The Sultan of Sokoto and President General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has challenged the Federal Government over the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Nation reported that the sultan on Sunday while addressing a press conference in Kaduna blamed the Nigeria military for allowing Boko Haram seize territories and told the Federal Government to stop the killings in the Northeastern part of the country.
The Sultan, who is a retired Brig. Gen. on behalf of JNI said the repeated attacks, especially the capture of towns and villages by the insurgents, posed a grave danger to the nation.
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“Nigeria’s sovereignty has been threatened as a so-called ‘Islamic Caliphate’ has been carved out of her by the insurgents. An unfortunate, worrisome and embarrassing dimension has recently been added to the scenarios – that of the way soldiers take to their heels and abandon their bases, arms, ammunition and other military hardware on the approach of the insurgents. It is also sad and an unfortunate fact that Nigerian security forces only surface after the deadly attacks and terrorise an already terrorised people by installing road blocks and searching homes and business premises. JNI condemns these heinous attacks in the strongest terms and, once again, calls on the Federal Government, with the loudest voice, to wake up to its fundamental and obligatory responsibility of protecting lives and property of Nigerians; especially in the Northeast where the insurgency is most endemic. The government should act fast and stop wallowing in diatribe, as human lives are sacred and must be seen to be treated as so,” he said.
The sultan, who was represented by the Secretary General of JNI, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, further stated that his particular concerns are the brutal murder of young children in their school premises in Potiskum on November 11, as well as the murder of a prominent Muslim scholar and his associates in Nafada Town on Tuesday November 4.
“It is indeed alarming that in a matter of only two weeks, eight deadly attacks were unleashed on seven towns in four states of the Federation as follows:- Mubi town on 30th October, Gombe Motor Park on 31st October, Potiskum town on 3rd November (Ashura day), Nafada town on 4th November, Ashaka Explosives Depot on 5th November, Maiha town on 10th November, Potiskum School on 11th November and Kontagora Federal College of Education on 12th November, 2014. Unfortunately, on Saturday, 15th November, 2014, a devastating attack was reported in Hotoro, Kano State, came another report same Saturday, 15th November, 2014, that the ethnic chauvinist group, Ombatse, attacked the palace of the Emir of Lafia, the JNI Vice President-General (VPG) Nasarawa State, leading to the deaths of many. Again on Sunday, 16th November, 2014, came another report of attacks in Azare, Bauchi State. As if these weren’t enough, Mafa Local Government of Borno State was ransacked on Thursday, 20th November, 2014, for several hours unabated,” he said.
The traditional ruler further hinted that thousands of innocent citizens have lost their lives, and thousands have been abducted, with the males forced into insurgency and the females into slavery.
He said thousands more are wallowing in Internally Displaced Persons camps in Nigeria and in refugee camps in neighbouring countries, while trillions of naira worth of infrastructure and public and private properties have been destroyed.
“In the light of all these distasteful developments, JNI is forced to ask the following questions:- Where withered the Nigerian Army of the 1967-69 civil war? Where are the heroes of international peace keeping? When will the government bring an end to this scourge? Does the government really have the capability, capacity, commitment and sincerity to bring an end to this insurgency and the multifarious security challenges facing the nation? As has been done painfully in previous cases, JNI President-General and the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, on behalf of Nigerian Muslims, condemns these unabated acts of terror being unleashed on innocent citizens and calls for concerted introspection and sincere commitment by Government to take proactive and effective measures in addressing this pernicious problem. The government should, as a matter of urgency, ensure that the security Forces get all that they need for effective operations and that they serve diligently as soldiers should. In addition, all culprits must be apprehended and brought to justice, thus giving effect to the laws of the land and deterring others,” he said.
The Sultan while speaking on the travails of the displaced people said: “As an ameliorating measure, the funds collected following the launching of the Victims’ Support Fund should be supplemented with government grants and judiciously utilised with dispatch in order to ensure that all necessary support reaches the affected victims and that destroyed infrastructure are rehabilitated. Government should also step up the dialogue process with a view to ending the insurgency and de-radicalising the insurgents.”
Meanwhile, following constant attacks on schools in the north eastern part of the country, Borno state government recently appealed to parents in the state after the re-opening of public primary schools in Maiduguri last week, to allow their wards go back to school.