The position of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, where he appeared to be sympathetic to the cause of Boko Haram terrorist group, has been faulted by the member representing Jos South/Jos East constituency in the House of Representatives, Honourable Bitrus Kaze.
The Lawmaker in a press statement yesterday described the Sultan’s position, especially at a time “that the war against terror is gaining global momentum following the abduction of nearly 300 school girls in Chibok”, as “depressing, counter-productive and very dangerous.”
Kaze observed that, “As a retired Colonel of the Nigerian Army, whose last duty post was Pakistan, the hotbed of global terrorism, the Sultan should understand better the implications and inevitability of the use of force in Nigeria’s counter-insurgency efforts”, adding, “no counter-insurgency strategy can be sustained anywhere in the world without the military and without the use of force.”
He noted that, “The Sultan of Sokoto is the Commander in Chief of all Nigerian Muslims, including the moderates and the extremists like Boko Haram. The statement by His Eminence unfortunately sends dangerous signals, especially to the officers and men of Nigeria armed forces who are Muslims.”
He said while the Sultan showed in his statement that he was sympathetic to the detained terrorists, “he is completely insensitive to the plight of the innocent and law-abiding citizens, who are victims of his rampaging subjects.”
The Sultan had reportedly called on the federal government to negotiate with members of the Boko Haram sect, warning that, “The government cannot fight a group of faceless individuals whose locations are unknown.”
The Royal father, who was in Abuja where he declared open the 7th National Conference of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), had said, “When you hold somebody and he says he is not a member of Boko Haram, believe him, he is not, if he is, he will not denounce”, adding that Boko Haram members often do not deny their activities.
Citing an example of the American government who “exchanged one soldier for very senior five al-Qaeda leaders”; the Sultan had disagreed with President Goodluck Jonathan, who had repeatedly said the government would not negotiate with criminals, saying “insurgency had never been successfully tackled with force anywhere in the world.”
The Sultan also spoke extensively on why Sharia Laws and Islamic tenets should be included in the country’s constitution.