President Muhammadu Buhari has announced plans by his administration to commission a study into the origin, causes and sponsors of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the International Islamic Conference on Peace and Nation Building, in Abuja yesterday, he reaffirmed his position that Boko Haram terrorism had nothing to do with Islam.
“In my inauguration address on May 29, 2015, I mentioned that Boko Haram is a mindless, godless group who are as far away from Islam as one can think of.
“I assured Nigerians that at the end of the hostilities when the group is subdued the government would commission a sociological study to determine the origin, the remote and immediate causes of the movement, its sponsors, its international connections if any, to ensure that measures are taken to prevent a recurrence of this evil.
“The outcome of the proceedings of this conference will be useful in that regard.”
The President recalled that his administration is in joint cooperation with neighbouring countries leading to the substantial degradation of the attacking capability of the insurgents “to a level that has now compelled the insurgents to retreat.”
He added: “We will pursue them relentlessly until they become an item of history.
“The tragic paradox of the global insurgency situation is that most of the atrocities committed by various insurgents all over the world today are being carried out mainly by people who pretend to be Muslims, yet, most of the victims and casualties are equally Muslims.
“To underscore their cruelty and godlessness, they particularly target the most vulnerable members of the society: children, women and the elderly
“No religion approves of such heinous crimes against humanity; definitely not Islam nor Christianity, to which two most Nigerians belong.
“This is a tragedy which all normal people must rise up against. Islam does not permit lawlessness. It frowns at extremism even in normal acts of worship.
“The emergence of any group advocating the contrary is therefore irreligious and unacceptable.
“Religious leaders must intensify their efforts to send out the real teachings of their religion in order to counter the diabolical ideology that motivates the insurgent elements,” he said.
He called on all religious, community and political leaders to mobilise their followers against corruption and crimes of any kind.
He said they should also encourage them to be more tolerant of each other; and recognise the rights of others as they want others to recognise their rights to worship and live freely.
The President continued : “Our country Nigeria has suffered many years of official neglect and corruption leading to untold hardships to the common man. I wish to assure you that our government will do everything possible to safeguard lives and property and also to ensure even development across the country.
“The global economic challenges the world is grappling with today might well turn out to be a blessing for us in Nigeria, because it will stimulate the latent economic opportunities that we have left untapped for decades. Poverty breeds disaffection, which in turn leads to crime and lawlessness including confrontation against the State.
“To checkmate this, we must work hard to lift our economy, engage our youth and rebuild infrastructure. We can only achieve these with full cooperation of all Nigerians and under a stable polity. We are determined to do this and we shall not be deterred.”
The conference was organised by Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’a Wa Iqamatis Sunna and the Muslim World League.

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