, becomes the citizen of Bauchi, because that's what the constitution says you become an indigene of an environment after seven years and I will give you permanent employment, right from day one.

So, all these scandalous reports about me, coming from those who didn't know my antecedents; they portrayed me as an animal; as somebody who is heartless. I believe the person who wrote that report about me would have been compromised to run me down as an individual.' Mallam Yuguda disclosed that to stem the tide of religious violence in the state, a law would soon be passed to regulate preachings in churches and mosques in the state.

'In the case of Bauchi, a law is in the offing on regulation of religious preaching, because the preachers, both Christians and Muslims aren't helping matters. There is no point for somebody to go into a church or mosque to say, go and vote for a certain political party.

An Imam is supposed to issue sermon and guide people on what God says should be; the same thing for a pastor who is supposed to mount the pulpit. He isn't supposed to say, '' I have taken a position and this is the party I am going to vote for.''

Go to the book of faith, where God says vote for who is just and equitable. It is their in the Quran and it is also there in the bible. So, you should vote for he who is just; that's what the Quran says. So, there is no question why somebody should be allowed to pick a microphone in a mosque and say, 'this one is a Christian, don't vote for him and a pastor would say ,''this one is a Moslem, don't vote for him.''