President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, has applauded the Vice President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Por. Yemi Osinbajo for his leadership, which he said was given to him by God.
“We have the privilege of having the Vice President here who is a pastor, and I am pleased that he is here to listen to the comments we will make and to listen to him giving the keynote speech, which I believe he will say a lot having known him for some time.
“He has leadership given to him by the lord God Almighty, it is a trust and responsibility and he is here in his capacity as VP and we invited him to give the keynote speech as VP of Nigeria and he accepted to be here,” the Sultan said.
Abubakar made the comment at the opening ceremony of the General Assembly of NSCIA on Friday, an event Prof. Osinbajo was invited to give a keynote address.
Also, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, Secretary General of NSCIA said Prof. Osinbajo had successfully combined his religious commitments with public administration, something, he said, was worth emulating.
“He is a model of a person combining religious commitment with public administration. He has done that creditably well. Mr. Vice President we want to thank you on behalf of the Muslim community of this country. You are a pride to this nation, we thank you and pray that God will continue to be with you,” he said.
Prof Salisu Shehu, Deputy Secretary General of NSCIA praised the Vice President for gracing the event. “I believe as you have graciously accepted to be here to honour this event by coming personally, I believe that when resolutions are presented to you, we are sure that you’d give the necessary executive support to those resolutions.”
In his keynote address, Osinbajo commended the NSCIA for bridging the religious gap in Nigeria. “This Council is of particular importance to us as a nation because it not only promotes solidarity among Nigeria’s Muslims but also serves as an important intermediary between the government and the Muslim community and between Muslims and persons of other faiths.
“As the highest decision-making body of the Council, I offer to you this morning, both a commendation and a challenge.
“First, the commendation to you for the great leadership you have shown in galvanizing the Muslim community in Nigeria despite denominational differences. But also, for making the Council available for the promotion of interfaith peace, and religious tolerance in Nigeria.
“The challenge stems from the theme of this meeting which is “Islam and National Development.” Permit me to put the topic in context so that we do not miss the essence of the topic. So, I recast the theme to read as follows quote, “The Role of Islam in the Development of a Multi-religious and Multi-ethnic Nation.” This is the gravamen of the matter and I believe my brother, Isa Pantami (Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy who delivered the keynote address) did an excellent job.
“Decades ago in this same country, it would not have been a major topic. Leaders in the first republic did not consider religious intolerance as a major national issue, they were more concerned about the issues that touched everyone regardless of religion or ethnicity; they were concerned about providing food, shelter, education and decent livelihoods. But today, no true leader can ignore the threat that religious bigotry and intolerance poses for the development of our nation. That is just the way it is.
“But it is my respectful view that the burden of ensuring that faith promotes national development as opposed to impeding it is on leaders. This is the challenge I pose to you today.
“A few months ago, at an interfaith gathering, I told the story of an occurrence on the 20th of June 2018. Christians in their village Nshar Yelwa, Plateau State were attacked by a horde of persons who were said to be Muslims, who had attacked other villages and had killed several Berom farmers who were mainly Christians.
“As Imam Abdullahi was finishing mid-day prayers, he and his congregation heard gunshots and went outside to see members of the village’s Christian community running helter-skelter. Instinctively, the Imam ushered 262 Christians into the mosque and some into his home next to the mosque.
“The Imam then went outside to confront the gunmen. He refused to allow them to enter, pleading with them to spare the Christians inside the mosque and his home. When the assailants were adamant, he told them that they would have to kill him first if they were going to kill the Christians, he had given refuge. They eventually left without killing any of the Christians in the mosque or in his home. Imam Abdullahi’s selflessness and sacrifice saved the lives of hundreds of people of a faith different from his own.
“Imam Abdullahi not only refused to give up the Christians he had given refuge; he even offered his life in exchange for theirs. His moral courage is rooted in a profound recognition of our common humanity. His compassion, empathy and selflessness are an example to us as people of faith.” Osinbajo concluded.
Nigerian Army Warns Foreign Agencies Against Meddling In Fight Against Boko Haram
The Nigerian army has warned foreign agencies and countries against interfering in the fight against Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP).
In a statement released on Monday January 20 by the Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, the largest component of the Nigerian Armed Forces insisted that its fight against insurgency has recorded significant success.
Though no name was mentioned in the statement, foreign agencies, countries and individuals were warned against actions and utterances which will not restore peace in the country.
The statement read:
“The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has reassured Nigerians that the Counter Insurgency operations in the North East and indeed other ongoing operations against our common enemies across the country are still on course with current indicators revealing tremendous successes across the various theatres of operation.
“After a careful review of the Nigerian Army operations in the North East, it is pertinent to state that Headquarters Nigerian Army has gladly observed the renewed zeal and determination by troops to take the counter-insurgency operations to its logical conclusion with outcomes favourable to Nigeria and Nigerians as evident in the recent decimation of many Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province criminals, including some of their top commanders amidst several arrests of the insurgents’ logistic suppliers and collaborators, numerous capture of the criminals’ arms and ammunition as well as rescue of many captives from the bondage of the insurgents.
“To this end, all local and foreign interests are advised to exhibit more commitment and restraint on issues of our national security and avoid taking sides. Furthermore, all actions and utterances must be tailored towards supporting the national cause with a view to restoring peace and tranquillity to our beloved country.
“Additionally, the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai unequivocally assures troops that their sacrifices and that of our fallen colleagues will never be in vain as he reiterates the unreserved commitment of the Nigerian Army to defend our country and her citizens no matter the prize or odds. The recent moribund activity of Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province insurgents is synonymous with the kicks of a dying horse gasping for the last breath.
“The Chief of Army Staff also warned all enemies of Nigeria and Nigerians who take delight in the sufferings of our innocent citizens that the day of reckoning is at their door steps. All well-meaning Nigerians especially those in the North East and friends of Nigeria elsewhere are enjoined to fully support the counter insurgency operations as well as the fight against all forms of criminality across the nation”
Atiku Throws His Weight Behind Establishment Of Amotekun
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has backed the establishment of Amotekun, the South-West security outfit which in the last few days has ignited controversy.
According to the former Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the “current policing administration in our dear country had been stretched to its limits and it is obvious that the reality of our domestic security upheaval will demand of us to recalibrate our police systems.”
Atiku Abubakar further stated that a centrally controlled police architecture cannot exclusively deal with the security challenges witnessed across Nigeria, hence the need for state police, zonal police and community policing to complement the efforts of the current federal police.
His statement reads in full:
As enshrined in the Nigerian constitution, the primary responsibility of government, at any level, is the protection of lives and property of the citizen.
In carrying out this function, the state employs different layers of measures to ensure effective and efficient policing.
It is without doubt that in the past decade particularly, the current policing administration in our dear country had been stretched to its limits and it is obvious that the reality of our domestic security upheaval will demand of us to recalibrate our police systems.
In the First Republic, before we gravitated too much to the center, policing was done federally with each native authority and region having some mechanisms to deal with little upsets that were the security concerns of those times.
In the present day Nigeria, there is hardly any state of the federation that does not contend with some type of security challenges.
Because our security challenges are diverse in forms and impacts, it is thus incumbent that centrally controlled police architecture cannot exclusively deal with those challenges.
Consequently, there is need for the creation of additional policing structures in the country to address the rapidly growing challenges of insecurity and crime.
The time is ripe to seriously confront the reality of insecurity in the country by addressing the urgency of introducing state police, zonal police and community policing to complement the efforts of the current federal police.
It is obvious that current levels of insecurity in the country are giving rise to major initiatives such as Amotekun and the issue need not be controversial in the first place.
The police are likely to be more effective if they constantly operate in the same local community or local government because such closeness might create a bond with the local people, thereby enabling community cooperation and participation that would engender proactive outcomes in crime prevention.
Nigeria is a vast country facing enormous security challenges and, therefore, there is the urgent need to create more security structures at the local levels to reduce the burden on the federal police.
The issue of security shouldn’t be politicised and monopolised in the face of our current alarming security challenges characterised by the fear of even travelling on our highways by the citizens who might be intercepted by kidnappers and taken hostage for ransom.
Local policing shouldn’t be mistaken for an effort to hijack the role of the federal police or a competition with the federal government.
The obvious inadequacies of the federal police to effectively deal with these rapidly growing security challenges make local policing not only desirable, but also necessary.
The police are more likely to be effective in areas where they are well known and trusted by the local communities who in turn are willing to share information about known criminals and criminal activities, thereby foiling those crimes before they are even carried out.
It is a given perception that when people have a role in their own security, they are going to help to defeat the criminal in their tracks and that the more they are involved, the more likely they would perceive the police as their friends.
In the envisage new order, states and local governments shouldn’t be reduced to peripheral players in policing and security matters. When local police structures are closest to the grassroots, emergency response will be more effective than the current unwieldy chain of command that renders local government chairmen ineffective when their people are under attacks.
As a matter of fact, it is refusing to adopt new ways of doing things that poses a threat to the unity of the country.
Therefore, Atiku Abubakar supports Community, State and Zonal Police to complement Federal Police to deal with insecurity in the country. It has never been this bad to the extent of threatening the unity of the country.
Buhari Govt Has Made No Progress In Fight Against Boko Haram — EU
European parliament, the legislative branch of the European Union has stated that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has made no progress in the fight against Boko Haram.
In its resolution on January 16, 2020, the group of 28 countries that operates as a cohesive economic and political block lamented over the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria.
The group which decried an alleged ill-treatment of children detained in military facilities, reminded the Nigerian government of its obligation to protect the rights of children and to ensure protection and provide care to those affected by terrorism or conflict.
It also asked the Nigerian government to allow UN’s access to its military detention facilities and to also sign a formal handover protocol to ensure that children detained by the military are quickly transferred to appropriate child protection authorities.
The parliament said it: “Deplores the terrorist attacks which have taken place in the country; reiterates its concern about the protracted crisis in Nigeria and the volatile security situation in the north-east, and strongly condemns the repeated violations of human rights, international and humanitarian law, whether based on religion or ethnicity.
“Condemns in particular the recent increase in violence against ethnic and religious communities, including the targeting of religious institutions and worshippers.
“Deplores that progress has stalled in the fight against Boko Haram, ISWAP and the increased occurrence and severity of suicide attacks and direct attacks against military positions; recalls that Nigeria’s President Buhari was re-elected in 2019 on the promise of defeating the violent extremism promoted by Boko Haram and other terror groups, and urges the President to implement his campaign promises.
“Urges the Nigerian authorities to guarantee respect for human rights in the country, and to protect the civilian population from terrorism and violence; insists that such efforts must be conducted in full accordance with respect for human rights and the rule of law, in line with the country’s international obligations.
“Considers any form of extermination of human beings or ethnic cleansing barbaric and a crime against humanity; urges the Nigerian Government to address the root causes of violence by ensuring equal rights for all citizens and non-discrimination legislation; insists, in this regard, on the need to further promote inter-religious dialogue and the peaceful coexistence of citizens irrespective of their religion, engaging with all relevant stakeholders, including the Nigerian Inter-religious Council.”