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the Kano State Coalition of Ulama (Islamic Scholars) and Civil Society Organisations, as usual, convened a stakeholders meeting in the ancient city to discuss the…

the Kano State Coalition of Ulama (Islamic Scholars) and Civil Society Organisations, as usual, convened a stakeholders meeting in the ancient city to discuss the unfortunate situation and proffer suggestions on ways forward. At the end of the meeting, a public statement (titled STOP THIS CARNAGE NOW), signed by Dr. Musa Muhammad Borodo, the Coalition’s Chairman, was issued. Excerpts:

Eid in Islam is a time when people are supposed to show love, care and concern for each other, when we are encouraged to spread happiness to all neighbours irrespective of material differences. But on this festive occasion, the good people of Kano woke up to a number of events that will remain among the worst forms of desecration to all they cherish.
First, a young woman was accosted at Kofar Nassarawa ostensibly on her way to the Eid prayer-ground and, before the people questioning her knew what was happening, she had blown herself up, killing and wounding many. Next, another young woman detonated a bomb among a group of poor women on the queue to purchase kerosene at Hotoro on Maiduguri Road, leading to her death and several others.
Then yet another young woman detonated another bomb near the Ado Bayero Mall on Zoo Road. She killed herself and many others. And then another, this time allegedly a teenager, detonated a bomb amidst young graduates trying to check their NYSC postings at the Kano State Polytechnic on BUK Road. All these in addition to the explosives located at various other locations, but which were successfully defused and neutralised.
These attacks are so senseless as to defy explanation. Coming, as they did, after attempts on the lives of General Muhammadu Buhari and Shaikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi in Kaduna, and the unwarranted, unlawful and condemnable killing of scores of Shiite members in Zaria, we ask: where are we headed?
Let it be restated that Islam is explicit concerning prohibition of bloodshed and its evil consequences. The religion forbids the killing of innocent lives, warns against suicide and commands Muslims to be fair and just in all their dealings with people irrespective of their relationship with them. Specifically the Qur’an states that: “O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next [nearest] to piety: and fear Allah, for Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” (Q5:8)
Again, Allah says: “…We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people [entire mankind]: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people [entire mankind]…” (Q5:32)
Based on the preceding, we wish to state our unequivocal condemnation of these senseless killings targeted at innocent citizens going about their legitimate engagements. We wish to state that these acts are purely criminal and forbidden in Islam, without any iota of doubt. Those perpetrating these acts are criminals who deserve to be punished accordingly and for whose action nobody should be held responsible but themselves. Their actions are neither representative of any religious teachings, nor protective of the interest of any group whose goal is the peace and progress of our dear nation.
Thus, it  is indeed time for all stakeholders to take stock of the situation, accept that this is a real war against the corporate existence of Nigeria, and not a sectional or sectarian war been fought by, or for, any particular group in the country. The earlier we stop looking at the issue as a regional or tribal issue, the better for all of us. We have to go back to the drawing board and map out efficient strategies on how to tackle the menace.
We also wish to remind all that this is not the first form of violent uprising occurring in this world. It is therefore pertinent for us to call for a thorough review of the situation, a redesign of our failed strategy which should be substituted with more practical, humane and globally tested strategies. Since other nations have tried the scorched earth policy without success, we should learn from their mistakes and consolidate on their gains towards establishing a just, peaceful and blended society.
We must again take a critical review of the situation and accept the need for a change of approach. To this end, we should ask and seek to find answers to these baffling issues related to the insurgency: Who are behind it and for what purpose? What are the sources of funds, arms and ammunition? Why is it that despite months of emergency rule in many states of the North East, such attacks are almost always successfully executed, sometimes in broad daylight and for several hours?
Others questions are: How do these insurgents move in convoys with ease, attack their targets and retreat safely, sometimes with their ‘booty’? Is it true that helicopters, RPGs and even armoured personnel carriers have been used in some attacks, as reported by a section of the media? If so, where are they from, how do they get to the insurgents? Who is supplying them these deadly equipment? Also, how do they fuel the vehicles, feed the fighters and maintain such a huge number of people?
We also ask: several persons involved in discussions aimed at negotiating a peaceful resolution with the insurgents have clearly accused some government officials of frustrating the efforts on various occasions. Who are these persons, why are they doing that and in whose interest? Why is it that whenever a lead is found that may help unravel the secret behind the insurgency, that lead is eliminated in mysterious circumstances?
We also ask: If indeed it is Abubakar Shekau we see in those videos, how, please how, does he go online and upload the videos and the messages? And then this new wave of attacks being executed by young women, sometimes teenage girls; who are these girls, who is sending them, how do they get the explosives? And if some have been apprehended, as reported in some sections of the media, where are they? When will they be “paraded”?
As we said in the past, we continue to suggest several measures that  could be taken to control and curb the menace of this insurgency, including: Ceasefire and Dialogue; Changes in Security Measures; Compensation to victims (both uniformed  men and civilians); Containment of Western Interference in our country’s internal affairs; and True Federalism which will allow Nigeria’s multi-religious, multi-ethnic groups conduct their affairs in accordance with their cultural norms and values and observe their religious injunctions freely. We therefore wish to reiterate that those issues are not only relevant now, but have become more emphatic.
Finally we call on all Muslims to work towards justice and fairness, repent and seek forgiveness from Allah, perform Qiyam al-Layl (night prayers) seeking Allah’s intervention, show humility to Allah and the passionate need for His intervention to save this country from this path of destruction; we should particularly recite “HasbunalLahu wa ni’imal Wakeel” as often as we can. We pray to Allah the Almighty protect our dear city and the nation in general. But wallahi Enough is Enough! HasbunalLahu wa ni’imal Wakeel!

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