The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, on Tuesday cautioned religious groups and leaders against comments that would mislead their followers into war.
Mr Abubakar gave the warning while addressing some Sokoto residents, heads of security agencies, religious leaders and journalists during a Ramadan breakfast dinner held at his palace on Monday night. The monarch cited a publication credited to some Christian leaders titled, “if Leah Sharibu dies in the hand of Boko Haram, there will be a religious war in the country”, saying such utterances were irresponsible.
He reminded such religious leaders that “terrorism has no connection to religion or ethnicity.’’
Mr Abubakar added that in the event the girl was killed by the terrorists, the Christian leaders that made the comment must be held for complicity.
“How can a leader make such comment,’’ he queried, and stressed that Muslims did not in any way connive with Boko Haram to abduct the girl or get others released.
The Sultan reminded such Christian leaders that more Muslims have been killed by Boko Haram than Christians “which even the former President Goodluck Jonathan testified to.’’
“For some section to make that comment that if she dies in the hand of Boko Haram there will be a religious war is very unfair.
“How can someone begin to attack Muslims because this innocent girl happened to be a victim of murderous terrorists?
“It means the Boko Haram group are winning the war because that is exactly what they want.
“If they hear about this and went and kill the innocent girl that means you are part and parcel of what make them to do that because they want to cause confusion in the country,” Mr Abubakar stressed.
He urged all Nigerians of goodwill to join in prayers for the safe return of the girl, and for peace and harmony across the country.
The monarch insisted that he reacted on behalf of the entire Nigerian Muslims, and urged the media to save Nigeria from war, as some media reports were inimical to peace and unity of the country.
Mr Abubakar accused the core and social media of using unverified stories and gory pictures just to raise tension and spread falsehood in the country.(NAN)