CAIRO – As Boko Haram violence escalates, the Sultan of Nigeria's northern Borno State has urged people in the predominantly Muslim northeastern region to turn to god by observing a three-day fast and prayers to defeat insurgency.
“I am appealing to all residents of the state to observe a three-day fasting to seek Allah’s mercy towards ending the crisis facing us,” the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai, said in a statement published by Nigerian Tribune on Tuesday, March 11.
“I believe we should continue to seek Allah’s help in restoring peace to the state.”
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According to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the statement quoted the monarch as asking residents to start the fasting on Tuesday till Thursday.
The Borno traditional Sultan noted that the renewed violence by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect had led to massive destruction of lives and property.
Suffering recurring attacks, he asserted that it was time to seek God’s intervention to the problem.
He also directed that special prayers be held in mosques and churches to seek God’s help and urged residents to remain prayerful even after the fasting.
The Shehu's calls came on the same day the Borno State Civilian JTF pleaded material and financial support from the Federal Government to assist its members efforts towards maintaining of peace in the state.
According to one of them, Iliasu Saidu, the motivation would help boost their morale in contributing their quarter in the fight against insurgents.
He added that an allowance would serve as a steady source of livelihood while also motivating them for the challenge.
“Borno is Nigeria and the people fomenting violence and the killings are Nigerians,” Saidu said.
“If we can have assistance from the Federal Government, it will help us to achieve peace," he said.
“Borno is a beautiful state that must not be taken over by hoodlums.”
Similar calls for prayers were made by President Goodluck Jonathan over the past weekend.
The President assured Nigerians of government's efforts to confront the challenge of insurgency in the country, while urging the gathering to pray for Nigeria to overcome her current problems.
“I urge you to pray for our dear country to speedily overcome the current challenges we faced, especially, insurgency, terrorism and the heinous killings of innocent children in schools,” he said.
Boko Haram, a Hausa term meaning "Western education is sinful", is loosely modeled on Afghanistan's Taliban.
The militant group says it is fighting enemies who have wronged its members through violence, arrests or economic neglect and corruption.
It has been blamed for a campaign of shootings and bombings against security forces and authorities in the north since 2009.
But recently, the sect has carried out attacks against Christians and Muslims alike.
For the last three weeks, attacks linked to the militants have become a near daily occurrence in the country's northeastern region states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe - the three states where the government has imposed an emergency rule since last May.
In one of its most brutal attacks recently, 29 college students were murdered in their sleep in Buni Yadi, Yobe State.
As violence continues to claim lives and properties across the region, neither the insurgents nor the government has offered any explanation for the surge.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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