The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, yesterday cautioned those killing in the guise of fulfilling God’s injunction, saying their reward would be hell fire.
He said it was a huge lie for people to nurse such belief, stressing that human life should be protected, whether the person is a Muslim or not, adding that the dignity of man covers all, including Muslims, Christians, Hindus and others.
“Shouting Allahu Akbar to kill your fellow human being in the belief that you are fulfilling God’s injunction is pathway to hell and not the teaching of Allah,” he stressed.
He emphasised that Fulani herdsmen who go about killing people “are criminals and not genuine herdsmen. We don’t call them herdsmen, because herdsmen cannot kill another human to protect cow.”
The Sultan also spoke on the need for understanding and recognition of various ethnic groups in the country, stressing that time has come for every divisive and selfish tendencies threatening the country and retarding its progress to be done away with.
He particularly asked Muslims to project and applies the best value of Islamic civilisation at these very trying moments of restructuring. Delivering the 9th Dignity of Man Lecture at the 57 Founders Day celebrations of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), the Sultan said: “Human dignity is God-given. Any society where the sanctity of life is not protected cannot be said to be civilised.
“In other words, the sanctity of human life, the honour conferred in the human person and the investment in the development of the human person are the metrics to measure human civilisation.
“This promotion and protection of human life and dignity can only come through education. Education holds the key to development and development is people-centered and people-driven.”
According to him: “Modern education, which subsumes the Greek and Islamic traditions and our indigenous and Islamic educational traditions should be harnessed to ensure that the dignity of man is restored in our country, especially in these difficult times when the sanctity of human lives appear to be under threat.
“Man has no dignity if he has no education. The less education, the less his dignity.” Quoting his great grandfather, Uthman Dan Fodio, he said: “The man without education is like a country without inhabitants.”
Speaking specifically on the title of his lecture, ‘Restoring the dignity of man: Education as a veritable tool,’ he said no nation can develop without the education of its citizenry, saying: “Societies that take education seriously tend to be more developed, healthier, happier and better.
“Societies that do not embrace education wallow in retrogression, hunger, abuse of human rights and absence of dignity and human honour.”
Also speaking, Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and his Delta State counterpart, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, emphasised the need for proper attention on education, which they said is the bedrock of the development of any country.
The governors urged the university to continue to play leading role in education as a way of contributing to national development, in line with the visions of the founding fathers, particularly the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who set up the institution to restore the dignity of man.