The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar lll-led Jama’atu Nasril Islam on Tuesday knocked Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, and a former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, for linking the herdsmen killings across Benue, Taraba and other parts of the North, to the continuation of the late Usman Danfodio’s jihad.
The Sultan is the President General of the JNI with its headquarters in Kaduna.
The group warned the governor and his cohorts, not to take Nigerian Muslims for granted by denigrating the Muslim community.
This was just as the JNI urged Nigerian Muslims to intensify prayers for peace as the 2019 general elections approach.
The JNi added that the need for Muslims to pray for hitch-free polls became imperative as politicians continued to foment crisis in the land.
He called on “Muslims to intensify prayers for peace to return to the nation and for a hitch-free 2019 general election as politicians are busy trying to cause crises with their unguarded utterances.”
Saying that the group would not have reacted to the governor’s vituperation, but for the fact that it maligned the name of the revered Usman Danfodio.
The JNI through its Secretary-General, Dr. Abubakar Khalid Aliyu, stated this in Kaduna on Tuesday.
The group said, “This is a reaction to a recent interview granted by HE Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue State to an online TV programme, The Osasu Show, in Makurdi, the state capital, and has been carried widely by both the print and electronic media, to the effect that the ongoing herders-farmers clashes in his state are a continuation of the Jihad of our revered Shehu Usman Danfodio.
“For the records, the governor is not alone in throwing these tantrums, Femi Fani Kayode, one-time Minister of Aviation during the reign of President Obasanjo has always said lots of unprintable things against Shehu Danfodio. This rejoinder is premised on the fact that Islam does not encourage its adherents to castigate other people of faith or fabricate lies against them but encourages that once the Ummah (Society) of Islam is frequently maligned, then it is incumbent on the society to defend itself, hence the need for this write-up.
“The Benue governor got it wrong, most likely because of his malicious intent to smear the revered personality of Shehu Danfodio who had said in a widely-quoted statement that: “Truth is an open wound, only justice can heal it.”
“It should be noted that the Benue State Government and the Tiv Traditional Council have overtime been yelling that the Fulani crisis at their end is a continuation of Danfodiyo’s jihad. A case in point was the 17th March, 2014 press statement with Reference Number TTC/P1/2 signed by Ber Godwin, Press Secretary to the Tor Tiv and the Tiv Area Traditional Council.
“We, therefore, call on all, particularly the Benue State Government and its cohorts not to take for granted the leadership of Nigerian Muslims over these unfortunate crises in the name of herders-farmers’ clashes, particularly at this very critical time when the security challenges in the country are so many. More so, it is Ramadan period, a time we Muslims are enjoined to be cautious and calm in our affairs.”