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Students recommend stiffer punishment for Kukah, Sunday Igboho, others behind national unrest

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) has asked the Federal Government to enforce the full weight of the law on Bishop Matthew Kukah, Sunday Igboho and other non-state actors for their utterances and actions that have continuously resulted into unrest experienced across the country.

MSSN, Lagos State area unit stated that its decision was based on the psychological trauma and undue hardship their peers and parents were being subjected to following the actions of the non-state actors in different parts of Nigeria.

While expressing concerns over the growing spate of insecurity, tension, and economic downturn across Nigeria, the students urged President Muhammadu Buhari to be more proactive and re-strategise his approach in tackling insecurity in the country.

The Amir (president) of MSSN, Miftahudeen Thanni, described the current development across the country as saddening with some non-state actors fanning the embers of disunity, ethnic and religious crisis in the country.

Arguing that the unity of Nigeria was more important than ethnic bias, Thanni noted that MSSN does not expect any legitimate government to accept such actions within its territory.

The student leader said, “No responsible government should allow lawlessness to reign. The activities of non-state actors in recent times are worrisome and must be fastly nipped in the bud by the federal and state governments.

“For no reason should the government allow anybody to see him or herself as being beyond the law – especially those fanning the embers of disunity through words or action.

“It all started this year with Bishop Kukah’s arrogant New Year message capable of inciting the people of the state against the government and preaching religious hatred, a thing that should have attracted a harsh sanction from the Federal Government.

“And down to the South, Sunday Igboho unilaterally issued a quit notice to some Fulani over alleged banditry, and kidnapping despite not being a state actor.  In their reactions to this development, prominent groups and famous personalities threatened war.

“This resulted in tension and panic in the region. Though a majority of us did not witness the civil war, the memories of Modakeke crisis and the violence that followed the EndSARS crisis can’t be forgotten. We want peace. Peace is sacrosanct. The full weight of the law should take its course on people who attempt to disrupt peace in the nation.

“Without doubt, an ethnic crisis is brewing in the country and an urgent intervention needs to be made. According to psychologists, people are more sympathetic and emotionally attached to their tribes and could do anything to defend them,” he added.

Thanni, who commended PresidentMuhammadu Buhari for his efforts to stem insecurity in the country and encourage farmers,  urged him to protect the country against disunity and appealed to Nigerians not to take laws into their hands as well as avoid being instigated to commit crimes.

According to him, we are aware of the grievances of many in the South-West against the activities of criminals and bandits. We appeal that a particular tribe should not be tagged and attacked. Instead, we should join hands with the government to fight crime collectively.

“Islam encourages peace and we want peace. All Nigerians should see ourselves as one regardless of tribe or profession. The unity of this country is paramount than ethnic bias. Both Fulani and Yoruba are Nigerians and we must see ourselves as one.

“We strongly appeal to the state governments concerned and our dear President to quickly swing into action and do the needful by arresting the situation headlong, thereby ensuring peaceful coexistence and forestall further breakdown of law and order. Apart from the fact that some people are profiting from this insecurity, the media should avoid sensational headlines capable of misleading the general populace into crisis.

“We sincerely appeal to all aggrieved parties to sue for peace so that the wrath of the law won’t be melted on them for any erring; as well as not to lose all we have laboured for and the labour of our heroes past should not be in vain.”

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