Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno has appealed to the Boko Haram sect not to hide behind Islam to justfy the killing innocent Nigerians.
Reacting to the claim by the group that its recent killing of Christians at Madala, Niger State was to avenge attacks on Muslims, Shettima said there was no situation in which Islam sanctioned the killing of innocent souls.
He said on Thursday in Marte Local Government Area of the state at the flag off of a Biligual Tsangaya Boarding Primary School, that the group should not hide behind Islam to justify its nefarious activities.
“The killing of innocent souls in whatever guise is never sanctioned by Islam; likewise, the religion has never sanctioned the burning of worship places of other people.
“Islam is a religion of peace and tolerence, because Prophet Muhammad lived with people of other religions peacefully during his time.”
Shettima said rather than promote Islam, the activities of the sect had greatly affected the image of the religion negatively, especially among non Muslims.
“I want to renew my call on the members of the Jama' atu Ahlis Sunna Wal Da'a wati Lil Jihad to lay down their arms and embrace dialogue.
If they are really carrying out their struggle for the sake of Islam, then it is time for them to stop the killing of innocent souls.”
The governor promised that his administration was ready to rehabilitate members of the sect willing to pursue the path of peace.
“Violence is never a solution, because violence begets violence. Those who live by the gun, die by the gun eventually.”
“We are willing as government to enter negotiation with the sect to stop the senseless killing of Nigerians.”
Shettima said the school was built to provide avenues for the Almajiris to acquire both Western and Islamic education.
Government decided to create enabling environment for the pupils to have access to both Western and Islamic knowledge.
“We are doing this to prepare for the future, because children are the leaders of tomorrow. We must lay a solid foundation for them, otherwise we will regret in future.”
Shettima also visited the pump station of the Chad Basin Development Authority (CBDA) and the 67,000 hecter South Chad Irrigation Scheme (SCIC).
He reiterated government's determination to partner with the organisation toward the resuscitation of irrigation programme in the area.