SOME Islamic elite have written to the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, asking him to lead the dialogue with members of the terrorist Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
The elite, writing under the aegis of Concerned Muslim Professionals, told the Sultan, who is also the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, to use his position and engage members of Boko Haram in dialogue that would lead to ceasing of the sect’s campaign of killings.
The President of the organization, Alhaji Mohammed Saidu, in the letter to the Sultan, said the activities of Boko Haram were regrettable and that they constituted an embarrassment to the Islamic religion.
The group also noted that there had been no efforts by the Muslim leadership in the country to intervene in the crisis and insecurity created by the sect members, adding that the Sultan’s recognition would become doubtful if he failed to rise to the occasion.
Part of the letter read, “If the family of billionaire Umar Mutallab could have a terrorist in its midst, then such a disease could be everywhere; it can only take the effort of the Sultan and the other Muslim leaders to mobilise compliance by parents and relatives, which is part of the actions being demanded by well-meaning Nigerians.
“The biggest task before our Muslim and Islamic leaders in the North is to reconcile the warring Muslim and Christian communities through forgiveness, healing and genuine social integration and coexistence; similar to the one referred to by General Gowon on the Muslims of the South-West geopolitical zone. The other task is to make Boko Haram come out of hiding, denounce terrorism and embrace government’s overtures.
“A failure on the part of the Muslim leadership (under His Eminence the Sultan) to discharge these responsibilities/actions to the later will render it of questionable ability, doubtful recognition, decimal loyalty or an outright dismissal as a mere smoke-screen. As obedient and loyalists to His Eminence the Sultan, our hearts bleed on these realities.”