The Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, has said that Nigeria cannot continue like this following the alarming rate of killings and destruction across the country .
The Islamic leader however said hope is high in the new government to combat the challenges, saying, the stakeholders would engage the new government and urge the Bola Tinubu-led government to hit the ground running in bringing solutions to the problems.
He however,berated security operatives for arriving long after attacks have taken place .
Sultan expressed his concern over the behaviour of security operatives, saying their action is synonymous to mocking the victims when they arrive long after bandit attacks have taken place.
The Islamic leaders said this during the second quarterly meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), held in Abuja with the theme ‘Media and Effective Nation Building.”
He urged the governments to address
the alarming resurgence of insecurity occured after the general elections.
According to him, this year’s elections’ insecurity has not been witnessed by Nigerians before, killings continued after the election in some part of the country.
He said, “Throughout the campaigns and the elections, we never had these cases of insecurity. Suddenly, after the elections, the killings continued across Niger, Plateau, Kaduna and other places.
“These killings are definitely not related to religion, but the activities of some set of uninformed people.”
“Security agents often arrive at the scene long after the attacks, seemingly to mock the affected people or simply survey the ashes of the destroyed items.
“Imagine a situation where bandits would invade a community, kill people and destroy their properties, with little or no resistance from the security officials, only for the security officials to appear long after the attacks and perhaps, to mock the people or look at the ashes of destroyed items.
“Few days ago, it was reported that some United States Embassy staff were killed and burnt in Anambra State. That’s barbaric and shouldn’t have happened because there is no justification for that.
“Why this resurgence? Definitely, these resurgences are not religious. Since a new government is coming in, we’re sure we can engage the government to hit the ground running in bringing solutions to these problems.
“But we cannot continue that way because when bandits just go into people’s communities, kill them and burn their houses and nothing is done, then when the deed is done, the security agencies will go there to do what? To look at the ashes that are being burnt?”
The sultan also acknowledged the media as a critical stakeholder in nation building and urged its involvement in government activities and programs.
He noted the media’s influential role in various countries and emphasized the need for responsible reporting to prevent religious and ethnic crises in Nigeria.
He said, “Take a look at what’s happening across the countries of the world where the media compromised in quality, facts and truth. It’s unfortunate that Sudan is going through war and the role of the media is crucial in ending or prolonging the war.
“The media played a different role in the 2023 elections. The media will also play a crucial role in the coming administration. So, we expect to hear from the media professionals on their challenges and expectations and pass the message to the incoming government.”
Archbishop Daniel Okoh, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria and co-chairman of NIREC, echoed the sultan’s sentiments, stating that media professionals have the power to either instigate or resolve crises.
He emphasized the importance of understanding the situation in Nigeria and using their platforms responsibly.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, highlighted NIREC’s responsibility to provide leadership for religious institutions in fostering harmonious and peaceful coexistence among citizens. He emphasized the importance of justice, good governance, and coordination at all levels of society for peaceful coexistence.
In the same vein, Prof. Cornelius Afebu Omonokhua, the Executive Secretary of NIREC, also emphasized the need for justice and good governance to build a healthy society. He stressed the importance of coordination among different societal classes for peaceful coexistence.
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