World Bulletin / News Desk
Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Nigeria's Muslim umbrella body, has urged the government to explore dialogue in its dealing with the rebels in the country's northeast.
"Considering the universal acceptability of dialogue in resolving crises, insurgency and all other forms of insecurity, the government of Nigeria should also consider the dialogue option," the JNI said in a statement released Monday.
The statement featured 11 resolutions reached during a conference at JNI headquarters in northwest Kaduna.
The meeting was chaired by Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of JNI Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar II.
It was attended by the country's top Muslim leaders including Nigeria's House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, northwestern Kebbi Governor Saidu Dakingari, prominent Muslim scholars and traditional emirs nationwide.
JNI's call for dialogue emerges as the government comes under pressure to negotiate with the Boko Haram to secure the release of scores of schoolgirls abducted by the militant group in mid-April.
Boko Haram, which means "Western education is forbidden" in Nigeria's local Hausa language, first emerged in the early 2000s preaching against government misrule and corruption.
The group later became violent, however, after the death of its leader in 2009 while in police custody.
In the five years since, the shadowy sect has been blamed for numerous attacks – on places of worship and government institutions – and thousands of deaths.
The JNI urged the federal government "to intensify efforts in tackling general insecurity in the country."
The umbrella group also called on leaders at all levels of governance to "abide by the rules of accountability and justice as the surest means to peace, stability and development."
It appealed to Nigerians, especially Muslims, to "follow the path of truth and justice for peace to be achieved in Nigeria."
With barely two weeks to the Muslim holy fasting month, the JNI urged scholars to spread the message of peace and love at their respective domains.
The JNI and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs are the leading Muslim bodies in the country.
It recently marked its 50th anniversary during which it assessed the position of the Muslims in the Nigerian state since independence in 1960.Last Mod: 17 Haziran 2014, 14:11