The Vice President-General of the Ja’amatu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Abubakar Orlu criticized the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for condemning the body’s reaction to the arrest and detention of 486 northern Muslims suspected to be Boko Haram members by the army in Aba, Abia State.
CAN, through its National Secretary, Rev. Musa Asake, had condemned the claim by JNI that the arrested Muslims were not Boko haram members rather they are innocent civilians going about their normal businesses among who one of the wanted terror suspects was allegedly found to be among them, saying the claim is hasty and preposterous, and urged it to hands off security matters.
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But, Orlu, who spoke to journalists in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital yesterday, said the attack on JNI by the leadership of CAN was unwarranted and unnecessary, adding that a majority of those arrested are only Muslims that have nothing to do with Boko Haram.
The Islamic leader insisted that most of those arrested were traders and farmers who had lived with him for more than 20 years and urged security agencies to carry out their investigations and allow them to go.
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He said, “So many of those arrested have been with me for more than 20 years as I speak. I can identify them; they are no Boko Haram; they are purely Muslims and northerners. They are people who come here to do business, and when it is time for farming, they go back home and do their farm ing.
“After farming season, they come back here; that is how they move. I have assured the country, especially South-South and South-East, that anywhere we have Boko Haram, we will fish them out. We cannot assume all Hausas today, or all Muslims today, are Boko Haram.
“We are pleading to the authorities; if you get a group of people suspected outside that zone, North-East, you have to search and let them identify themselves and then leave them to go. By saying that every Hausa man in this country is Boko Haram, it is annoying and that will bring bad image to this country.”
“So, on behalf of Muslims in the South-South and South-East, I am pleading that security agents should investigate those arrested and if nothing is found on them, they should be allowed to go. I know that some of them may be dubious people, but if the security agents have no concrete evidence against them, they should be allowed to go.”
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