The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has said both Boko Haram insurgents and armed bandits are the same.
The prominent monarch said Boko Haram insurgents have eventually transmuted themselves into armed bandits and kidnappers, with the aim of overrunning the country under their unholy agenda.
Abubakar made this known in a statement by the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) Secretary, Khalid Aliyu while reacting to the recent abduction of 29 students of Government Science College, Kagara in Nigeria by armed bandits.
According to the JNI President-General, the recent criminal activities by bandits are becoming “the new normal” in the country.
He, however, condemned the abduction, blaming it on inadequate security surveillance around boarding schools across the country.
He, however, charged the Federal Government to live to its responsibility of securing the lives of all Nigerians from the new wave of attacks.
The Sultan said: “Worst still, Kagara town and by extension Niger State has become infamous, given the serial attacks by bandits and other criminals in recent past.”
“Isn’t intelligence part of security networking?” Sultan asked while expressing worries that Nigerians may not conscious of the repercussion of the bloodletting and criminalities.
Abubakar said the government seems not to have learned lessons from the Chibok, Dapchi, and Kankara debacles,
He said: “Unfortunately, these hapless situations appear to have escaped our memories. What perplexes us in recent years of these kidnappings and abductions is that criminals brazenly act unchallenged.”
He queried the silence of the federal government on the rescue process, which according to him will ease the worries of parents and guardians of abducted students.
“What could be the factors and why is there no information from government quarters relating to efforts made in the rescue process, so as to assuage the anxieties of parents and guardians of the affected victims?
“Let it be known to all discerning minds that with the ongoing offensive onslaught against Boko Haram insurgency in the Northwest region by the security, other regions must remain very alert against infiltration,” he said.
The spiritual leader challenged the government to set their priorities right on the spate of insecurity before it worsens.
He said “Make no mistake, the abduction is a classic example of the philosophical foundation of Boko Haram- that western education is forbidden. That’s why their targets are always on boarding schools, especially science schools, considered atheistic in pedagogy.”
Speaking further, he said Nigerian citizens should see the insecurity challenge “as a national disaster” that requires collective efforts to combat, just as he advised that suspicious activities in their domain are reported to security agencies.
He also advised that “the government should, as a matter of national emergency, secure all forests in Nigeria by engaging willing Nigerians under whatever nomenclature to help clear off the forest reserves from the undesirable elements, while maintaining our natural environment and eco-system.”
The Sultan, however, commiserated with families of murdered students in Kangara, the government of Niger state, and other ravaged states.