Northern, South-East elders move to end pro-Biafra protests •Muslim leaders warn against retaliatory attacks

Posted by News Express | 4 December 2015 | 2,961 times

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Elders and Leaders in the North and South-East geo-political zones have resolved to sustain, intensify and expand the process of dialogue to put an end to pro-Biafra protests in the country.

A statement from the joint meeting of elders and leaders from the North and South-East signed by former Nigeria’s Permanent Representatives to the United Nations (UN) Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Sule and former military Vice President during General Ibrahim Babangida regime, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, yesterday said that the elders were gravely concerned about the deterioration of the security situation in the country, especially the ugly incident of Wednesday, at Onitsha, which led to loss of lives.

“We hereby strongly condemn this deterioration in national security and resort to violence in addressing national grievances. We are reminded of similar unfortunate events in our history and appeal to all concerned to put an immediate end to all public marches and protests,” the statement said.

“Dialogue remains the best option for resolving all our national grievances. The meeting has therefore resolved to sustain, intensify and expand the process of dialogue to resolve perceived and existing grievances in our nation in order to ensure justice for all in Nigeria,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) under the leadership of the President-General, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, yesterday cautioned Muslim faithful across Nigeria against reprisal attacks following Wednesday’s burning of Central Mosque in Onitsha state and trucks believed to be owned by a Nigerian business giant.

Abubakar who was represented by the Secretary General of the NSCIA Professor Ishiaq Oloyede at a press briefing in Ilorin, said any attempt to repel evil with evil was unIslamic and therefore should be shunned by all Moslem faithful across the nation.

Quoting copiously from Quoran, he said Islam forbade the burning of any designated worship centers especially churches, monasteries and mosques just as he urged Nigerian security agents to henceforth provide adequate protection for all faithful worshipers irrespective of their areas of domicile.

He said: “The NSCIA notes with distress the unfortunate and unprovoked attacks on Muslims and the Central Mosque of Onitsha, Anambra State, yesterday, Wednesday, December 2, 2015.

The perpetrators of the dastardly acts, which culminated in the loss of lives and burning of trucks owned by a prominent Muslim businessman only sought to provoke inter-religious crises and thereby get Nigeria further embroiled in needless bloodletting.

Muslims, must as a matter of principle, resist the temptation of being drawn to retaliation. They should consider the perpetrators as criminals and not representative of any ethnic or religious group.

“The NSCIA calls on all Chief Imams to utilise the Minbar tomorrow to preach, peace, justice and restraints. Two wrongs do not make a right. Innocent persons should not be made to suffer as a result of the act of few misguided individuals.”

•Based on reports by Daily Trust and The Guardian. Photo shows a sea of pro-Biafra protesters.

Source: News Express

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