Queries emir over blasts in domain
IN what can be described as a move against indolence and insensitivity, the Niger State government has queried the Emir of Suleja Malam Awal Ibrahim over the series of bomb blast in his emirate in the last eight months.
Meanwhile, Governor Babangida Aliyu has extended the state of emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan in some local councils in the state to the remaining 24 local councils.
Speaking in Minna yesterday when he inaugurated Suleja/FCT Development Interface Committee, the governor also said the Boko Haram sect did not represent Islam or the Muslim community.
Aliyu who was visibly disturbed by the criminal activities of the sect said the state of emergency in the local councils would remain until government has got rid of Boko Haram, their sponsors and those who, he said, had hijacked the activities of the sect.
He declared: “By the powers confired on me as the Executive Governor of Niger State, I am extending the state of emergency which the President has earlier declared in Suleja Local Government area to all the other local government areas in the state because of the special period we are in.
“Life will not be usual in this country until we rid Boko Haram, their sponsors or hijackers. I call on all political officials, local government chairmen and the people in the local governments to report all suspicious movement. Everyone must pipe down and pipe low until we are over this period.”
On the claim in some quarters that the Boko Haram sect represents Islam and the Muslim community in the country, Aliyu said: “As an Islamic teacher, the Koran forbids any Muslim from killing himself or killing others. Boko Haram does not speak for Muslims or Islam because the commuter of suicide and murderers of others cannot speak or be a representative of Islam. No religion approves the killing of oneself or others.”
The governor attributed the challenges facing the nation to indiscipline and laxity and the failure of elders to play and give the nation the much desired leadership. He wondered if the country still had elders, noting that the nation’s leaders and elders are failing in their responsibility.
“We are at the crossroads and for us to get out of it, it is our collective responsibility. Everyone should play his role toward ensuring that the nation gets out of this mess,” he said.
It would be recalled that not less than six bomb blasts have taken place in the Suleja emirate within the last six months, the last being that at the St. Theresa Catholic Church Madalla on Christmas Day which left over 38 people dead, 80 injured and 36 houses and four churches burnt, in addition to the destruction of seven vehicles.
It was learnt that on the New Year Day, the state government queried the emir for allegedly not showing sympathy with victims of the bomb blast which occurred in his area one week before. The emir was said to have stayed away from the scene of the blast and failed to show any concern even though the blast, in which lives were lost, occurred in his domain.
According to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mallam Yusuf Garba Twagwe, who briefed reporters yesterday in Minna after an elaborate meeting on Tuesday, the government found out that despite the retinue of people that visited the victims and the bomb blast scenes from across the country to show empathy, the emir of Suleja neither sent words to them nor visited the scenes of the incidents.
As a result of this, the commissioner said the government felt the action of the monarch was unbecoming of a person of high standing in the society and therefore issued him a query to explain within 24 hours why actions should not be taken against him for such behaviour.
The commissioner, however, said that the traditional ruler had replied the query within the stipulated period and “the government is looking into it”.
Twagwe said the state government welcomed the declaration of state of emergency in Suleja town and therefore asked the people to cooperate with law enforcement agencies deployed to the area to maintain law and order.
Meanwhile, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has pledged that the Yobe State government would continue to partner with the Joint Task Force (JTF) and other security agents to end the serial killings and bombings by the Boko Haram sect.
The governor made the pledge at the Government House,
Damaturu, while reacting to the declaration of state of emergency by the President in five council areas of the state.
He said while complying with the state of emergency, in Damaturu, Potiskum, Bade, Geidam and Gujba councils, his administration will provide more support to the security agencies to ensure “peace, unity and protection” of lives and property.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information, Abdullahi Bego, Gaidam said “the increasing security challenges in the country required bold and collaborative efforts to handle,” assuring that his administration will continue to support all the security agencies.