The Secretary General, Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), Eyad Ameen Madani, monday condemned the violent activities of Boko Haram, insurgents saying members of the sect are criminals and anti-Islam.
Madani spoke while fielding questions from State House correspondents, shortly after visiting President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa in Abuja to discuss his vision about the OIC and the priorities of the OIC in the years to come.
“We are also here to express our solidarity with Nigeria in facing up to this terrorist organisation and to condemn all terrorist acts they have been committing, and to express our condolences to the Nigerian people, and the families of those who are affected.
“The OIC has issued statements that we are very clear, that these people are outlaws, what they do is criminal act, it has absolutely nothing to do with Islam, Islamic teachings, the religion of Islam, the history, the culture, the civilisation of Islam, therefore we should identify them for what they are: a terrorist group.”
The OIC secretary general hinted that they intimated Jonathan on what they could do in terms of expressing their support, and their willingness to be actively involved in the war against the terrorist group.
Asked what concrete support should Nigeria be expecting from the OIC, Madani said since the crisis is multi dimensional, OIC could be involved in many ways.
He said one of the ways OIC could be involved, is to “first to declare its position morally, to declare its position from the religious point of view.”
The OIC secretary general said the conference is not a religious organisation, but political organisation that has 57 member states, and each state is represented in the conference as a government.
“Nigeria is a member of OIC at the government level, so is Indonesia, so is Senegal, Saudi Arabia, among others.
“But it has to express its concerns about the misuse of Islam morally and ethically. We are willing to do that if the Nigerian government would allow us to.
“We will convene an inter-faith dialogue, because we feel that there is a lot to be said about the veracity of these claims, and to show many aspects of similarities and living together between not only Christians and Muslims, but between all faiths and convictions.” Madani said.
He added that Africa was a model of such tolerance, and its history was a history of tolerance, of living together.
He said the OIC through its different organs are available to the request of the federal government and would do all it could to help in alleviating the social and economic conditions in any areas affected by the activities of insurgents. [TD]