The Sultan of Sokoto, Dr. Muhammad Abubakar, on Friday, rejected suggestions that there were plans to Islamise the country. He said Muslims had been canvassing to make Islamic Religious Knowledge a compulsory subject in schools.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Abubakar spoke at a national symposium and launching of 2025 Vision by Da’awah Coordination Council of Nigeria.
The Sultan said, “When Umar Yar’Adua was President, Christians and Muslims leaders wrote, asking him to make Islamic and Christian Religious Knowledge core and compulsory subjects in schools.
“When Goodluck Jonathan took over, we presented a paper making the same demand, which was approved, but the then minister of education refused to implement it for reasons best known to him.
“So, I wonder why a controversy suddenly surfaced over alleged attempts by Muslims to force Islam on Christians by compelling students to learn Islamic religion in schools,” he said.
He urged the DCCN to propagate Islam to non-Muslims in a non-combative manner.
“Tell people what Islam is; tell them why they should be Muslims and what difference it could make to their lives,” he stated.
The Sultan also said the recent crisis in Mambilla Plateau, Taraba State was not targeted at any tribe.
“The crisis was not planned by individuals or groups to eliminate any tribe; as an ex-military officer, I can only believe that the crisis was planned when I see a document to confirm that,” he said.
He said he had met with some leaders in Taraba and cautioned them against playing politics with the lives of the people.
“As leaders, we must study situations during any crisis before commenting. We must avoid comments that will worsen already bad situations,” he said.
He urged government to strive to bring culprits of the Mambilla violence to book, and warned against derogatory terms like “Islamic fundamentalists or extremists, Fulani attackers, Berom or Mambilla terrorists.”