Sokoto — Sultan Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar has described as welcome development the purported ceasefire by Boko Haram faction and pointed out the need to build on it towards bringing a peaceful society.
This was even as Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen Azubuike Ihejirika described the unity of the country as non-negotiable, saying "it is not one of the issues that is subject to debate because this is what we are all trained to preserve".
Both personalities spoke during the army chief called on the Sultan at his palace in Sokoto yesterday.
"When we heard the purported ceasefire we welcome it, and I believe it is an issue that we have to open up to, if it is a faction, from the way you deal with the faction, you get to the other factions; it is not an issue you just throw away, that you don't know who they are, people know who they are, some people came out and talked, so accept them and from there we build on bringing a peaceful society", he said.
Speaking on unity of the country, he said "so many people are just heating up the polity saying all sorts of things just to be relevant, just to be heard, just to make a lot of noise; we know the problems of the country. Since we know the problems, it is better for us to sit together and resolve those problems not by going our different ways, like Mr. President said how do you divorce after 100 years of marriage, when you reach hundred years of marriage, there is nothing more, we are now brothers, real family brothers, we can't go anywhere."
According to him, "there are much more issues, very strong issues that bind us together than really separate us, if you are to put them on a scale, definitely I know we have over 95 percent reasons why we should continue to be together as brothers and sisters in this country ."
He added "God Almighty cannot be wrong when he decided to create an entity called Nigeria. He has His reasons, He brought us as Muslims, Christians, African religious worshippers, people who do not even have religion, they are all in Nigeria but the two major religions Christianity and Islam have the majority number of our citizens and our two religions teach us to love one another, to live peacefully, for leaders to do justice to the people.
"Since we have all these common issues together I believe no good citizens, no good Muslim, no good Christians would take up arms and kill another person of different religion. That is why we keep on calling those terrorists who are doing whatever they want to do all over the world to stop using the name of Islam because we don't believe that it is Islam and we keep on saying that until the message is got".
Earlier, Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika said he was in Sokoto to commission some projects at the Army Barracks Sokoto.
He assured of commitment towards transforming the Nigerian Army by "ensuring that resources made available by government is applied towards enhancing the welfare and wellbeing of our troops which again will translate to optimal performance of the units of the Nigerian Army towards ensuring peace in this country."