By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Secretary General of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr. Anthony Sani, has cautioned against giving criminal activities ethnic and religious colouration.
Sani was reacting to assertion by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, that herdsmen were plotting to ”fulanise and Islamise” the country.
Obasanjo, in a paper he presented on Saturday at the 2nd session of the 7th Synod of the Anglican Communion, Oleh Diocese, in the Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, was reported to have said the Boko Haram insurgents and herdsmen were plotting to ”fulanise” and islamise the country.
However, the ACF scribe in an interview with THISDAY on Sunday in Kaduna, maintained that giving ethnic and religious colouration to crime, will only embolden the criminals to continue with their evil deeds.
Sani said “former President Obasanjo may have his facts, for making such comments, saying that ”for me, I do not want us to give ethnic and religious coloration to the criminal activities of some people, lest we provide them with platforms upon which to stand and commit crimes, knowing it is almost impossible to prosecute religion and ethnicity“.
According to him, there are moderate Muslims who are the majority and are opposed to religious fanatics, stressing that “such moderate Muslims
need to be enlisted such in the campaign against Islamic terrorists whose aims are not for piety but political, albeit attired in the garb of religious jihadists.”
Sani said ”if we offend the sensitivity of such moderate Muslims and push them to the side of the fanatics,we would be playing to the gallery by swallowing the bait put by the fanatics and that is what they want.
“That explains why President Obama won the Nobel Prize for a speech he made to Arabs in Egypt where he made clear distinction between Islam and terrorism cast in the mould of Islamisation.
“Also, it is that distinction that enabled a coalition of 66 countries of all faiths, led by America that has defeated IS in Syria and Iraq.
”I therefore submit that the nation should have common narrative that emphasizes the trite that Islamic terrorists are not furthering Islamic faith when they desecrate by way of continuous killings of innocent people.
“They merely use Islam as strategy to enable easy recruitment of gullible cannon fodders.
”West African countries should also regard all violent herdsmen who kill innocent people as criminals and treat them as such.No ethnic or religious coloration to purely criminal acts”.