As the #EndSARS protests snowballed into arson and crisis across the country, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has appealed for calm, while urging Imams to pray for and preach peace today.
The Sultan urged the protesters to stay action and allow government deal decisively with the hoodlums believed to have hijacked the protests to cause chaos for their own parochial interest.
Speaking in a statement signed by the JNI Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the Sultan said, “Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has followed keenly the sequence of events right from the beginning of the #EndSars protest up to now that it degenerated into chaos leading to the loss of lives and destruction of properties both public and private.
“The agitation for the #EndSars borne out of concern for the lives of Nigerians against the excesses of some of the members of the special police unit has since been hijacked by miscreants who have been looking for such opportunities to settle scores with their adversaries within the police and/or politicians.
“These miscreants are now the driving force of the #EndSars protest. Hence, the attacks on lives and properties as well as looting and arsons thereby creating serious pandemonium which is completely at variance with the objectives of the #EndSars conveners.
“The JNI thereby appeal for calm both from the protesters and the military to prevent plunging the country into the State of Anarchy as we are now on the precipice. We should not by our actions give ‘conflict preneurs’ the opportunity to further escalate the situation to full blown violence that will lead us to a despicable condition.
“We hereby appeal to the genuine protesters to kindly withdraw from the streets for now to give the government the chance to deal decisively with the hoodlums. Government on its part should also continue to apply restraint and maturity in handling the situation as the atmosphere is so tensed that any misstep by the government will spell doom for the country.
“The military should conduct themselves professionally applying all standards of rule of engagements in the discharge of their duties. JNI further appeals to parents and guardians to with all urgency rein in their children/wards to see reasons and stay off the street for now so as to douse the tension that’s threatening the fragile fabric of peace holding us together as a people and a nation.
“Religious leaders are also called upon to use their sermons tomorrow being Friday to passionately appeal to the conscience of their followers to be calm, avoid inflammatory utterances and eschew any action that will bring about the disruption of law and order in our society. All Imams are hereby directed to engage in Qunut (special prayer) in every mosque as taught by our Noble Prophet Muhammad SAW.
“Individuals are encouraged to intensify Azkar (Glorification of Allah) to implore the mercy of Allah SWT to bring peace to reign in our societies and the country at large.
“The JNI seriously frowns against and strongly condemned the actions of proponents of fake news and call on them to desist from their disruptive actions that is fuelling the embers of hatred and sowing the seed of reprisals. They should know that by causing crisis within the society and shedding of innocent blood, they will live to regret their actions as nemesis will catch up with them at the appropriate time and in the hereafter they will face the wrath of Allah for their infamous act.
“We condole the families of those who lost their loved ones in the unfortunate mayhem and pray that Allah consoles their hearts. We also pray for those who lost wealth and properties, may Allah SWT come to their aid. We further pray for quick recovery for the injured and complete calmness in the polity,” Sultan said.