Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, regretted that bandits now rule in some communities in Northern Nigeria.
The royal father who was reacting to the killings of the 43 rice farmers in Borno State, lamented that, nowhere was safe in Nigeria anymore.
He spoke under the auspices of the apex Islamic body in Northern Nigeria, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) just as he asked Imams across the country to embark on special prayer against insecurity five times a day.
Sultan also called on the federal government to rise up to its responsibilities and do well beyond the traditional condemnation and payment of lip service to security matters.
Sultan in a statement by the JNI’s Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu said, “wanton killings, acts of banditry, kidnapping for ransom, high rate of unemployment amongst the youths, rape and all forms of terrorisms have now become the ‘New Trend’ in our communities.
“Nigerians have become so much terrified, as nowhere is safe; the home, the farms and the roads. Bandits now rule in many communities, they set rules that must be obeyed,”
“Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) under the leadership of Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto and the President-General, JNI, identifies with the government and people of Borno state, over the gruesome massacre of innocent rice farmers in Zabarmari, Jere Local Government, which was the height of bloodletting ever committed in recent history.
“Fourty-three (43) human beings as reported by the media were slaughtered without any intervention by the security forces in the area. The senseless act stand condemned in the strongest of terms.
“Unfortunately, the common man is now caught in-between two contending phenomenon; when he goes to the farm, he gets killed and when he stays at home he dies of hunger. It should be known that this singular act of Zabarmari was a calculated attempt to instill fears among farmers and jeopardize the frantic efforts of returning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their localities by the Borno state government under the leadership of Governor Babagana Umar Zulum.
“For how long, would we continue to live a life in fear? For how long, can we continue to wait in vain? For how long, shall we continue to condemn acts of terrorism without any concerted efforts in ending it? For how long, would we continue to remain indolent? And for how long can we continue to remain hopeless in a precarious situation such as what we are in presently?
“Our heartrending condolences to the families of those martyred in the Zabarmari massacre, the people and government of Borno State and Nigeria in general. Moreover, all that was needed immediately the incidence occurred was a proactive measure(s) by the Federal Government of Nigeria, such as a prompt visit within 24 hours to the affected areas. This will assuage the affected communities to have more confidence in their leaders, seeing that they are not left alone in their ordeal and it will also send a strong signal to insurgents that the government is ready to go to any length to protect its people.
“In this light, we appreciate the tireless efforts of the Borno state Governor, His Excellency, Prof. Babagana Umar Zulum, mni. May Allah, the Most High, continue to guide and protect him being a true servant leader.
“We nevertheless, once again call on the federal government to rise up to its responsibilities and do well beyond the traditional condemnation, as lip service(s) on security matters should stop. Nigerians are desperately yearning for concrete actions. Thus, we call on government to:
“Always identify with victims and places of attacks by being physically on ground to commiserate with the people. A national broadcast after the visit is very necessary. Reprimand/prosecute officials that are found wanting in the discharge of their assignment(s), so as to serve as deterrent to other nonchalant officials.
“Collaboration with relevant security agencies with a timeline to bringing an end or at best decapitate all security threats bedeviling the country and also mop small arms and light weapons (SALWs) in the hands of criminals or else Nigeria will continue to witness the rise arms proliferation for self-defense amongst Nigerians since the government failed to do so.
“Spare no genuine effort to immediately provide support to all the affected communities, as many are now displaced, becoming internally displaced persons (IDPs) in their own land, which further speaks volumes, considering the attendant social nuances often associated with IDP camps.
“On the other hand, we note with dismay that our societal values have been relegated to alien norms, thus parents and community leaders must be very vigilant and always remain introspecting over their wards and/or children, as the prevalence of illicit drugs intake amongst the youths is getting out of hand. Child upbringing is a responsibility vested on each parent by Allah. Failure of which spills doom to our collective responsibility, Qur’an 13:11 provides better insights.
“These and many more similar gestures may not immediately bring insurgency to an abrupt end, but will reassure the masses and calm frayed nerves seeing that the authorities are truly on top of the situation”, he added.