“What they do is criminal act; it has absolutely nothing to do with Islam.”
The Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Conference, OIC, Eyad Madani, has condemned the activities by the Boko Haram, noting that members of the sect are criminals and anti-Islam.
Fielding questions from journalists at the State House, Abuja, shortly after a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Madani said the OIC delegation discussed the visions and priorities of the with Mr. Jonathan.
He also disclosed that “we are also here to express our solidarity with Nigeria in facing up to this terrorist organisation and to condemn all terrorist acts they have been committing, and to show our condolences to the Nigerian people, to the families of those who were affected.
“The OIC has issued statements that … these people are outlaws.
“What they do is criminal act, it has absolutely nothing to do with Islam, Islamic teachings, the religion of Islam, the history, the culture, the civilization of Islam and we should identify them for what they are: as a terrorist group,” he said.
Mr. Madani said the organisation intimated the President on what the OIC could do in terms of expressing its support, and its willingness to be actively involved in the war against the terrorist group.
When asked what concrete support Nigeria should expect from OIC, the Secretary General said since the crisis is multi-dimensional, OIC could be involved in many ways.
He said one of the ways OIC could be involved, is to “first to declare its position morally, to declare its position from the religious point of view.”
He said the conference is not a religious organisation, but a political organisation that has 57 member states, and each state is represented in the conference as a government.
“Nigeria is a member of OIC at the government level, so is Indonesia, so is Senegal, Saudi Arabia amongst others.
“But it has to express its concerns about the misuse of Islam morally and ethically. We are willing to do that if Nigerian government would allow us to.
“We will convene an inter-faith dialogue, because we feel that there is a lot to be said about the veracity of these (Boko Haram) claims, and to show the many aspects of similarities and living together between not only Christians and Muslims, but between all faiths and convictions,” he said.
He said Africa is a model of such tolerance, and its history is a history of tolerance, and that of living together. He added that the OIC, through its different organs, is available to the request of the federal government and would do all it could to help in alleviating the social and economic conditions in any area affected by the activities of insurgents.
Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Aminu Wali, who also responded to questions from journalists, said “the fact that the OIC has expressed its position of support and understanding at this hour of our challenges goes to show that OIC is playing its role to support any of its member states who had any problem, either socially, economically, religiously or otherwise.
“So this is something that should be a message to every Nigerian that OIC is a body that is willing and eager to come to the aid of its member states as is being known and explained by the secretary general.”