The sultan of Sokoto, the spiritual leader of Nigeria’s Muslims, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, speaks to the media at the state house in Abuja on December 27, 2011. Nigeria’s top Muslim spiritual leader sought to calm tensions Tuesday after meeting the country’s president over deadly Christmas attacks claimed by Islamists that risk inflaming sectarian divisions. AFP PHOTO / WOLE EMMANUEL (Photo credit should read WOLE EMMANUEL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, has on Thursday, stated that everything is not alright in the country, calls on the President Muhammadu Buhari Federal Government and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to stop deceiving themselves, Page 36 learnt.
The Sultan spoke in Abuja, at the 4th Quarterly Meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council, NIREC.
Speaking against the background of the recent escalation of attacks in the Shinkafi axis of Sokoto State, and the general security challenges in the country, he said: “If I continue talking about the insecurity in the North, we will not leave this room. We are witnesses to the media report on how people were killed in a bus in Sokoto, even though the figure of casualty is not correct. There is no single day that passes without people being killed in the North, especially in the North-West, but we don’t hear it.
“Let us not deceive ourselves, everything is not alright, I have said this so many times, and to know that you have a problem, you have part of the solution. The earlier we rise up to the occasion, come together, the better for us.”
Citing the recent threat letter by bandits to Christians in Zamfara State, the Sultan of Sokoto also came hard on the Security Agencies for not doing enough to investigate and authenticate the source of the violent message.
He lamented that the lack of due diligence by the Police, before informing Christians of the planned attack on Churches in Zamfara State, could have frightened worshippers and dampened their faith.
The Sultan added: “When I saw a note that the bandits are threatening Christians in Zamfara, I asked what is the work of our Security Agencies? Why will they come out and make such comment when they have not verified it? You are making people to be more frightened.
“I will not stop going to Mosque to pray just, because I saw in a paper that if I go to Mosque I will be killed. Let me be killed. I must die. So, Christians should not be afraid of going to Church to worship, because an anonymous person is threatening them.
“We have to be careful in the way we handle, say, and do things as Religious Leaders. We are not Political Leaders. Therefore, we have to be wary of what we say, where, and how we say such things, because our followers will definitely believe in what we say. They will believe and feel that it is from the Holy Koran or the Holy Bible.
“We cannot go on telling things to people without thinking that they will believe. We cannot go on saying things that we know we do not have full knowledge of.”
Also speaking at the event, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, slammed the Federal Government for the poor management of the nation’s security.
Rev. Ayokunle co-chairs NIREC with the Sultan.
The CAN President said: “Travelling from one point to another by road in particular has become a very great risk. Kidnapper are everywhere, and they do not only come out to kidnap, but also to kill, so you do not know who the next victim is going to be.
“Why should these people be killing and hiding people in our territory without being challenged? Why should it be easy for them to hide people somewhere within the State, and the Security Agencies in the State, within few days or weeks, will not be able to fish them out?”
Speaking further, Rev. Ayokunle called for an increase in Intelligence gathering, urging the public to also volunteer information to the Security Agencies to help the tracing and apprehension of the criminals.
He also advocated for increased investment in the Military, to enhance their performance, and warned the Security Forces to purge themselves of elements who aid and abet criminality in the country.
More news later…