By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – President Mohammadu Buhari on Thursday called religious, political and community leaders in the country to rise against insurgency and corruption.
The president spoke while declaring open the International Islamic Conference for Peace and Nation Building, organized by the Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’a Wa Iqamatis Sunna based in Nigeria and the Muslim World League in Abuja.
The president who was worried that insurgents were hiding under the cloak of Islamic religion to penetrate all manner of atrocities however distanced the religion from the menace, stating that the religion does not condone lawlessness.
He called on the religious leaders to mobilize their followers against all corruption and crimes of any kind.
He said: “The tragic paradox of the global insurgency situation is that most of the atrocities committed by various insurgents all over the world today, are being carried out mainly by people who pretend to be Muslims, yet most of the victims and casualties are equally Muslims.
“To underscore their cruelty and godlessness, they particularly target the most vulnerable members of the society: children, women and the elderly. No religion approves of such heinous crimes against humanity; definitely not Islam nor Christianity, the two to which most Nigerians belong.
“This is a tragedy which all normal people must rise up against. Islam does not permit lawlessness. It frowns at extremism even in normal acts of worship. The emergence of any group advocating the contrary is therefore irreligious and unacceptable. Religious leaders must intensify their efforts to send out the real teachings of their religion in order to counter the diabolical ideology that motivates the insurgent elements.
“I wish to use this forum to call on all religious, community and political leaders to mobilize their followers against corruption and crimes of any kind. They should also encourage them to be more tolerant of each other; and recognize the rights of others as they want others to recognize their rights to worship and live freely.”
Recalling his promise of stamping out terrorism during his inauguration as president last year, president Buhari said that his government has formed a synergy with Nigeria’s Neighbours to realize the objective.
He said that terrorists would be pursued until they become an item of history.