• Thursday, May 30, 2024
businessday logo


Onaiyekan, Babangida Aliyu disagree on Boko Haram


  Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan and Niger State governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, on Tuesday disagreed on the religious inclination of the terrorist organisation, Boko Haram.

Delivering a lecture on ‘Rebuilding Nigeria’ at the 2013 annual conference and awards ceremony of Leadership newspaper at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, the Niger State governor said Boko Haram was not an Islamic organisation and was not fighting for Islam.

He said the organisation’s activities were against the tenets of Islam, adding that it was against the injunction of Islam to kill an innocent person as Boko Haram has been doing.

  The governor said it was also against the teaching of Islam to seek to convert anybody by force, noting that Islam only emphasised that non-adherents should be persuaded to accept the religion and not forced against their will to embrace the religion.

Babangida Aliyu said even though the Federal Government was now planning amnesty for Boko Haram, if the problem that brought about the terrorist group were not dealt with, other groups would re-emerge.

He urged Onaiyekan and the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, to continue in their joint effort of inter-faith dialogue and co-operation to find a lasting peace in the country.

However, Onaiyekan, who spoke on behalf of himself and the Sultan of Sokoto, said the Boko Haram menace has a religious dimension.

He called on religious leaders in the country to come together in dialogue.

The Catholic cleric also said political leaders should join hands to confront the challenges facing the country.

While calling for the redrafting of the constitution, Onaiyekan said, “We need to sustain our dream for a great nation and work towards it. The rest of the black race looks up to Nigeria”.

Onaiyekan and Sultan Abubakar III bagged the award of Leadership Persons of the Year.

Other recipients were Akwa Ibom governor, Godswill Akpabio, who was named Leadership Governor of the Year 2012 and Segun Adeniyi, former special adviser to the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, who got the award of Leadership Author of the Year 2012, among others.