Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III
- Says there is clear lack of accountability, security chiefs, others do not pay for inaction, Irresponsibility
By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
Apex Muslim organisation in Nigeria, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam ( JNI).led by the Sultan of Sokoto, has said that the most disturbing dimension of the security situation in parts of Nigeria was the apparent government’s inability to confront this monstrous trend head-on.
“Our position is reinforced by the government’s inaction to hold erring security officials responsible. In other words, there is a clear essence of lack of accountability, security chiefs and their subordinates appear not to be made to pay for their inaction or irresponsibility,” the JNI alleged.
According to the JNI, ” the Glorious Qur’an states unequivocally “…that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors. Q5:32. Similarly, Allah, the Highest says “And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right.”
“This has He instructed you that you may use reason.” Q6:151. From these Qur’anic verses, it is forbidden for human life to be killed unjustly, talk-less of burning it. And in all climes, the government is essentially in place to protect and safeguard human life from being killed. Besides, Chapter 2 of the Nigerian Constitution unambiguously affirms that human life is sacrosanct. It is therefore utterly disgusting, heartrending and unprecedented the waylaying of unarmed innocent and defenceless passengers and their subsequent burning beyond recognition by the heartless and rampaging bandits at Gidan Bawa village in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.”
“Yet the government isn’t perturbed and no concrete action is seemed to have been taken. Even the media outcry is trifled, compared to similar incidences in other parts of Nigeria,” the JNI said.
The JNI said these in a statement signed by Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the Secretary-General, adding that from all indications, despite the establishment of combined security forces along known routes where bandits operate, they still carry out their dastardly acts freely.
” Isn’t it treacherous and heartless that plying major roads within North-West – Nigeria, defenceless citizens are allowed to be flocked into kidnappers’ den and thereafter negotiations for ransom payment are initiated? What is Nigeria turning into, a lawless entity? Amidst the Sabon Birni episode, just this morning (today Thursday, 9th December 2021), 16 people were reportedly killed in a mosque at Mashegu local government area of Niger state. What really is the matter is that the government has not been able to halt the operations of bandits against innocent citizens particularly in North-Western Nigeria? We are compelled to assume that government seems oblivious to the sufferings and agonies of her citizens as a result of the relentless activities of these bandits.”
“Nevertheless, JNI condemns in the strongest terms this senseless and barbaric act, along with other equally disheartened bloodletting and carnage. Likewise, all other acts of arson attacks, attempted prison jailbreaks, bomb blasts in Oyo, Kogi, Plateau, Yobe and Borno states and many of such irrepressible acts stand condemned by the JNI. But for how long, shall we continue to condemn acts of extreme violence without any concerted efforts in ending them?
For how long, would we continue to remain indifferent? And for how long would we continue to remain hopeless in this precarious situation? The most disturbing dimension of this situation is the apparent government’s inability to confront this monstrous trend head-on. Our position is reinforced by the government’s inaction to hold erring security officials responsible. In other words, there is a clear essence of lack of accountability, security chiefs and their subordinates appear not to be made to pay for their inaction or irresponsibility.”
“We, however, send our heartfelt condolences to the families of the commuters, all officers and men that died in active service, as well as the people and government of Borno, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kogi, Oyo, Niger, Kaduna-Abuja Road, Kebbi, Plateau and Yobe States that have suffered in recent times various degrees of violence and Nigeria in general.
We reiterate our calls to the federal government to rise up to its primary cum constitutional responsibility of protecting and securing citizens and do well beyond condemnation on security-related matters. Nigerians are desperately yearning for concrete actions against all forms of criminalities. Silence is not golden given the most unfortunate spate of the horrendous butchery of human lives in the Nigerian state.”
“To further reiterate our principled positions, JNI condemns killings of innocent souls wherever they happen to be and whoever is involved. JNI also condemns the generalization of criminals as representatives of the whole, thus leading to unjust stereotyping and scapegoating. We condemn all criminals, whoever they are and wherever they come from. A criminal should be treated as a criminal regardless of his/her ethnic or religious affinity.”
“The Northern Governors’ Forum should rise above board and collectively end the new normal eroding the heritage of the north. They should learn from their colleagues of the southern extraction. Cases in point are the ongoing debate of the death of a student from Dowen College and the 8 children that were reported dead in a Honda Pilot Jeep marked AAA 157 BD, at Adelayo Street, Jah-Michael Area of Olorunda, all in Lagos State. Similarly, the Ondo state Governor stood for its citizens that were murdered in Plateau state some months ago.”
The government’s silence over the 1000 Housing Estate bomb blast in Maiduguri, the Jos Prison Break and the burnt commuters along Sabon Birni Sokoto road, not to mention the multitude of carnages in Sokoto – Zamfara axis, calls for serious sober reflection. Therefore, the federal government should be seen to be proactive on security matters, as well as assure and assuage citizens’ fears at critical moments of grief.
The recurrent security challenges such as kidnappings, armed robberies, rising bomb blasts and attack of Boko Haram cum ISWAP insurgents, in addition to ethnic violence here and there within Nigeria, is alarming. The government needs to wake up as citizens are becoming more and more agitated.”
“Government should take the bull by the horn by prosecuting promoters of hate speech and tame the rising cases of banditry in Nigeria, otherwise it will become a norm that cannot be challenged. Government should act fast before we are consumed by these self-inflicted maladies.
Finally, while we continue to express our sincere condolences to all the victims of these unfortunate killings, we are calling on both the politicians and non-governmental organisations to strengthen their cooperation and/or synergy aimed at finding a lasting solution to these spates of killings and destructions.”