• Orders arrest of New Year killers in Rivers, Kaduna
By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has told religious leaders across the country that that killing in the name of God cannot be justified, vowing to investigate and bring to book perpetrators of mayhem in the country.
The President in a statement made available to newsmen after a separate meeting he had with Qadiriyya Muslim Movement in Africa and the Izalatul-Bid’a-Wa-Iqamatus-Sunnah at the State House yesterday by his Spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, equally ordered the arrest of the killers of innocent persons in Omoku in Rivers state as well as those who killed the Etum Numana, Dr. Gambo Makama and his wife in Sango Local Government of Kaduna state in the new year.
Speaking at separate meetings in Abuja, Buhari said anyone, or group of persons, who unleash violence on the innocent in the name of a movement, cause or religion lack understanding of the ordinances of God.
“You can’t kill to please God; and I know no religion tolerates the taking of another person’s life in the name of a religious movement.
“There is never a justification for killing any member of the society. We have been tackling the Boko Haram menace, and we have made significant impact, and we will extend the measures to stop all wanton killings,’’ he said.
The President said the security apparatus will be consistently reviewed to check threats to the peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians, and ensure the safety of lives and properties.
President Buhari told the delegation that his political party, the All Progressives Congress, campaigned on three issues, noting that his government had been consistent in ensuring that it provides adequate security, fights corruption and stimulates the economy for creation of jobs.
“Our priority is to also ensure that everyone in the country has something to eat. We are really concerned about the underprivileged.
“Graciously, God has been hearing our prayers. In the past two years, we have had bountiful harvest due to favourable conditions. All over the country, we have reports of farmers posting good harvests.
On corruption, the President said security agencies will continue to expand their dragnets to ensure that sanity is restored into public offices.
“Justice will be done to all in the war against corruption. As religious leaders, I urge you to reach backwards to your followers to respect the rights of others. Those that stole from the public can no longer sleep well in the country today. When they run abroad, they cannot take their landed assets with them. We will, in all cases, have them return what they looted,” he added.
In his remarks, the leader of Qadiriyya Muslim Movement in Africa, Dr. Keribullah Nasir Kabara said the movement would continue to uphold the president in prayers for good health and longer life to pursue the course of building a stronger nation that caters for all citizens.
He said the reports of improved security in the North East and better harvests for farmers across the nation were clear signs of God’s favour on the government, urging the President to continually look unto God.
The Sheikh said the improved security situation in the country made it possible for ten million members of Qadiriyya, from many parts of Africa, to gather in Kano for some days for the commemorative birthday of the founder of the movement without a single incident.
The leader of the second group of Ulamas, Shiekh Bala Lau commended the ongoing drive for infrastructural development in the country by the administration.
He urged the President Buhari to continue to remember the lower segments of the population who look up to him to champion their cause.
Buhari also described the killings in both Rivers and Kaduna states as “reprehensible and unacceptable,” directed law enforcement agencies in both states to intensify their current efforts in order to speedily bring the perpetrators to face the wrath of the law.
“I have always maintained that nothing justifies the taking of the life of an innocent person,” he said, adding that “people in our communities must learn to live peacefully.”
President Buhari appealed to the communities affected not to embark on reprisal attacks, but allow the security agencies to carry out comprehensive investigations to properly punish the culprits.
He commiserated with the families of the victims and wished the injured faster recovery.