Umbrella Organization of Muslims in the north the Ja’amatu Nasril Islam, (JNI) has disclosed that the killings going on in Benue state and other parts of the Middle Belt is not Islamic Jihad.
JNI said the clarification has become necessary following reports that Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has described the mayhem in his state as Jihad.
A statement by JNI made available to newsmen in Kaduna said, “This is a reaction to a recent interview granted by HE Samuel Ortom, Executive Governor of Benue State to the effect that the ongoing herders-farmers clashes in his state are a continuation of the Jihad of our revered Shehu Usmanu Danfodiyo”
The statement signed by Khalid Aliyu Abubakar, Secretary-General, of JNI said “Benue Governor got it very wrong, most likely because of his malicious intent to smear the revered personality of Shehu Danfodiyo who had said in a widely-quoted statement that: “Truth is an open wound, only justice can heal it”.
JNI continued that ” We, therefore, call on all, particularly the Benue State Government and its cohorts not to take for granted the leadership of Nigerian Muslims over these unfortunate crises in the name of herders-farmers clashes, particularly at this very critical time when the security challenges in the country are so many. More so, it is Ramadan period, a time we Muslims are enjoined to be cautious and calm in our affairs.”
Part of the statement said, “For the records, the Governor is not alone in throwing these tantrums, Femi Fani Kayode, one-time Minister of Aviation during the reign of President Obasanjo has always said lots of unprintable things against Shehu Danfodiyo.
” This rejoinder is premised on the fact that Islam does not encourage its adherents to castigate other people of faith or fabricate lies against them but encourages that once the Ummah (Society) of Islam is frequently maligned, then it is incumbent on the Society to defend itself, hence the need for this write-up.
“Still, one finds it difficult to understand the rationale behind the Governor’s vituperations at this point in time. Or is it because Tashaku, his militant boy, has been arrested by the military authorities and the Governor is already entertaining fear for thorough investigations?
“Well, to set the records straight against mischief makers, Danfodiyo’s Jihad was essentially against the unjust leadership of various Muslim States, starting with his own homeland, the Muslim Gobir Empire, not against non-Muslims. His Jihad gave hope to the people and got overwhelming acceptance from all. That was why some Empires submitted themselves to him even before any battle.
“The Jihad was also an intellectual as well as social movement, and in fact, Shehu had earlier called for reform, and it was the failure and recalcitrance of the then Muslim Rulers that made the masses to congregate around him for the Jihad to take place.
“For the information of the Benue State Governor and others, Shehu Danfodiyo himself had said, “a Society can endure in disbelief but cannot endure under an unjust leader”. We, therefore, call on the citizenry to read the writings of the Sokoto Triumvirate (Shehu himself, his brother Malam Abdullahi and Shehu’s son Sultan Muhammad Bello). One would be amazed at their foresight, their fear of God, their sincerity and piety, and the prevailing intellectual development of their contemporary society which undoubtedly are the bane of the Nigerian nation at the moment.
“Further to that, we call on Muslims and the general public to disregard the information from the Benue Governor and/or Benue State Government as well as their respective consociates, as it is false without even a figment of truth. We use this opportunity to call on Muslims to, especially in this blessed month of Ramadan, intensify prayers for peace to return to the nation and for a hitch-free 2019 General Elections as politicians are busy trying to cause crises with their unguarded utterances.” (New Telegraph)