End threat to Nigeria’s security now, MMWG tells Buhari

•Calls for greater security consciousness among Muslims during Ramadan

THE Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWG) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take drastic measures to stop the lingering insecurity in the country.

It urged the president to investigate a report of the United States-based Centre for Diplomacy and Democracy which, it said, revealed that the surge in armed banditry and kidnappings around the country in recent months had political undertone.

The MMWG, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, said the centre, in the report, disclosed that the game plan was to make President Buhari seem incapable of handling the security challenges in the country.

The organisation claimed that the report corroborated an intelligence of the Nigerian Army that some disgruntled politicians were planning “with some aliens” to scuttle the inauguration of President Buhari for his second term.

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It, however, appealed to Nigerians to be calm and prayerful and use the opportunity of the holy month of Ramadan to seek the spread of God’s protection, blessings and mercy round the country.

“MMWG calls on religious leaders and traditional rulers across all religious persuasions to watch the ugly trends and rise to the challenge by warning political stakeholders to stop moves likely to plunge the nation into calamity. As traditional and religious leaders, this is part of their responsibilities in which they must not fail. They should also pray hard so that agents of political destabilisation would not triumph over patriotic Nigerians working day and night for the peace and stability of Nigeria.

“The wanton massacre and kidnapping of defenceless civilians must be nipped in the bud, while the anti-democratic forces planning to disrupt Nigeria’s peaceful democratic process need be identified quickly and be made to face the wrath of the law.

“We call on security agencies to urgently rise up to the challenge of the violent threat to our democracy, especially the inauguration of the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari,” MMWG added.

Similarly, against the backdrop of the ongoing Ramadan fast vis-a-vis incessant kidnappings around the country, the Ogun State chapter of the MMWG advised Muslims to be mindful of their safety while engaging in acts of worship, especially nocturnal-related undertakings and activities that may predispose them to activities of criminals.

In a statement signed by its coordinator, Alhaji Kamaldeen Akintunde, the MMWG in the state urged the authorities of the various Muslim institutions, groups and mosques to be proactive in ensuring safe environments for the faithful seeking to maximise the benefits of the glorious month.

The group noted that meritorious acts of worship in Ramadan entail both individual and collective undertakings at late evening or in the night and, therefore, it became imperative to be security conscious in places of worship.

“It is worrisome that governments’ concerted efforts have not yielded an appreciable result, hence the need for the central authority to redouble efforts at addressing the recurring decimal and ensure that Nigeria returns to a safe country for both citizens and immigrants.

“The government must not hesitate to bring in experts on security issues to help find solution to the lingering cases of kidnapping, insurgency and communal clashes threatening our corporate existence. Stakeholders must rise up to the challenge and come up with blueprints that will check the menace.

“Security agencies must step up collaborative efforts and synergise in ending insurgency and banditry.

“Nigerians must also strengthen communal efforts and devise local and traditional measures to stem the tide of kidnapping and banditry that have become lucrative to some people at the expense of fellow Nigerians.

“In the meantime, preachers, scholars and leaders are implored to guard against provocative preaching and inflammatory utterances in order not to heat the polity. Rather, their preaching and speeches should focus on virtues that promote peace, unity, intra and inter-religious harmony, development and good governance.

“The faithful are equally implored to use the opportunity of the glorious month to pray fervently for a smooth transition to the next dispensation,” the statement read.