The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’adu Abubakar, has reacted to the call for proscription of Miyetti Allah by the Secretary-General of the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, Musa Asake.
The call made by the CAN official came following the manslaughter launched by some herdsmen in some Northern States.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’adu Abubakar, while speaking at the first general assembly of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum For Peace IDFP which held in Abuja, on Thursday January 18th, the Sultan said: “Miyetti Allah doesn’t control any Fulani man. Calling for proscription of Miyetti Allah is equivalent to calling for the proscription of other ethnic organisations like Afenifere, ACF, Ohanaeze and others. It was formed 32 years ago and these crises were not there. I am the patron and we have never asked Fulani herdsman to kill anybody. Any Fulani man caught killing is a criminal and should be treated as such.
“What are the security agencies doing? If they have failed, they should accept that they have failed. What is going on is not an ethnic problem; it’s not a religious problem, it’s an economic problem. The CAN secretary general has said the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria should be labelled a terrorist organisation. MACBAN has no control of any Fulani. MACBAN is a body to help the various Fulani organisations to come together and help themselves. We have always said that Fulani do not carry arms. We have always challenged security agencies to arrest these killers and bring them to justice. MACBAN is an organisation that helps Fulani and not makes them kill people.”
He added: “What we need is to sit down and dialogue. As religious leaders, we have to be very careful what we say, because it carries weight; our followers listen to us very seriously. We must believe in one another, trust and love ourselves because that is what our two major religions advocate. We must continue to speak with one voice. We should not be labeling everybody a criminal because his brother is a criminal. People are saying, label Miyetti Allah a terrorist group. No, we are not terrorists and can’t join terrorism.”
Also reacting to persons who kill in the name of God, the Sultan said: “You cannot be shedding blood in your country and expect God to be happy with you. Taking a single life unjustly in Islam is akin to taking the life of humanity. We cannot protect our religion by killing people. Islam has been dragged to the mud. People make comments on social media and people who do not know the truth simply believe it. It is quite unfortunate. No matter what we do or say, we can never bring back the lives of people lost in these senseless killings. When will this killings and madness stop? What are the security agencies doing? We can challenge our leaders with a united voice. If we challenge our leaders in one voice, we can move forward.”