Following the arrest and detention of 486 northern Muslims suspected to be Boko Haram members in Abia State last Tuesday, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Saturday criticized the Ja’amatu Nasril Islam (JNI), for demanding for the release of the detainees despite the ongoing probe.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III-led Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), had, on Wednesday, condemned the arrest, saying it was a crackdown on innocent Muslims. He also called for the suspects’ immediate freedom.
But a statement signed by the National Secretary of CAN, Rev. Musa Asake, Saturday, disagreed that the arrested Muslims were innocent.
He said the attitude of the JNI each time matters of national security involving Muslims were being handled was worrisome and suspicious.
According to him, “JNI claims that the suspects are Muslims who go about their lawful businesses in their own country, yet, it did not show the portion of the constitution of Boko Haram that forbids traders from joining the terror group.”
“Let the JNI tell us the livelihood of members of Boko Haram, since it seems to have very deep information about the characters, constituents and operational limit of Boko Haram.
“We hate to believe that JNI has a hand in some of this security threats to the nation. If not, how else can we explain a situation where it is squealing while investigations, which alleged that a suspected top commander of Boko Haram was among the 486 suspects arrested, are yet to be concluded?
“The claim by JNI that the arrested Muslims are innocent and that they were going about their normal businesses, when one of the wanted terror suspects was found to be among them, is hasty and preposterous. This is not only misleading, it is a mischievous attempt to cover up.
“There are questions the JNI must answer, failing which they should keep quiet the same way as they have always done when Christians are being killed and their churches burnt by Muslims.
“How can 486 traders be travelling in a convoy of 35 Hiace Hummer buses at 2.00 a.m.? What kind of businesses are 486 traders going to ply in Port Harcourt in such a convoy?