The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar II, is canvassing the arrest and prosecution of hate preachers in the country be they Muslims or Christians.
He warned on Friday that the conduct of such hate preachers was putting the unity of Nigeria at risk.
“One of the problems we are facing as a people is religious leaders who mount the pulpit and say anything they like and get away with it,” the Sultan said at the opening of the 2nd National Summit on Peaceful Coexistence and Nation Building in Jos.
He added: “I don’t know why security agencies don’t often go after such religious leaders. I think we will be better off as a country if security agencies go after anyone who hides under religion to commit crime against the country.
“The preacher who incites his followers is as criminal as any agent of insurgency.They should be charged for public incitement.”
He also advised the hierarchies of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Jama’tu Nasril Islam (JNI) to put an immediate stop to the media war between Muslims and Christians before it gets out of hand.
Besides, he asked Nigerians to disregard a statement by a Fulani group that the land from Sokoto down to the Atlantic Ocean in the south belongs to the Uthman Dan Fodio and his descendants.
He said the claim has no basis in history.
At the summit organized by DA’AWAH Coordinating Council of Nigeria (DACCN),the Sultan who doubles as the President of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) said religion is being practiced wrongly in the country.
He dismissed fears in some quarters about alleged plots to Islamize of Christianize Nigeria.
The Sultan blamed the elite for much of the insecurity in the country,saying: “I will not be tired of saying that our problem in this country is the elite – the big men and women who have become so influential beyond human control. They live in big houses and surround themselves with hundreds of security people and are untouchable. They do everything to remain big and relevant.
On the incessant clashes between herders and other people in Plateau State,the Sultan called for forgiveness by all.
And on the claim by a Fulani group that Nigeria is the property of the late Uthman Dan Fodio of Sokoto, the Sultan said: “I am the current leader of that kingdom and I have never seen any record where Uthman Dan Fodio said so.
The Sultan expressed support for CAN in respect of its Sunday’s prayer walk.