Former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Nigeria's Ambassador-at-Large, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has called on the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, to use the occasion of the Muslim Ramadan to sheathe their swords and embrace peace.
Tukur, who lamented the blood shed occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency, said the killings of innocent citizens by the insurgents can never please God as a means of promoting the religion of Islam.
He said the best way to propagate Islamic religion must be in line with the practice by Prophet Mohammed (SWAT) through peace, good neighbourliness and human dignity.
Tukur said no one, not even the insurgents had benefitted anything for what he described as mindless and barbaric killing of innocent citizens of the country.
He said those behind the killings had only been portraying themselves as bad representatives of Islam.
The Ambassador-at-Large, during a meeting with some Islamic clerics who paid him a visit at his residence yesterday in Abuja to break fast with him.
He told the clerics led by Uztaz Abdulrahman Yelwa, based in Minna, Niger State that it was time Muslims across the country began to rise in unison to chant down the activities of terrorism in Nigeria.
He said: “Islam according to the Holy Qur’an is a religion of peace. We can only propagate the religion through committed evangelism to unbelievers as demonstrated by the great prophets who served Allah diligently and truthfully.
“I appeal to our brothers who are aggrieved to stop killing in the name of Islam. Their sponsors too should avoid Allah’s judgment on the last day on the raging act of killing. It is not too late for them to sheath he swords. This is the month of Ramadan; the killings must stop from now.
Tukur reminded the insurgents of several appeals to them by President Goodluck Jonathan for dialogue, calling on the leaders to seize the opportunities of the season to open a channel of communication with the Nigerian government without delay.
He said: “We have all been eager for dialogue with them. I have personally been emphasising that dialogue can end the spate of insurgency in this country if allowed to happen. I think the ball is now in the court of the aggrieved insurgents to take the initiative, and the government will be there as always.”
The ambassador said he and other Nigerians would not mind to get involved in the dialogue process out of their eagerness to see the problem of terrorism in Nigeria come to an end.
He added: “If we are to dialogue, we must know who and who to dialogue with. President Jonathan who I know, will offer any rational sacrifice to end the problem of insurgency and terrorism in Nigeria. So let the leaders come out to talk with the government.”