Killers of Fulani in Taraba must be brought to justice – Sultan

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The Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar, also the spiritual leader of Nigeria's Muslim, sits on his throne during his coronation ceremony in Sokoto, Northern Nigeria, March 3, 2007. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde (NIGERIA) - RTR1N1ZM

By Najib Sani, Bauchi

The Sultan of Sokoto and president-general of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, Sa’ad Abubakar III, has charged the government of Taraba state to set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the recent killings of Fulani in the state.

Dozens of people were killed, over 50 Fulani settlements were burnt and estimated 20,000 cows were killed in a series of violence on Mambila plateau.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the National Symposium and Launching of 2025 Vision and 2017 General Assembly Meeting of Da’awah Coordinating Council of Nigeria, DCCN, held on Friday in Bauchi, the sultan described the Mambila genocide as inhumane and a barbaric act.

“The government must come openly and condemn the act, and put a committee either judicial or tribunal or whatever it is to find out who are responsible for the act and those found culpable must be punished.

“We will not allow that issue to die like that. We will follow it to conclusion. If it means taking it to higher authority, we will do so and we will not abandon our people,” he stressed.

The Sultan, who explained that they were in touch with governors and other leaders on the issue, emphasized the need for people to allow them do what ought to be done.

He however said that it was not time for lamentation but rather for action. “Issues are being brought out so that we will know how to go about getting solutions to the problems because once you know you have a problem, you have half of the solution”.

The Sultan therefore called on religious and political leaders to address the issues and make attempts to douse tensions in the country.

He suggested setting up of a think-tank for the DCCN that could easily take decision on behalf of all members through reaching out to leaders.

“That will be a better way of handling issues. Let’s not wait until we have such crisis in our hands and then we start crying; there is no need crying over spilt milk. It is better to take action before certain things go out of hand,” added.

The Sultan also suggested that invitation should be extended to non-Muslim leaders at the subsequent meetings of the DCCN in order for them to hear what the Muslims are discussing and tell them what Islam is instead of letting others tell them about Islam.

In his welcome address, the chairman of Da’awah Coordination Council of Nigeria, Mallam Lawal Maidoki‎ lamented the way Taraba state government allegedly looked away while the massacre was being carried out against the Fulanis for several days.

Other dignitaries who attended the event are Deputy governor of Bauchi State, former governor of Kano State Ibrahim Shekarau, Emirs of Bauchi, Misau, Dass, Shehu of Bama, Mai Bade and islamic scholars.

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