Disturbed by the ceaseless killings of innocent people by the Islamist group, Boko Haram, the leader of the Muslims in Nigeria, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has said that the group is simply out to destroy Islam in the country.
Sa’ad Abubakar III who is also the Sultan of Sokoto and president general, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) also urged Nigerians to complement government’s efforts towards ending the menace of the insurgents.
Speaking on Monday night when he hosted members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Sokoto State chapter at a Ramadan dinner, the Sultan urged elected leaders to act speedily towards ending the activities of Boko Haram.
‘“The Boko Haram people, their ideology as well as their activities are not Islamic in any way and they are not aimed at strengthening Islam, but rather to destroy it. We as Islamic leaders must, therefore, condole with the families of all those who are victims of Boko Haram’s senseless activities. We are also consoling Nigerians over the senseless killings of innocent people in the past one week in Kano, Borno, Yobe, Plateau and Zaria, among others. And I am calling on all our elected leaders to urgently do something about this menace so that Nigerians can go back to their normal lives in a country which is free”, the Sultan said.
Refuting the claim that the Boko Haram sect is maiming, killing, looting and kidnapping for the sake of Islam, the leader of Muslims in Nigeria said they are rather against the religion of Islam since it means peace.
“Islam means peace and the actions of the insurgents are against Islam. Therefore, we the leaders feel pains and have concerns that the group is going against the religion”, he said.
While advising the insurgents to have a rethink and comprehend the true meaning of Islam, the Sultan said they should understand that there is no compulsion in religion, adding that nobody can Islamise Nigerians.
The Sultan pledged to continue to work towards the sustenance of religious harmony in Nigeria, even as he urged adherents of the two major religions in Nigeria, Christianity and Islam, to maintain religious harmony at all times.
While commending Nigerians for the peaceful 2015 general elections, Sultan Abubakar said only prayers and the people’s support can help elected leaders to succeed.
“Nigerians have voted their leaders and now it is time to support President Muhammadu Buhari and all the leaders to enable them move Nigeria forward. The change Nigerians had yearned for has now come and the work to actually realise that change is yet to begin.