The Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alh. Sa'ad Abubakar has condemned the Boko Haram Islamic sect, describing it as unislamic, as according to him, "terrorism has no place in Islam,"
He spoke at the National Prayer for Peace and Security, organised by the council at the National Mosque, Abuja, in Abuja, Sunday.
The leader of Nigerian Muslims told the gathering of Islamic clerics, traditional rulers and political leaders from Northern Nigeria and other parts of the country that there was need for all well-meaning members of the Nigerian public to unite against the insurgents.
His words, "we must rise up, as always, with one voice to condemn all acts of terrorism, condemn those terrorists wherever they are and try our possible best as Muslims to ensure peace reigns in our community".
The Sultan, like many other respected Islamic leaders in Northern Nigeria have been severally criticized for keeping quiet about Boko Haram when they should have spoken to condemn the sect and join forces with security agencies to defeat the sect which President Goodluck Jonathan disclosed has killed more than 12, 000 Nigerians.
He pledged his commitment to assisting the government in the efforts to restor peace to the troubled Northern Nigeria, in Particular and the nation as a whole.
"We are committed to helping the government at all levels to bring peace in Nigeria. Whatever we can do, as long as it is not against Islam, we are ready to do it 100 percent," he said.
The Sultan, himself a retired army officer said that the Boko Haram scourge was worse than a civil war since the members had no identity.
His words, "we have to make it very clear... that the situation in the country is very serious. You are fighting enemies with no boundary. Terrorists are everywhere. They are among us but we don't know them. In this case, you don't know the enemy. The person sitting next to you might be one of those terrorists. You don't know".
Alh Abubakar also urged Muslims, especially those in leadership position to shun corruption and any act that could negatively affect the development of the country.
Sambo calls for prayer
In his remarks, Vice President Arc Namadi Sambo called on the Muslim Ummah to pray fervently for continued peace in the country, saying "prayer is the panacea for all adversities".
According to the Vice President Sambo, prayer was a strong weapon against any adversity, adding that the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration is committed to providing adequate security and ensuring the stability and unity of Nigeria.
He noted: " when any adverse situation befell the Ummah during the time of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and the Sahabah, their greatest weapon was resorting to prayers to seek for Allah's intercession.
"We shall continue to organize prayers as frequently as possible and Allah SWT in his infinite mercy will answer our prayers in removing in totality the act of terrorism by the Boko Haram and all other vices in Nigeria. Let me at this juncture urge all Nigerians to continue to pray for lasting peace and unity of our dear country."
Namadi Sambo said the Muslim Ummah must continue to promote the ideals of Islam by living according to its tenets peace, good neighbourliness and kindness.
He charged Muslims "not to allow the few disgruntled elements among us to portray Islam and Muslims in bad light," even as he appealed to Muslim clerics to "apply modesty in their sermons and preaching, while admonishing adherence to the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW)."
On the ongoing efforts to ensure the safe return of the abducted Chibok girls, Vice President Sambo said the government was "working assiduously to support the efforts of the military by increasing their capacity in the search of our missing girls and to further secure the territorial integrity of the nation and make a call for the immediate release of these girls."
Arc Sambo used the opportunity to express appreciation for the support of Nigeria's neighbours, including, Niger Republic, Chad, Cameroon and Benin Republic and all African countries in the fight against the scourge of terrorism in the country. He also commended the United Kingdom, France, as well as the United States of America, China and "all countries of the World that are against the terrorism that is happening in Nigeria, Africa and the World in general."
Also speaking, the Speaker House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal said the National Assembly would do everything within its constitutional powers to support the government's effort to fight terrorism.
Prayers were offered by renowned Muslim clerics from all over the country for continued peace, unity and the development of Nigeria at the event which was attended by the Acting Governor of Taraba State, Alhaji Garba Umar and many deputy governors, members of the legislature, federal executive council members, royal fathers and Muslim faithful.