Sultan, Catholic Bishops lambast FG on insecurity

Leader of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, and Sultan of Sokoto, Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar III, said yesterday that any government that cannot provide security for its citizens had no moral justification to exist.

He spoke on a day the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, asked the Federal Government to rise to its responsibility of arresting and prosecuting those terrorising innocent Nigerians, rather than playing the ostrich on matters of insecurity.

The Bishops also reminded the government that Nigerians are sick of flimsy excuses and bogus promises to deal with terrorists in the country.

The Sultan, whose statement was signed by the Secretary-General of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, the apex Muslim organisation in Nigeria, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, was reacting to the terror attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train which claimed eight passengers, injured 41 and left scores of others missing till date.

The statement read:  “To say the least, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) is agonized and short of words to express herself over the gory incident of the infamous train attack which happened on Monday, March 28, 2022.

“The well-orchestrated incident remains highly condemnable, reprehensible and upsetting to every rational mind. It appears that the continuous callous acts of mayhem, killings and arson happening almost on daily or weekly bases around us; either within communities and/or on the roads we ply, have automatically reset our human psyche that we now have accepted such dastardly acts as part of our lives, to the extent that we no longer feel it.

“The humanity in us is slowly being eroded, thereby making us adapt to the new normal within which we, unfortunately, found ourselves.

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‘Essence of government’

“It should be noted that in Islam and by all global standards, the essence of government and governance is solely to protect the five principal cardinal rights of the human race, the most important of which is LIFE!

“Any government that is incapable of protecting the lives of its citizens has lost the moral justification of being there in the first place; this is enunciated in Section 33(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We have, however, carefully studied and followed up the unfortunate train blast, especially since another train attack was reported to have occurred on the Lagos-Kano bound train, near Jaji, Kaduna State, on Thursday, March 31, 2022, which inevitably led to the death of the locomotive operator.

‘Nigeria heading to an unknown destination’

“Therefore, this press release is premised on the fact that Nigeria is more or less heading to an unknown destination of multiple cum well-coordinated serial chaos attributable to lack of coordination and synergy from security personnel if the news making the round is to be believed.

“Nevertheless, history is replete with several astonishing and brave art of governance exhibited over time by leaders. For instance, during the time of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), he battled and expelled Banu Qaynuqa from the city of Madinah, because a woman was molested in the market by one of them and the community-supported his actions.

‘’The Prophet (SAW) did not waste time but promptly attacked Banu Qaynuqa and expelled them. This served as deterrence to others with evil intentions. In Nigeria today, how many wives are raped daily in the presence of their husbands, mothers in the presence of their sons?

‘’How many daughters are raped in the presence of their fathers and sisters in the presence of their brothers?  This happens a lot. and it is well known. What action did the authorities take in averting and/or remedying such absurd and ungodly happenstance? Why must the country be brought to its

“Human life is held sacrosanct in Islam, that is why Allah (SWT) declared in the Glorious Quran that if a single soul is killed without just cause, then it is as if the entire humanity is wiped off the face of the earth.

“We claim to be people of faith and all these occurrences are allowed without any form of prompt intervention. Why? Well, it should be known that an attack on one soul is an attack on all, and this is how the human race should be preserved and protected, but if allowed to continue, we fear the consequence(s) of the innocent souls that were killed without any fault of theirs.

“Terrorists are now becoming bolder and more belligerent by the day. They operate in any area of their choice(s) at any time they so wish. They even operate for up to eight hours non-stop (as it was reported to have happened in Niger State last Monday), without any fear of being confronted or apprehended. ‘’Most communities are now under the bandits’ absolute control with taxes being paid to bandits–some parts of Borno, Katsina, Zamfara, Niger, Sokoto states and some others yet to be disclosed to the public.

‘’In fact, terrorists do what they wish, knowing that there is no gun powder or authority that will defy them.  With all the reported resources allocated to relevant security agencies; intelligent gathering mechanism, military arsenal and tact, can’t the government provide any convincing justification on why the security situation in the country continues to deteriorate?

“Why are attacks experienced all over the place and continuing unabated without any deterrence? Moreover, why must the security budget and expenditure remain so secretive, despite the reported release of funds?

‘’The mind-boggling train attack of Monday, March 28, 2022, the kidnap and sporadic shootings that ensued, thereafter, the attack of the train en-route Kaduna needs to be seriously investigated and punitive measures are taken.

“Although, without doubt, the security men have exhibited capacity, resilience, determination and dexterity during the rescue operation of the same ill-fated train attack.

‘’It is also the firm belief of most Nigerians that the government is expected to know the enclaves and hideouts of these criminals, particularly that only government has absolute control and use of force, and by extension, it also has the machinery to generate genuine information.

“Again, why can’t the government proactively take the battle to the criminals’ hideouts and wipe them off? Why should the government wait until people are attacked, lives and properties lost for them to strike and be issuing empty orders and usual condemnation? The whys are endless!

Our pleas

“It is high time the security outfits are directed to ransack the enclaves of all criminal elements and deal with them decisively. Informants should not be spared, as they are more dangerous than the killers. They should be made to face the right punishment befitting their crime.

“The intelligence community should beef up their efforts in trying to dig to the root of this phenomena.  It is also worth noting that in recent times, scholars of social behaviour have discovered that most acts of terrorism and banditry are carried out under the influence of hard drugs.

Strengthen anti-drug war’

“As part of an effort to tackle insecurity in Nigeria, the war on drugs should be placed on the front burner as it is the elixir that spurs criminals to action. Suppliers, vendors and traffickers of hard drugs and intoxicants must be dealt with decisively.

‘’The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, and other security agencies should as a matter of national security, note and penetrate into villages, higher institutions’ campuses, motor parks and recreational or viewing centres, because they are now dwellings where hard drugs/substances are being peddled brazenly.

“Likewise, parents, religious and community leaders have a role to play in the fight against illicit drugs/substances pervading most households within our neighbourhoods. This should be considered a fight for all and not only for the government.

“Those vested with the responsibility of protecting lives should fear Allah, the Highest and do what is expected of them. Security issues must not be politicized. They should be proactive and firm on all matters relating to security.

‘’If the terrorists have the effrontery to attack at any time without fear, why should the government shy away from pursuing and destroying them?”

“We nevertheless reiterate our several calls to government that there is strong nexus between the Boko Haram insurgency and the ongoing banditry in some parts of the country.

‘’We started this in our December 14, 2020, February 18, 2021, and earlier sometimes in 2018 as a result of the repeated perilous insecurity challenges bedevilling the Nigerian nation, hence, the need to urgently revamp the nation’s security architecture and effectively look inward for an appropriate way(s) to avert and/or mitigate the recurring misnomer in Nigeria.:

“We call on all well-meaning Nigerians not to be deterred, but rather be more optimistic, as with every hardship comes a relief (Qur’anic verse). We should, therefore, continue to pray fervently for the restoration of peace, security, prosperity and development, especially in this blessed month of Ramadan.

‘’We pray Allah, the forgiver of sins and the healer of the ill will forgive the shortcomings of those who have lost their lives in the ill-fated train attack, give their families and associate the fortitude to bear the loss. May the injured recover comprehensively and the traumatized strong to continue with their respective lives. Amin.”

“May He also guide the government and the security agencies, give them the wisdom to tackle all challenges head-on and may He also bring a total end to these repeated orgies of insecurity and every other ill bedevilling Nigeria. We pray for Allah’s continuous protection throughout our sojourn on earth and in the hereafter. Amin.”

Nigerians are sick of flimsy excuses, bogus promises to deal with terrorists

Speaking in a similar vein, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, also yesterday urged the Federal Government to rise to its responsibility of arresting and prosecuting those terrorising innocent Nigerians, rather than playing the ostrich on matters of insecurity.

The Bishops were also reacting to the Abuja-Kaduna train attacks by terrorists who killed some of the passengers and injured many others. In a solemn statement signed by the President and Archbishop-Elect of Owerri, Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, the CBCN called on the government to take urgent steps to unmask the marauding terrorists and their sponsors without further delay.

The statement, titled: ‘’Nigeria: A Nation Groans in Pains’’, read:  “The news of the recent attacks on trains by terrorists has attracted public outcry, outrage and grief. ’Nigerians are still mourning over the brutal slaughtering of fellow citizens during those bloody attacks. We unequivocally condemn those brutal acts of barbarism and brazen assault on our sovereign dignity as a nation.

“The train route from Abuja to Kaduna has been the safety net for thousands of travellers commuting between both cities. Now, the terrorists have proven that no one is safe on that route anymore.

“Just last week, there were also reports that over 200 terrorists on motorbikes brazenly rode through the runway of the Kaduna International Airport in broad daylight, killing at least one person. All these occurred shortly after the incessant brutal attacks and killings by faceless terrorists in the communities of Southern Kaduna and many other parts of the Middle Belt.

“That all these atrocities against the people and the nation happen without a single arrest or prosecution seem to give credibility to the widespread belief that the government is complacent, helpless or compromising.

“Considering the billions of Naira appropriated for security and the fight against terrorism in recent times, it is difficult to imagine that a large number of terrorists, who unleashed terror on unarmed and law-abiding citizens, can disappear in broad daylight without a trace.

“It is, indeed, very hard to believe that our security apparatus lacks intelligence or the ability to fight and defeat terrorists in our nation. Nigerians are sick of flimsy excuses and bogus promises of the government to deal with terrorists.

“As a mark of honour, the government should rise to its primary responsibility of protecting the life and property of its citizens.

‘’Our country has long teetered on the precipice of a failed state. Government should, therefore, stop trying to play the ostrich as the nation profusely bleeds and take urgent steps to unmask these marauding terrorists and their sponsors without further delay.

“At this moment of nationwide sadness and sorrow, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria stand together in solidarity with the bereaved, the wounded, and those still missing.

‘’We pray that God grants eternal rest to the departed, consolation to bereaved families, healing to the wounded and a safe return to those still missing.”

The Catholic Bishops also expressed concerns over the lingering face-off between the government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, saying the industrial dispute left frustrating effects on young students, whose academic aspirations and ambitions had been disrupted by the strike. They also called on the government to take effective measures to address the hardship and suffering in the land


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