The Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has cautioned the Federal Government against breeding another Boko Haram sect in its face-off with the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.
Abubakar, in a statement on Sunday by the NSCIA, expressed shock and sadness over the current outbreak of deadly violence in Zaria, Kaduna State involving the Nigerian Army and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, led by Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
The statement, signed by Secretary-General of the NSCIA, Prof. Is-haq O. Oloyede, said at a time Nigeria is facing serious challenges, the least expected is a confrontation between the Nigerian Army and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.
It said the loss of lives and property is indeed unfortunate and such should have been prevented.
Over 20 persons are reported to have died in the face-off, which started on Saturday and spread till Sunday.
Sheik Muhammad Turi, the second-in-command to Zakzaky, and the group’s spokesman, Ibrahim Usman, were reportedly killed by soldiers on Sunday.
The statement by the NSCIA on Sunday added: “While there are claims and counter-claims on what actually precipitated the latest heart-rending incident, the NSCIA urges the authorities to exercise restraint. The history of the circumstances that engendered the outbreak of militant insurgency in the past, with cataclysmic consequences that Nigeria is yet to recover from, should not be allowed to repeat itself.
“We urge the Federal Government to immediately constitute a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to thoroughly unravel the immediate and remote causes of the current mayhem. Besides, the Commission should also investigate the past incidents involving the Movement so that justice can be done.
“The sanctity of human life is inviolable in Islam and painstaking efforts should be made at all times to prevent bloodshed. In other words, life is sacred and the fundamental responsibility of Government is to guarantee the security of life and property.
“While no group should be allowed to constitute law unto itself or arrogate unconstitutional powers to itself under any guise, the fact still remains that the position of law is clear when there is any breach. Therefore, as order is the first law of heaven, normalcy and restraint should be taken seriously.
“May the Almighty Allah guide our leaders right and guard us Nigerians against our own indiscretion at all times.”