The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has urged Nigerians to brace up to defend themselves against the extremist Boko Haram sect which has mounted a bloody campaign against Nigerians; killing, maiming and overrunning territories.
Speaking on Saturday while making a closing remark at the weekly recitation of the Holy Quran as part of prayers for peace in the country, Mr. Sanusi urged religious and community leaders to undertake the immediate task of reinventing courage in their people, particularly the youth, in preparation for self defence against Boko Haram attacks.
People must stand resolutely in the face of attack and not abandon their towns, women and children, he said.
“These people”, the Emir recounted in Hausa in reference to the Boko Haram, “when they attack towns, they kill boys and enslave girls… People must stand resolute.”
He reminded the congregation of muslim clerics who came from various Islamic schools in Kano of the saying of Prophet Muhammed that whoever dies in defence of his country, family, life or wealth is a martyr.
“People must not assume that the crisis will not reach their area,” he said. “If it comes, we are asking God to give us fortitude, but if He wishes to take martyrs from amongst us, we should be ready to give our lives.”
The Emir also called on the people to make preparation for defence with whatever way possible.
“People must not wait for soldiers to protect them. There are even instances where soldiers on ground ran away in the face of attack,” he said.
Since the insurgents took control of Mubi in Adamawa State, there have been calls from religious and opinion leaders in Northern Nigeria for people to rise and face Boko Haram without relying solely on government.
This led to the liberation of the town early this week by hunters and local vigilantes. Also, when the insurgents moved to Gombi, they were successfully repelled by the hunters.
Mr. Sanusi asked hunters and experts in the area of security and defence to use their expertise in the quest for seeking the pleasure of God by employing it to end the current crisis.
He expressed the hope that the insurgents would be defeated, affirming, “God will grant us victory over them.”