President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday reiterated that his government would commission a sociological study on the issues surrounding the menace of Boko Haram insurgency, when the group is eventually routed by the government.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the International Islamic Conference on Peace and Nation-building in Abuja, Buhari said the study would help determine the origin, the remote and immediate causes of the movement, its sponsors, its international connections and steps to prevent its recurrence.
The President noted that the theme and timing of the conference, which is a joint effort between Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’a Wa Iqamatis Sunna (JIBWIS) based in Nigeria and the Muslim World League, is coming at a time when a large part of the world is grappling with one form of violent conflict or another.
“I assured Nigerians that at the end of the hostilities when the group is subdued the government would commission a sociological study to determine the origin, the remote and immediate causes of the movement, its sponsors, its international connections if any, to ensure that measures are taken to prevent a recurrence of this evil.
“The outcome of the proceedings of this conference will be useful in that regard”, said the president who recalled his earlier mention of the study in his inaugural speech last year.
He insisted that Boko Haram is a mindless, godless group which operates far away from Islam, and urged religious and political leaders to encourage their followers to be more tolerant of each other; and recognize the rights of others as they want others to recognize their rights to worship and live freely.
Buhari stressed: “To underscore their cruelty and godlessness, they particularly target the most vulnerable members of the society: children, women and the elderly. No religion approves of such heinous crimes against humanity; definitely not Islam nor Christianity, to which two most Nigerians belong.”
Noting that normal people must rise up against terrorism, he said that Islam does not permit lawlessness as it frowns at extremism even in normal acts of worship.
“The emergence of any group advocating the contrary is therefore irreligious and unacceptable. Religious leaders must intensify their efforts to send out the real teachings of their religion in order to counter the diabolical ideology that motivates the insurgent elements”, he added.