nigeria-boko-haram

An Islamic organization under the aegis of Concerned Muslim Professionals has expressed concern over the activities of the Boko Haram Islamic sect with a call on the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa?ad Abubakar III to engage members of sect in discussions.

The CMP said several of the Boko Haram sect members would have laid their arms and many wouldn?t have joined the erroneous sect if the Muslim leadership in Nigeria had engaged the sect for discussions.

The President of the organization, Alhaji Mohammed Saidu, in a letter entitled: ?Echoing the message of General Yakubu Gowon (retd): A call for action on Islamic leadership of Northern Nigeria?, said, ?There have not been any visible or invisible effort by the Muslim leadership to convene such engagements at even a single location, let alone covering the whole troubled region. That could be why demand for action on the leadership is repeatedly made by well meaning citizens.?

The group in the letter obtained by journalists on Sunday in Abuja, regretted that the activities of the sect have become a great embarrassment to the Islamic faith.

The CMP said, ?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 mobilize 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 communities of Muslims and Christians 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 governments 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.?

The organization recalled the condemnation of the recent Emab Plaza bomb blast in Abuja by the former ahead of State in which he called on the leadership of the Islamic faith in Northern Nigeria to work towards stopping the Boko Haram carnage and also correct the negative ideology of the sect to the right Islamic teachings of tolerance, peace and love.

Gowon was said to have cited Yoruba muslims as a good example of peace and religious tolerance, to the extent of inter-marriages between Muslims and Christians in Yoruba area of Nigeria.

According to Saidu, Gowon?s message was just a repetition of several similar calls by other prominent Nigerians across faith-divide.

?It is therefore becoming embarrassing to some of us that are Muslims and from the Northern extract. We always ponder over what exactly do these respected Nigerians mean whenever they demand for the action of Muslim leadership to stop the carnage?, he stated.

The CMP said, ?As far as we know, the Muslim and Islamic leadership in Nigeria comprised all the Ulamas and Emirs under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto; who doubles as the President-General of NSCIA and also the leader of the Jama?atu Nasril Islam. And as far as we know, the Sultan and his team do not have weapons or control over the security personnel in Nigeria. Then, what action is required of them?

?After deep thoughts and self scrutiny, we got some hints on what additional things (apart from the traditional condemnation) the Sultan and his team ought to do or to have done, in order to save our country from the persistent shocker of the Boko Haram. We wish to respectfully state that some visible and invisible steps, actions and structures were supposed to have been entrenched by the leadership of the Nigerian Muslims, in order to achieve visible objectives.?

The group therefore suggested a visible action towards stoping the spread of the radical ideologies of Boko Haram among Muslim youths that leads to acts of terrorism.

This, it said, could be achieved through intellectual religious engagements/confrontation with the radical Islamic groups that can easily be defeated using superior arguments from Muslim clergy.

?This is supposed to be the preoccupation of all Emirs and Imams; under the leadership of the Sultan. Such an effort is surely capable of yielding the required result?, CMP stressed.

See the Letter below?

CONCERNED NORTHERN MUSLIMS? PROFESSIONALS.
21 OBULI CRESCENT, JABI ? ABUJA

His Eminence Alhaji Saad Abubakar III,
Sultan of Sokoto and President General
Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs,
National Mosque, Abuja.

Your Eminence,

ECHOING THE MESSAGE OF GENERAL YAKUBU GOWON:
A CALL FOR ACTION ON THE  ISLAMIC LEADERSHIP OF NORTHERN NIGERIA.

On thursday the 26th of June 2014, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd.) was confronted during an event in Lagos by the media to comment on the Abuja (Emab) mall bomb blast of the previous day, a summary of his reaction was:

That he condemned it in the harshest words and submitted that whatever is the motive of the attackers, they should fear God and stop the carnage. He further asserted that the unfortunate actions of Boko Haram were alien to the Islam we knew in Nigeria. The retired General and Elder statesman then called on the leadership of the Islamic faith in northern Nigeria to work towards stopping the Boko Haram carnage and also correct the negative ideology of the sect to the right Islamic teachings of tolerance,peace and love. He cited the muslims in the south-west  as a good example of peace and religious tolerance; to the extent of inter-marriages between Muslims and Christians in the south-west of Nigeria.

This message of the former head of the Nigerian state was just a repetition of several similar calls by other prominent Nigerians across faith-divide. It is therefore becoming embrassing to some of us that are Muslims and from the northern extract. We always ponder over what exactly do these respected Nigerians mean whenever they demand for the action of Muslim leadership to stop the carnage. As far as we know the Muslim and Islamic leadership in Nigeria comprised all the Ulamas and Emirs under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto; who doubles as the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, and also the leader of the Jama?atu Nasril Islam. And as far as we know the Sultan and his team do not have weapons or control over  the security personnel in Nigeria. Then, what action is required of them?

After deep thoughts and self scrutiny we got some hints on what additional things (apart from the traditional condemnation) the Sultan and his team ought to do or to have done; in order to save our country from the  persistent shocker of the Boko Haram. We wish to respectfully state that some visible and invisible steps, actions and structures were supposed to have been entrenched by the leadership of the Nigerian Muslims, in order to achieve the following:

0. A visible action towards stoping the spread of the radical ideologies of Boko Haram among Muslim youths that leads to acts of terrorism. This could be achieved through intellectual religious engagements/confrontation with the  radical Islamic groups that can easily be defeated using superior arguments from Muslim clergy. This is supposed to be the preoccupation of all Emirs and Imams; under the leadership of the Sultan. Such an effort is surely capable of yielding the required result.
1.
2. Several Boko Haram members would have laid their arms and many wouldn?t have joined the erroneous sect. Unfortunately, this was not to be. There have not been any visible or invisible effort by the Muslim leadership to convene such engagements at even a single location, let alone covering the whole troubled region. That could be why demand for action on the leadership is repeatedly made by well meaning citizens.

3. An invisible local intelligence structure to augment the government?s security and intelligence provisions was expected by Nigerians. People are aware of the Mai unguwa intelligence mechanism that existed in the Muslim communities. In those good olden days, timely and accurate local intelligence was always at the disposal of the authority. People now wonder why such networks couldn?t be resuscitated by the leadership and even reinvigorated by modern technologies? The call on the current leadership of the Muslim umma for action against Boko Haram could be on such need to re-invent this mechanism; so that the terrorists are trailed and apprehended at community level before causing havoc.

4. Visibility of greater concern to other victims of the Boko Haram (especially the non-muslims) is also another step towards sharing a collective pain and encouraging a united front against the insurgent Boko Haram. For instance, if the Sultan would be seen mobilizing wealthy Nigerians (muslims and non-Muslims alike) to donate to the  victims of Boko Haram, or would be seen leading the Emirs and Ulamas on a solidarity visit to troubled communities in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, or even to the smallest church in any remote village among the severally attacked ones; an overwhelming difference could have occurred in the troubled minds of the victims? relations; thereby exonerating the larger part of the Muslim Ummah. Such were the actions demanded by the respected voices of senior Nigerians!

5. As Muslim northerners, we must own up that the miscreants called Boko Haram are our sons, daughters, brothers and the likes. It is therefore our task and responsibility as individuals, families and communities to expose these defiant criminals and make their arrest and prosecution easy for government. It is only when such bold and patriotic steps are taken by northern Muslims that other Nigerians would believe in  our disapproval of the insurgents. The Sultan and his team have an important role to play in this regard. 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 mobilize 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 communities of Muslims and Christians; 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 governments 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. We therefore pray that Allah (SWT) grants the President-General and Amirul Munineena of Nigeria the courage to accept these stack realities, may Allah (SWT) also continue to bless him with the wisdom to navigate the Islamic leadership out of this threat to his legitimacy.

Obediently yours,
FOR: CONCERNED NORTHERN MUSLIM PROFESSIONALS

Alhaji Mohammed Saidu

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