Sa’ad Abubakar, sultan of Sokoto, says Islam cannot be protected when its followers kill people.
The sultan said this while speaking at the first general assembly of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum For Peace (IDFP) which held in Abuja, on Thursday.
He lamented that Islam had been dragged into the mud “as people who do not know the truth believe assertions on social media”.
While wondering when the killings would cease, the sultan challenged governments at all levels to look for a lasting solution.
“You cannot be shedding blood in your country and expect God to be happy with you. Taking a single life unjustly in Islam is akin to taking the life of humanity. We cannot protect our religion by killing people,” he said.
“Islam has been dragged to the mud. People make comments on social media and people who do not know the truth simply believe it. It is quite unfortunate.
“No matter what we do or say, we can never bring back the lives of people lost in these senseless killings.
“When will this killings and madness stop? What are the security agencies doing? We can challenge our leaders with a united voice. If we challenge our leaders in one voice, we can move forward.”
He said the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) is an organisation that helps the Fulani but does not make them kill people.
“The CAN secretary general has said the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria should be labelled a terrorist organisation. MACBAN has no control of any Fulani man,” the sultan said.
“MACBAN is a body to help the various Fulani organisations to come together and help themselves. We have always said that Fulani do not carry arms. We have always challenged security agencies to arrest these killers and bring them to justice. MACBAN is an organisation that helps Fulani and not makes them kill people.”
On his part, Stephen Mamza, a representative of Samuel Ayokunle, president of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), said his body is committed to finding solutions that would put a stop to the killings.
“When we hear of killings, we wait to hear who has been killed. We only condemned when those killed belong to our religion,” he said.
“Once the victims are not from our religion, we simply keep silent. This must stop if we are committed in tackling the problem.”
Also speaking, John Onaiyekan, archbishop of Catholic diocese of Abuja, urged Nigerians to come together in unity.
“We are on a troubled boat. We must do everything to ensure we sail safely so that we all can be saved. We must come together and work in unity,” he said.