The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, has condemned the Christmas Eve killings in 20 communities in Mangu, Bokkos, Mangu and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas of Plateau State.
He faulted security agencies for their failure in intelligence gathering in which they could not avert the heinous crime leading to the death of over 100 people.
Abubakar called on the government and security agencies to be more proactive and scale up its intelligence gathering techniques because “the bandits and terrorists are always a step ahead.”
The Sultan, who is also the President, Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, stated this in a goodwill message at the closing of the 80th National Islamic Vacation Course which held on Wednesday at the Air Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi.
He said: “We have problems of insecurity. Just a couple of days back, there was this clash in Plateau (State) where over 100 plus lives were lost. Why do we keep on having these clashes, why do we keep on having these deaths caused by ourselves? A couple of weeks back, the Tudun Biri issue (in Kdauna State) is still fresh in our minds, and now the one in Plateau.
“We always condemn such things but after condemning such activities by these bandits and criminals, what are the roles of the governments who are supposed to protect our lives and property?
“Why can’t we be proactive and stop such attacks before they happen? What happened to our intelligence gathering mechanisms. Can anybody tell me that nobody knew that such attacks were coming up?
“In various places, whether it is Sokoto, Birni Kebbi or in Kaduna or anywhere. Have we lost our sense of gathering information to avert any of such heinous crimes? We must ask our governments to up the game because these bandits are always a step ahead.”
Abubakar also warned against politicising insecurity in the country saying this was dangerous and the worst way to go.
“For some of us who were opportune of serving in the military, we know the activities of the security agencies, so we keep on asking, what really is happening? Things are politicised and that’s the worst way to go when you politicise insecurity.
“We’re all in one big country where we have poverty. Yes, Muslims, Christians and even people who don’t have religion, go to the same market, they buy the same foodstuffs, they enter the same vehicles, pay the same fares, so it is not the issue of religion. Let’s not say that anybody is planning this against Christians or against Muslims. No, it is the issue of leadership.
“Let’s have confidence in the leadership that within the next few weeks, months and year, something will change. Let’s keep on having hope and we should not lose hope. But we must keep calling on our leaders to rise up to the occasion. Things are not right and when things are not right, anything can happen,” he stated.
Continuing, he said: “As Muslims, we believe in the Almighty Allah who does what he wants to do and when he wants to do it. So let’s continue with our prayers.
“But as we pray, let’s put pressure on our leaders do the right thing, let’s not leave our leaders with their own problems and faults. We must all take this leadership as one opportunity for all of us to be good to one another and let our country be a much better country. The challenges are there and there are so problems but we have to face those challenges.”