Says terrorists masquerading under name of Islam will meet their waterloo | CAN rejoices with Sultan, Muslims, urges peace and unity

As the Holy month of Ramadan reaches its end and Muslims mark the Eid el Fitr, President Muhammadu Buhari  has sent his best wishes to Muslims in Nigeria and across the world celebrating the occasion, saying there is hope for the nation in overcoming its challenges.

In a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu,  Buhari said the end is in sight for those hiding under the banner of religion to commit heinous crimes.

He said: “After a period of fasting and reflection this year, we have cause to welcome the occasion in hope. The battle waged against terrorists who falsely masquerade under the name of Islam is approaching its conclusion. The fight has been long and hard. Final victory is within sight. Boko Haram and its offshoots’ final embers are now fading.

“Last month, the leader of ISWAP was killed in an airstrike. Since the New Year, thousands of fighters have surrendered to enter rehabilitation programmes. The territories they used to occupy are now seeing the return of those who were forced to flee their barbarity. Normality is finally beginning to return to the Northeast. It is a long process. Yet it is one we are, together, now embarking upon.”

The president further stated that with the designation of bandit groups as terrorists, the challenges of banditry and kidnapping are being tackled differently in the North-western and North Central states where the latest military acquisitions and the Armed Forces are being deployed across the region to thwart acts of terror.

He said the administration was equally getting impressive reports of the special operations to curb crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering in the South-South, with millions of illegally refined products being impounded and illegal refineries destroyed.

The president lamented that while the government was making progress in cleaning the environment, some evil people were busy polluting and destroying it through illegal oil bunkering.

Speaking on the rise in criminal attacks targeting law enforcement agencies and public facilities in the South East, he said ongoing military operations to rid the region of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN) elements had, in recent weeks, led to the overrunning of IPOB/ESN bases, the seizure of weapons and the arrest of a large number of suspects, even as approved the establishment of a Naval Base in Oguta, Imo State.

He went on list other achievements: “The reinvigoration of the war against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking is also showing positive results as shown by the arrest of over 12, 300 offenders, including seven drug barons; the conviction of 1,400; counseling and rehabilitation of about 8,000 drug users; the seizure of over 3.4 million kilogrammes of drugs and cash worth over N130 billion, all in 2021, have been recorded while the first quarter of this year has seen the arrest of no fewer than 3,536 offenders, including security personnel and a well-known billionaire drug baron. The seizure of more than 65,000 tonnes of assorted drugs in this period sets a record for the nation.’’

And to serve as motivation, according to the statement, President Buhari granted approvals for the promotion of more than 3,500 officers, the procurement of operational equipment, training for personnel and buildings for residential barrack for the concerned agency.

The president also directed increased coordination and cooperation among security agencies, saying that an end has been brought to the solo approach among the agencies, even as he gave assurance that there will be no shortage of funds to provide security for the citizens.

CAN Rejoices With Sultan, Muslims, Urges Peace And Unity

In the spirit of harmony, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has felicitated with Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), and the entire Muslim faithful as they celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr.

The  umbrella Christian body, in a statement signed by its national general secretary, Barr Joseph Bade Daramola, and made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, urged all Muslim faithful to abide by the teachings and the principles of Ramadan in their daily activities.

He said, “We congratulate our Muslim brothers and sisters on the end of the Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, the month during which Muslims around the world fast from dawn to sunset.

“Since the month, among other things, aims to purify the soul and bring the individual closer to God, we urge you all to abide by the teachings and the principles of Ramadan in your daily activities.”

Speaking further, he said the Christian body knows that it is those who fight and kill on religious grounds that are largely responsible for the unending killings and abductions in the country.

He stressed that it is these pseudo-Muslims who are slaughtering fellow human beings and burning down worship and market places, all in the name of God who is peace personified.

“We are praying for their repentance,” he said. “The CAN leadership will not cease having dialogues on peace and unity with the leadership of NSCIA at the forum provided for us by the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC).”

In the same vein, the Association called on the federal government to reconsider the de-radicalising and rehabilitating of the arrested and surrendered terrorists simply because it seems the programme considered laudable is becoming counterproductive.

Meanwhile, former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has congratulated Nigerian Muslims for the successful completion of this year’s (1443 AH) Ramadan fasting and also for the Eid-el-Fitri celebration.

Saraki, in a statement signed by Yusuph Olaniyonu, head of the Abubakar Bukola Saraki Media Office in Abuja, advised Nigerians to support the numerous prayers they have made during the holy month concerning their nation with positive attitudes which are necessary for nation-building.

“While all of us seek to stay away from activities that are injurious to our health, our nation, and our fellow human beings and seek to live a decent life during the fasting period, we should make this solemn and God-fearing way of life a permanent thing.

“We should all extend the lessons of Ramadan to the way we live with our neighbours. We should seek peace at all times, promote tolerance of people who speak different languages with us, and worship God in different ways. We should respect the laws of the land and exhibit discipline at all times. Our level of patriotism should increase after Ramadan. That is what this just ended holy month signifies,” he said.

According to him,  with the prayers of Nigerian Muslims as well as their Christian brothers and sisters who earlier this month completed the Lent period of fasting, “I believe God will decisively intervene in the affairs of our country and save her from all the existential threats.”

He prayed for God’s guidance in the choice of a new set of leaders for the country in the 2023 elections.

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