The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, yesterday asked President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Nasir El-Rufai to arrest and prosecute suspected killers in southern Kaduna.Condemning the killings, the Islamic leader described them as unjust, heinous and dastardly acts of destruction of lives and property.
The sultan said that the NSCIA was particularly grieved that as at the last count, no fewer than 808 lives of innocent Nigerians had been lost while nothing less than 57 others had suffered life-threatening injuries.
A statement by the Director of Administration, NSCIA, Ustaz Christian Isa Okonkwo, said Muslims denounced the killings and destruction particularly because they run contrary to fundamental Islamic law which ordains human life to be sacred and strongly forbids its unlawful destruction except for a just reason.
The NSCIA, therefore, called on the federal and state governments to urgently “stop this inhuman and barbarous state of anomie.”
“The NSCIA would like the Federal Government and Kaduna State government to go a step further by proffering lasting solutions to these recurrent acts of hatefulness and savagery in southern Kaduna. We also call on the Federal Government to objectively investigate the matter and prosecute whoever is found guilty irrespective of the person’s tribe, creed and/or social status.
“We urge all Nigerians to continue to promote justice, preach, teach and live in peace with one another. We enjoin all Nigerians not to allow themselves to be used by forces of evil, some of which may hide behind tribal, political or even religious garbs in order to perpetrate these heinous acts,” the Muslims said.
The Sultan quoted from a verse of the holy Quran (Quran 5: 32) to warn against unjust killing, saying: “If anyone slew a person –unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief on the land- his punishment would be as if he slew humanity as a whole and if anyone saved a life, his rewarded would be as if he saved the lives of humanity as a whole.”
The position of the sultan is a right step in bringing peace to the area. It would reassure the victims of the crisis, who are mostly Christians, that the Muslim community does not support the violence. It is also a strong message to the killers who are suspected to be Muslims that they do not enjoy the support of Islamic leaders and thus they will be apprehended and prosecuted.