The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has decried what he described as the “senseless killing” of Christian worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, by gunmen suspected to be terrorists on Sunday.
The Sultan who lamented the ugly situation in a statement on Monday, said it had become mandatory for security agencies in the country to rise up to the occasion in protecting helpless citizens from the clutches of terrorists and criminals in every part of the country.
In a statement issued on his behalf by the NSCIA Director of Administration, Zubairu Haruna Usman-Ugwu, the Sultan described the heinous attack as a “crime against humanity, and a grievous and inexplicable sin.”
“All peoples of faith should take this attack as a direct attack on all law-abiding citizens and should therefore be in the vanguard to halt the evil that appears to be assailing the life, property and integrity of humanity, particularly believers in God,” the Sultan said.
Quoting copiously from the Quran, the religious leader urged governments at all levels “to issue and pursue an ultimatum for the security agencies to unravel the identity and bring to book, the perpetrators of the violation of sanctity of not only life, but also religions.”
“The security agents, who have been engaged to combat criminality and insecurity, are enjoined to heed the Qur’anic call that: ‘…For had it not been that God checks one set of people by means of another; monasteries, churches, synagogues, and Mosques, wherein the name of God is persistently mentioned would surely have been pulled down. Verily, God will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, God is All-Strong, All-Mighty. (Q 22: 40)’.
“The council stands in absolute solidarity with the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Catholic community, the government and people of Ondo State and commiserates with the families of the victims in this period of immeasurable agony and distress.
“May Allah grant us peace and security in our nation. Amin!”