Sultan Says Amnesty Committee Not for Boko Haram Alone

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Akin Akande, Abuja

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Sa’ad III, has said it was wrong for the Federal Government to call committee set up to help end insurgency in the North, the Amnesty Committee for Boko Haram.

The Committee was set up the Federal Government to meet with members of the Boko Haram sect with the view to broker peace,

However, the Sultan said that the committee is for reconciliation of various insurgent groups including the Boko Haram operating in the Northern part of the country.

Speaking at the weekend while commissioning the Jumat mosque of Baze University, Abuja, the leader of Muslims in the country said the word amnesty was not appropriate for the present context in which the nation finds itself and which the committee works.

The Sultan also inaugurated a mosque management committee under the chairmanship of Professor Nur Alkali who is also part of the federal government amnesty committee for Boko Haram.

He blamed the insecurity challenges facing the country on inadequate education for the youths urging parents to give proper education to their wards noting that the greatest challenge facing the Muslim community in Nigeria is lack of proper education.

The Sultan, who also urged Muslims across the country and the world as a whole to close ranks and act as a united front said that Islam abhors killings even as he called on Islamic teachers to preach the true message of Islam all the time.

His words; ” We want to call upon our Muslim brothers and sisters to take cognizance of the earlier comment of the former FCT Minister of the challenges facing Islam and Muslims all over the world not only Nigeria. It is for all of us to close ranks as almighty Allah has ordered us to do as Muslims; be united and act as one body and by our sheer strength we can progress our great country and In Sha Allah we will overcome all the challenges facing us.

His words: “We want to thank the proprietors of the university for putting up this institution together and I want to call on all of us to continue to contribute in best way possible we can to educate our people.

“For the greatest problem facing the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria today is lack of education. If there has been adequate education of our youths either Western education or Islamic education the insecurity problem we are facing wouldn’t have risen.

“People wouldn’t have pick up arms and grenades and kill in the name of Islam for Islam abhors such behaviour. We must always educate our children with true teachings of Islam. We advise our Ulamas to always teach us and preach the true message of Islam. Put aside your  personal grievances, put aside your greed for worldly things. These are the problems among our Ulamas and I have just told them in Sokoto when the Council of Ulamas met.

We are having a meeting with the  committee on Sunday morning in Kaduna In Sha Allah to find ways forward to reconciliation . I don’t want use the word amnesty for Boko Haram, its not for Boko Haram alone, its reconciliation of all security challenges being brought about by all various insurgents whether Boko Haram or Boko what, I want to correct this. It is the reconciliation of various insurgents that have been operating in the Northern parts of our country”

Speaking earlier, former FCT Minister, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar, also noted that Muslim community in Nigeria is currently passing through a trying moment even as he urged all Muslims to converge and propagate the true teachings of Islam.

“There is no time that an Ummah has been tested like the present time that we are in and that is why it is incumbent upon us Muslims in Nigeria to converge and propagate the true teachings of our religion of peace, Islam,” he said.

Dr. Modibbo who is also the Vice Chairman of the mosque management committee inaugurated by the Sultan commended the founder of Baze University for finding them worthy to serve in the committee.

Speaking to journalists at the event, the Founder of Baze University, Senator Yusuff Datti Baba-Hamed, said that the place of education and religion in the development of a sound society couldn’t be over emphasized.

“I wholeheartedly agree and adopt the submission of His Eminence the Sultan that the lack of education contributed to the state of insecurity in the nation and logically speaking therefore, provision of adequate western and religious education: Muslim and Christian education add to development of the society,” he said.

“The more the society develops the respective careers of individuals the more that we have. You can see that insurgent elements are usually people without careers. The Sultan was actually right in his submission and we not only agree with him but also adopt it and we continue to struggle to provide high quality education and also moral education. We provide places of worship to strengthen morality,” he said further.

“A university by definition is an entire community and a community cannot be without places of worship. A campus chapel is fast under construction, His Eminence, the Archbishop of Abuja has been contacted for the fund raising for its construction,” he added.

“In the interim, the daily service is held in one of the halls. The design of the campus chapel has to go to His Eminence for approval. Observations were made, corrections were made and sent back for his approval. There will be fund raising for the chapel on the 20th of July,” he concluded.