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Sultan of Sokoto blames Plateau massacre on government’s inaction



Sultan of Sokoto blames Plateau massacre on government's inaction

In a grim aftermath of the Christmas Eve bloodshed in Plateau State, where over 150 lives were claimed by the ruthless hands of bandits, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has raised poignant questions about the seemingly perpetual failure of security agencies to anticipate and thwart such atrocities.


Speaking at the 80th edition of the National Islamic Vocation Course (IVC) on Wednesday, December 27, 2023, the Sultan did not mince words as he condemned the senseless violence and expressed frustration at the government’s apparent inability to protect its citizens. He underscored the urgent need for a shift in strategy, demanding proactive measures to prevent attacks rather than merely condemning them after the act.


“We only condemn such things, but after condemning these activities by these bandits and criminals, what next?” the Sultan queried, his voice echoing the collective anguish felt by many. “What are the rest of the government, who are supposed to protect our lives and property, doing? Why do we keep on having these clashes, these deaths caused by ourselves?”


The Sultan drew attention to the recent Tudun Biri incident, still fresh in the nation’s memory, and the latest tragedy in Plateau, emphasising that the government’s response remains inadequate. His pointed questioning of the security agencies resonated with the broader sentiment that a critical reevaluation of their approach is long overdue.


“Why can’t you be proactive to stop such attacks before they happen?” he demanded, frustration palpable in his words. “What happened to our intelligence-gathering mechanism? Are you telling me that nobody knows that such attacks are coming?”


In a scathing critique, the Sultan challenged the nation’s intelligence capabilities, pointing out the apparent failure to detect and prevent attacks across various regions. “In various places, whether in Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna, or anywhere, have we lost our sense of gathering information to avert any such key loss? We must ask our government to be up and doing because these bandits are always a step ahead.”


The Sultan did not shy away from addressing the political dimensions of the ongoing insecurity crisis. He asserted that the issue had been politicized, stressing that the wanton killings were not driven by religious motives but rather by fundamental leadership problems.


“We are all in one big country where we have poverty,” he declared. “Yes, Muslims, Christians, and even those who don’t have religion go to the same market and they buy the same food stuff, enter the same vehicles, pay the same fares. So it is not the issue of religion. Let’s not tell ourselves that anybody is planning anything against Muslims or Christians. No, it is the issue of leadership.”


With a resolute tone, the Sultan called for confidence in leadership and urged citizens to maintain hope for positive change in the coming months. He cautioned against succumbing to despair, declaring, “The moment we lose hope, I am telling you we are finished.”


As Plateau mourns, and the nation grapples with the aftermath of another devastating attack, the Sultan’s words serve as a stark reminder of the urgent need for a comprehensive reevaluation of Nigeria’s security apparatus and a proactive, strategic response to the escalating threats posed by banditry and violence.

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