Insurgency, punishment for our sins – Sultan

  • Buhari will not resign over insecurity-FG
  • As Senate mulls agency for repentant terrorists

The insurgency in the country is part of God’s punishment against Nigerians for disobeying his commands, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar lll has said.

Speaking at the 5th International Conference on “Love and Tolerance: Countering Violent Extremism for Peaceful Coexistence” in Abuja, the Sultan said Nigerians were living in sin and have refused to abide by the teachings of the Quran and the Bible.

The Sultan, who was represented by the Emir of Jiwa, Dr. Idris Musa, expressed dismay over the spate of insecurity in the country, lamenting that it had got to a stage where the rich were avoiding the poor.

“The security challenge is our problem. The Holy Quran is a message to mankind. The Hoy Bible is a message to mankind. If we cannot listen to what the Bible and Quran have taught us and we continue in our bad ways, what do we expect?

“It is part of the punishment we are receiving based on our sins. If we can stop committing sin and abide by God’s words, things will change.

“I thank the UFUK Foundation for trying to unite the world to become one and love each other. Today, we are in a situation that most of us do not love each other. This is wrong, we are created in the same way and we are brothers, no matter the situation and religion.

“We are appealing to everyone to live together and be our brother’s keeper and live in harmony. We should not create problems for each other,” he said.

The Sultan however expressed optimism that Nigeria would overcome the security challenges bedevilling it.

“We can win the fight against insurgency. Everyone is afraid of each other, but I am sure that we are going to win the war. Today, it has reached a situation where a senior citizen is running away from the common man, because, he is thinking that he would lose his life, why?” he asked.

He called on Muslims and Christians to continue to pray for God’s mercy, peace and unity of the nation.

Buhari will not resign — FG

Meanwhile, the federal government yesterday said President Muhammadu Buhari will not resign over the security challenges bedevilling the country. The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said this in Abuja, while addressing journalists.

The minister was reacting to a call for Buhari’s resignation over the rising insecurity in the country.

It would be recalled that the Senate Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abariba, had about two weeks ago asked the President to resign over heightened insecurity in the country. Abaribe had tackled the president over what he described as his failure to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians.

But speaking yesterday, the minister said, “President will not resign. He has the overwhelming mandate of Nigerians to preside over the affairs of the country till the expiration of his tenure in May 2023”.

He added that the federal government believes in the ability of the service chiefs to tackle insecurity.

“These challenges will be successfully tackled. I will however advise all commentators, especially political and religious leaders, to be very careful at this time not to aggravate the situation with incendiary comments; comments that cash in on our religious, ethnic and political fault lines to further divide us. The kind of comments that have been attributed to some leaders, especially religious leaders, are incendiary and reckless. Leaders should be part of solutions to problems, rather than aggravating situations,” he said.

He further stated that the dissemination of fake news is not accidental but has become a weapon of choice to create tension in the polity and destabilize the country.

‘‘And those behind it, the naysayers, are not about to relent. For some people, the 2019 elections are not over. They are stuck in the pre-election mode. And they must continue to use these weapons to put Nigeria on edge”, he added.

Senate mulls agency for repentant insurgents

In a related development,  a bill seeking a special agency to handle the affairs of repentant Boko Haram members is before the Senate. The bill, which is  for the establishment of an agency for the de-radicalization and integration of repentant Boko Haram insurgents was read for the first time on the floor of the Senate yesterday.

The bill, titled: “National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalization and Integration of repentant insurgents in Nigeria (Est, etc) Bill, 2020” was sponsored by a former Yobe Governor, Senator Ibrahim Geidam, (APC, Yobe East).

It seeks to provide avenue for rehabilitating, de-radicalizing, educating and reintegrating the defectors, repentant and detained members of the insurgent group, Boko Haram, to make them useful members of the society.

It also aims to provide avenue for reconciliation and promote national security.

Other objectives of the bill include: ‘‘providing an-open-door and encouragement for other members of the group who are still engaged in the insurgency to abandon the group, especially in the face of the military pressure; giving the government an opportunity to derive insider-information about the insurgence group for greater understanding of the group and its inner workings among others.

Zulum seeks review of military strategy

In furtherance of efforts to end the insurgency, Borno State governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, has appealed to the federal government to ensure that para-military personnel deployed to fight the Boko Haram war in the North-east bear sophisticated weapons.

The governor who just recently returned from Niger Republic, said policemen in Niger, carried weapons of massive destruction like anti-aircraft gun.

Zulum made the call when members of the House of Representatives Committee on Defence paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Maiduguri. He said there was need for a decisive action if Boko Haram must be won, maintaining that adequate manpower needs to be injected into the military.

“When I was in Niger Republic, I saw Nigerien police carrying anti-Aircraft guns.

I call on the federal government to allow our para-military personnel in the north-east to carry the same firearms like AA gun and other sophisticated weapons.

“The military should take the war to the fringes of Lake Chad (Tumbus) and Sambisa, we know the hideout of the insurgents. The military knows, the Theatre Commanders know. I am ready to say the truth. We all know, the military should take the war to the Boko Haram,” he said.

He said the military did well in 2015, when President Buhari assumed office until Mach last year.

“From March till date, we have experienced horrible and continuous attacks on daily basis. I therefore appeal to the federal government and the military to revisit the strategy they adopted in 2015,” he said.

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