Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III has blamed continued insecurity challenge posed by herdsmen in various parts of the country on poor intelligence gathering mechanism by law enforcement agencies.
Speaking at a two-day international conference, organised by Kwara State government in Ilorin, on Tuesday, the Sultan of Sokoto called for more proactive measures by security agencies in tackling the menace.
“I can assure you that we’ve been working hard on how to stop the menace of herdsmen. I don’t want to say Fulani herdsmen. Herdsmen are herdsmen. They could be any other thing. How could Fulani who move about with their cattle and family come to a place, kill people, destroy everything and disappear into thin air like spirit. What are our security agencies doing? Where are our intelligence gathering mechanism in this country to know where this people come from or who they are. I can stand here for the next two hours to talk on this issue.
Meanwhile, there would be meeting of religious and traditional leaders on this issue, especially on Southern Kaduna crisis with northern governors forum next week Monday,” he said.
Talking on the theme of the conference, Security and Peaceful Coexistence in Nigeria, the sultan of Sokoto, who was the chairman of the occasion, said that main foundation of problems of insecurity in the country is injustice.
He said injustice brings bad governance, adding that bad governance allows people to do whatever they want to do with impunity and go scot free.
“There must be justice in whatever we do. Whoever offended anyone should be brought to book. Be it Christian, Moslem or any other person.
“We have problems in this country. Let’s not deceive ourselves, there is friction between Muslims and non Muslims. We have been having problems in Nigeria because of impunity. The small percentage of criminals in our midst should, however, not be used to label all of us. With proper understanding, we can overcome our problems”, he said.
The foremost monarch, who said that such problems should not have been, giving the fact that over 90 per cent of Nigerians are Muslims and Christians with a guide in either Holy Qur’an or Holy Bible, adding that, “God did not make a mistake when he created us as Muslims and Christians and made us people of Nigeria”.
The Sultan who decried killing of innocent people in the name of religion, asked religious leaders to stop inciting people against one another through their preaching.
“Let’s stop inciting remarks at various places. For instance, people who lost elections two or two and half years back to continue abusing people everyday. Everyday there are comments hitting president, governors and political parties and so on. Loss in elections is not the end of the world. A loss in an election does not give anyone the right to be insulting people, be it as religious or ethnic leaders”, he said.
He also urged the government to do something about the development, saying that anyone who hide under religion to incite or kill innocent people should be sanctioned appropriately.
“Among these two main religions there is no where I found that killing of innocent people are allowed. What the terrorists are doing is anti- Islam and they ( those killing innocent people in the name of Jihad) are going straight to hell for committing murder. We know what Islam says we should do and not do. We should understand the doctrine of our religion.
“We should move closer to one another to understand ourselves better. The number of Muslims killed by Boko Haram far outweighs that of Christians. Therefore, the Boko Haram cannot lay claim to being Muslims. In Islam life is sacred”, he said.
On the southern Kaduna crisis, the Sultan expressed optimism that an enduring solution would be found to the problem at a meeting of Governors forum.
While commending Kwara state government for organising the conference, the Sultan asked Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed to reach out to President Muhammadu Buhari and other governors on the outcome of the conference.
He also charged the conference, saying, “Let it not be a jamboree, but a turning point in our national life, so that you come up with a model”, which he said could be sent to government for possible implementation in tackling insecurity.
This, he said became necessary because, “there is no state in this country that is not facing a crisis.”
Declaring the conference open, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed said that Nigeria is facing many security challenges.
He said the conference was designed
to proffer solutions to the security challenges facing the country in all fronts.
He noted that the youths who formed the bulk of the nation’s population were disenchanted.
According to the governor, the nation was sitting on a time bomb waiting to explode if the problem of youth unemployment is not tackled.
He harped on the need for the stakeholders to address poverty as a way of reducing youths restiveness; and economic and security problems.