From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The umbrella body of Muslims in Nigeria, Jama’atu Nasri Islam (JNI) has told governments in the north to stop playing politics with insecurity.
In a statement by the Secretary General, Dr. Aliyu Khalid, it explained that in all climes, government is essentially in place to protect and safe-guard human lives, adding that Chapter 2 of the Nigerian Constitution unambiguously affirms that human life is sacrosanct.
“It is, therefore, utterly disgusting, heartrending and unprecedented the waylaying of unarmed innocent and defenseless passengers and their subsequent burning beyond recognition by the heartless and rampaging bandits at Gidan Bawa village in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
“Yet, the government isn’t perturbed and no concrete action is seemed to have been taken. Even the media outcry is trifled compared to similar incidences in other parts of Nigeria.
“From all indications, despite the establishment of combined security forces along known routes where bandits operate, they still carry out their dastardly acts freely.
“Isn’t it treacherous and heartless that plying major roads within North West, defenceless citizens are allowed to be flocked into kidnappers’ den and thereafter negotiations for ransom payment are initiated? What is Nigeria turning into? A lawless entity? Amidst the Sabon Birni episode, just this morning (today Thursday, 9th December, 2021), 16 people were reportedly killed in a mosque at Mashegu Local Government Area of Niger State.
“What really is the matter that government has not been able to halt the operations of bandits against innocent citizens particularly in North Western Nigeria? We are compelled to assume that government seems oblivious to sufferings and agonies of her citizens as a result of the relentless activities of these bandits.
“Nevertheless, JNI condemns in the strongest terms this senseless and barbaric act, along with other equally disheartened bloodletting and carnage. Likewise, all other acts of arson attacks, attempted prison jail breaks, bomb blasts in Oyo, Kogi, Plateau, Yobe and Borno states and many of such irrepressible acts stand condemned by the JNI. But for how long, shall we continue to condemn acts of extreme violence without any concerted efforts in ending them?”
“For how long, would we continue to remain indifferent? And for how long would we continue to remain hopeless in this precarious situation? The most disturbing dimension of this situation is the apparent government’s in ability to confront this monstrous trend head-on. Our position is reinforced by government’s inaction to hold erring security officials responsible. In other words, there is a clear essence of lack of accountability, security chiefs and their subordinates appear not to be made to pay for their inaction or irresponsibility.
“We, however, send our heartfelt condolences to the families of the commuters, all officers and men that died in active service, as well as the people and government of Borno, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kogi, Oyo, Niger, Kaduna-Abuja Road, Kebbi, Plateau and Yobe States that have suffered in recent times various degrees of violence and Nigeria in general.
“We reiterate our calls to the federal government to rise up to its primary cum constitutional responsibility of protecting and securing citizens, and do well beyond condemnation on security related matters. Nigerians are desperately yearning for concrete actions against all forms of criminalities. Silence is not golden given the most unfortunate spate of horrendous butchery of human lives in the Nigerian state.
“To further reiterate our principled positions, JNI condemns killings of innocent souls wherever they happen to be and whoever is involved. JNI also condemns the generalization of criminals as representatives of the whole, thus leading to unjust stereotyping and scapegoating. We condemn all criminals, whoever they are and wherever they come from. A criminal should be treated as a criminal regardless of his/her ethnic or religious affinity.”