- The Sultan of Sokoto said that some criminal elements have hijacked the age-long farmers/herders’ crisis in the country
- He said the farmers/herders’ clashes are purely economic and not as violent as what is being witnessed recently
- The royal father, thus, urged the federal government to arrest and prosecute the criminals responsible for the recent killings and their sponsors
The Sultan of Sokoto and president-general of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSICA), Sa’ad Abubakar III, on Sunday, May 27, urged the federal government to arrest and prosecute those behind rampant killings across the country.
He lamented that the age-long farmers/ herders’ crisis, which is known to all as a purely economic one, has now been hijacked by some criminal elements.
The royal father insisted that those killing innocent people, especially in the Middle Belt region, are criminals who should be arrested and punished accordingly.
The Sultan who spoke while addressing resident communities, heads of security agencies, religious leaders and journalists during a Ramadan breakfast dinner held at his palace, Leadership reports.
NAIJ.com gathered that monarch, however, warned against arresting and killing of innocent Fulanis.
“But don’t arrest or kill innocent Fulani men just like what had happened in Benue state when innocent Fulanis who were on transit were stopped and killed by some residents of the state,” he cautioned.
The Sultan admonished Nigerians never to allow terrorists, whose ultimate target remains to put the country at a crossroad by all means, celebrate victory over Nigeria.
He urged victims of insurgency and other aggrieved persons never to allow terrorists to win the war against Nigeria, adding that the recent statement credited to some Christian leaders was a pointer to that direction.
The religious and traditional leader further urged Christians and all other victims of the insurgency to think twice before making comments that are capable of making terrorists win their war against the Nigerian State.
Reacting to a statement credited to some Christian leaders that if the only Christian girl abducted alongside the freed Muslims girls from Dapchi school eventually dies in the hands of Boko Haram, Nigeria will be heading for a religious war, he maintained that terrorism has no religion.
The Sultan regretted that such unfair statement could come from respected Christian leaders, even as he wondered the rationale such retaliation would be.
“How could that be? Did the Muslims connive with Boko Haram to abduct the girls and release others?”, he queried.
Dispelling the impression that Boko Haram is targeted at Christians on behalf of the entire Nigerian Muslims, Sultan said Boko Haram killed more Muslims than Christians.
The royal father stated: “For them (Christian leaders) to now make that comment that if she dies in the hand of Boko Haram there will be a religious war is very unfair. How could you start attacking Muslims because this innocent girl happened to be a victim of murderous terrorists? Should we allow ourselves to be controlled by such mentality? It means they (Boko Haram) are winning the war because that is what they want.
“If they hear about this and go ahead and kill the innocent girl, that means you are part and parcel of what made them to do that because they want to cause confusion in the country. We are all praying for her safe return and for the safety of every Nigerian, irrespective of his or her religion”.
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NAIJ.com previously reported that Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) announced that it preferred the establishment of cattle colony than ranching system as the proposed solution to the end farmers/herdsmen crisis in Nasarawa state.
Nasarawa state MACBAN chairman, Hassan Muhammed made this known in a town hall meeting in Lafia, saying the ranching system is expensive and very difficult to manage.
According to him, cattle colony is cheaper, affordable and inclined with the norms, culture and tradition of Fulani herdsmen.
Hassan, who described his people as peaceful and law abiding people of this country, blamed the anti-open grazing law in Benue state for fueling the clashes seen in the recent times between his kinsmen and the Tiv people.
Benue elders speak on herdsmen attacks - On NAIJ.com TV