The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has urged Muslims in Nigeria to shun violence even as they try to keep in line with the tenets of the faith. The Sultan of Sokoto has spoken out with regards to the troubling cases of religious violence in the country. The Sultan further charges that Muslims defend their rights to worship
The president-general, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, made the admonition on Friday, July 22, he urged Muslims in Nigeria not to take laws into their hands.
He advised them to avoid violence and coercing people of other religions into becoming Muslims, saying Islam is not by compulsion.
The Sultan’s statement comes just as the Kwara state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was represented by the Commissioner for Energy, Alhaji Idris Abubakar, condemned attacks on churches and other places of worship by any group under any guise, saying such violated the rights of others to freedom of worship.
They spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara tate capital, during a conference organised by Da’wah Co-ordination Council of Nigeria for the north central states.
Sultan Abubakar urged Muslim faithful to live harmoniously with their neighbours, irrespective of their religions, tribes or political leanings, saying through the good conduct of Muslims, people will be converted to Islam and not by violence.
He also urged Muslim clerics to avoid hate preaching.
Islam. There is no compulsion in Islam. Our good deeds, good actions and good interactions as Muslims will give that very bright light to everybody what Islam is and that is what brings people to join us.
“Those who do not want to come as Muslims are free to stay with us and continue working with us to make this country a much better place.
“Whoever wants to fight you, do not fight him; leave him alone. Be very patient. The only thing that will make me to act or ask you to act is only when somebody or a group or some other nations decide to stop us from performing our religious obligations. That is the only way we can fight somebody.”
The Sultan added: “But if I am allowed to pursue my religious obligations, say my prayers and pay my zakat and so many other things, I have no problem with anybody. To you, your religion and to me, my religion.
Please continue to live in peace and continue to observe your Islamic tenets.”
In the same vein, Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, has commented on the killing of a top traditional ruler in Plateau state on Monday, July 18.
The Saf Ron Kulere, Chief Lazarus Agai, was coming back home from his farm when unknown gunmen opened fire on him, his wife and security aide. All three died of their injuries.
According to reports, youth groups blocked roads the day after the attack, and reportedly destroyed several buildings in the area.
Locals immediately accused Fulanu herdsmen living in the neighbourhood. They are convinced that the traditional ruler was killed for his opposition to the state government’s plan to create grazing reserves in the area.
However, Sa’ad Abubakar, who visited Plateau state didn’t support the suspicions and there he asked the journalists to refrain from unwarranted conclusions until the investigation is over.