Terrorists kill people in the North daily, Sultan laments

• Says Christians should not be afraid to go to church • It is worrisome that security agencies can't fish out kidnappers ― CAN

The Sultan of Sokoto Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar has lamented that terrorists kill people on a daily basis in the northern part of the country especially in the North West and the killings are mostly not reported.

This is just as the Sultan called on Christians to disregard the recent threat by some unknown persons who warned that those found attending churches in Zamfara State will be killed.

Speaking at the 4th Quarter 2021 Meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) with the theme ‘NIREC, Security Agencies and Peace in Nigeria’, the Sultan who is also the Co-Chair of NIREC, said there is no single day that passes without people being killed in the North.

“If I continue talking about the insecurity in the North, we will not leave this room. A few days ago, we are witnesses to the media report on how people were killed in a bus in Sokoto, even though the figure is not correct, but even one life is important, there is no single day that passes without people being killed in the North especially in the North West now, but we don’t hear it.

“When I saw a note that the bandits are threatening Christians in Zamfara, I asked what is the work of our security agencies, why will they come out and make such comment when you have not verified it because you are making people to be more frightened.

“I will not stop going to the mosque to pray because I saw in a paper that if I go to the mosque I will be killed, let me be killed, I must die, so Christians should not be afraid of going to church to worship because an anonymous person is threatening them,” he said.

He said Nigeria has a series of challenges facing it, and if leaders don’t wake up and come together to understand the issues facing the country, the challenges will escalate.

“Let’s not deceive ourselves, everything is not alright. I have said this so many times, and to know that you have a problem, you have part of the solution. The earlier we rise up to the occasion, come together, the better for us,” the Sultan noted.

He, however, charged religious leaders to be wary of the kind of things they say to their followers, noting that their followers always believe that they speak things from the Holy Bible and Holy Koran.

“We have to be careful in the way we handle, say and do things as religious leaders, we are not political leaders, therefore we have to be wary of what we say, where and how we say such things because our followers will definitely believe in what we say, they will believe and feel that it is from the Holy Koran or the Holy Bible.

“We cannot go on telling things to people without thinking that they will believe, we cannot go on saying things that we know we don’t have full knowledge of,” he said.

While advocating for dialogue to address some of the challenges in the country, Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar said the elites in the country have been the major problems the nation is facing.

“I believe in dialogue, and l believe dialogue is the best option, we sit down and talk ourselves and come up with possible solutions to the problems of the majority, we are the minority here, we are the elites and the elites are the problems of this country because we always want things to go our way,” he added.

• It is worrisome that security agencies can’t fish out kidnappers ― CAN


In his own remarks the CAN President, Reverend Dr Samson Ayokunle, lamented that Nigerian roads have become a den of kidnappers and a no-go-area for travellers.

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National President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Dr Samson Ayokunle

Reverend Ayokunle who is also the Co-Chair of NIREC wondered why persons would be kidnapped and the security forces cannot trace the kidnappers to their hideouts and rescue the victims.

“Travelling from one point to another by road, in particular, has become a very great risk, kidnappers are everywhere and they don’t only come out to kidnap but also to kill, so you don’t know who the next victim is going to be.

“Why should these people be killing and hiding people in our territory without being challenged, why should it be easy for them to hide people somewhere within the state and the security agencies in the state within a few days or weeks will not be able to fish them out?” he queried.

The CAN President, therefore, called for an increase in intelligence gathering, and the public to also volunteer information to the security agencies so that the movement of criminals could be traced and apprehended ahead of time.

He also urged the security forces to purge themselves of the criminals among them who aid and abate criminality.

Reverend Ayokunle also called for more funding of the security forces to acquire modern equipment that will enhance their performance, he said there should also be deliberate efforts by the government to create enabling environment for the employment of youth, making it difficult for criminality to be appealing to them to join.

Also, the Executive Secretary of NIREC, Father Cornelius Omonokhua called on Christians and Muslims to come together and fight terrorism and insecurity.

“No terrorist can be a religious person and no religious person can be a terrorist. We must come together now to pray and fight those who have waged war against humanity in Nigeria,” he noted.

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