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Sultan, CAN president, others want FG to end killings in North East, North West


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RELIGIOUS leaders under the aegis Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) have called on the Federal Government to buckle up and provide effective security for citizens.

NIREC is under the leadership of Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Samson Ayokunle, President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention and President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). They are both the Co-Chairmen of the Council.

In a press statement signed by Cornelius Afebu Omonokhua , the Executive Secretary of NIREC, the religious leaders expressed worry over the rising insecurity in the country, condemning recent attacks in Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna and Kogi states.

“We condemn the carnage on human life especially the recent killings of 76 people in Sabon Birni Local Government of Sokoto State, RuwanTofa Dansadua district in Zamfara State, Zagon Kataf Local Government Area in Kaduna State, Bethel Baptist Church Aguda-Dauruwan Kogi State and the attack on the convoy of the Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum at Baga,” the statement read in part.

NIREC further urged the government to double up its efforts of securing the lives and property of the citizens, adding that the perpetrators of the incessant attacks must be found and made to face justice.

The Council said it has always condemned the terrorists’ attacks on innocent citizens in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria and the various criminal activities in the various parts of the country.

It added that it was worried that the threats and killings keep spreading.

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Citing a ‘Save Our Soul’ cry by the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai ElKanemi who recently lamented that: “My people in Borno are no longer safe,” NIREC said Maiduguri, in particular should not be allowed to be run over by the insurgents who have been throwing mortals there, killing people.

“These show how serious the state of insecurity is in the nation. These situations and the likes are of grave concern to NIREC. The unabated carnages leave the citizens in a state of complete despair as economic activities are almost paralyzed,” the Council said in the statement.

It noted that it was constrained once again to call on the government at all levels to take security as a top priority for every Nigerian.

The security agents, the Council said,  must mop up the arms and ammunitions in the hands of criminals.

The government must ensure a complete stop to the proliferation of all forms of weapons that criminals use to destroy life and property, it said.

Earlier, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) submitted that the growing rate of insecurity in the country shows the fragility of Nigeria’s security architecture.

The same message has been re-echoed by the National Assembly, which in July, called for the resignation of Service Chiefs.

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The lawmakers raised a point of order demanding that Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff; Sadique Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff; Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Defence Staff and Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, Chief of Naval Staff, step aside for new appointments to be made.

However, the presidency in response said the appointment or sack of Service Chiefs remains a power vested in the president, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari would do what is in the best interest of the nation.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker, Boko Haram has killed nearly 30,000 people in Nigeria since 2009.

Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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