The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, who said he now wishes to be addressed as ‘Sarkin Kano’, has reiterated his earlier call to Muslims to defend themselves against the Boko Haram insurgency in parts of the country.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 29th National Quranic Recitation Competition in Auchi, headquarters of Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State on Saturday, he said Boko Haram was still terrorizing Nigeria and taking over its territories because the Nigerian State has become weak.
“[The] first responsibility of the state is to protect lives and property of its citizens or it loses the basis of its existence”, he said.
The Sarkin Kano said parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states that were still under the control of the terrorist sect must be liberated, emphasizing that “government must defeat Boko Haram”.
He said that the fact insurgents had taken over some local government areas in Borno, killing 2000 people in Baga was an indication of a weakened Nigerian state. “But we can’t keep quiet while people are being killed; we must fight to make sure our religion is not distorted. The state must protect us”, he said.
Sanusi also called on the people to stop running from the terrorists, whom he said were projecting the Islamic religion in an ungodly manner.
“If your enemy comes to attack you and you run away Allah will not help you.
“It is extremely important that we look at the Quran, which provides the most noble of behaviours and character”, he said.
The Sarkin Kano also condemned the selling of free-borns into slavery, kidnapping of young girls and r*pe as unIslamic, saying “Muslim leaders must speak out or we are guilty of complicity”.
He also commended the people that meted out instant justice on terrorists, who attacked the Juma’at Mosque in Kano last year.
Also speaking, the Shehu of Borno Abubakar Umar Gabai El Kanemi, said the Quranic recitation was the most important rallying point for Muslims that must be sustained.
He also called on Muslims to base their teachings on the Holy Quran, in order not to mislead their followers.
Earlier, the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, said God would help the country to overcome its challenges in the North-East, pointing out that there is no country in the world without its own challenges.
He said government would amount to nothing if it cannot protect lives and property of its citizens.
At the end of the 10 day recitation competition, Yusuf Muhammad Baffa Dukku, from Gombe State, who emerged winner in the male category with 95.2 points, went home with a cash prize of N500, 000 and 4 Runner Jeep, while Khadija Tanimu Abdullahi, from Plateau State, who topped the female category with 91.1 points, also received N500, 000 and a Lexus Jeep.