Tuesday, June 19, 2012

President Jonathan Declares State Of Emergency In 7 Northern States,Jets To Brazil.

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As president, this is the speech I would have delivered to the Nation and I would have done so without the help of a written document: Fellow Citizens, at sunset yesterday, I authorized our armed forces to begin full deployment to the seven Northern states namely, Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna, Yobe, Bauchi, Borno and Kebbi. Along with Plateau state, I have declared an indefinite state of emergency. This action becomes necessary in the face of the series of terrorists acts that have targeted Christians in those parts of the country. I have also directed the Inspector General of Police to put in place appropriate security measures to secure the churches
and government buildings as well as other possible targets. As we seek to improve on our responsibility to the families of those affected by these terrorists acts, these security directives will remain in place as long as it's constitutionally necessary to maintain peace and security in the country. I have also directed the newly established SSDF (State security and Defence Force) to begin the mass arrest of all suspected sponsors and members of Boko Haram; this will complement all the efforts we have made in the past. In this difficult time for the Federal Republic, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who have been affected by these crisis and killings, considering the evidence that there were muslims who were responsible- you can be filled with bitterness, with hatred, and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization, as we witnessed in Kaduna and Kano on sunday, muslims amongst Muslims, Christians amongst Christians, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love for a country that has brought us together as One. For those of you who are Christians and are tempted to be filled with desire for vengance and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all Muslim people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling- seeing citizens who have placed their hope and trust in me mauled and maimed and shattered to death. But we have to make an effort in this country, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times, and to understand that Nigeria is far from perfect. What we need in our beloved country Nigeria is not division; what we need in Nigeria is not hatred; what we need in Nigeria is not violence or lawlessness; what we need is the words contained in "Our Pledge" to Nigeria and that overriding responsibility toward the good of one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they are Christians or they are Muslims. As Christians, it is perhaps important that we should try to understand that in the Islamic tradition, there is a similar mixture of values restraining war along with others promoting it and yet, this is not peculiar to Islam. As your President, I have also received the wonderful tutorship of the Islamic religion. The Qur'an repeatedly refers to God as compassionate and just. It also says that "there is no compulsion in religion" (2:256): submission to God must be freely chosen, not forced. The Qur'an urges Muslims to use "beautiful preaching" to persuade people to accept Islam and to "argue nicely" with Jews and Christians who are seen as worshipping the same God as their own. This is probably the attitude of most Muslim people in Nigeria today. Historically, Christian communities have often been tolerated and protected under Muslim rule. The word jihad, by the way, means struggle or effort. Jihad can refer to the struggle of the individual Muslim to conform his or her will to Allah's, or to a peaceful effort to persuade others to accept Islam. But jihad can also mean holy war. In fact, there's a sense in which the only completely just war in Islamic terms is a holy war since it has to be approved by proper religious authorities and waged to defend or promote Islam or the Muslim community. There is no known religious authority in Nigeria that has permitted the deadly killings by Boko Haram; if our security operatives find anything contrary, the law enforcement will pursue the death penalty. Again, history allows us to see that Islam spread to some parts of the world like Indonesia mainly by means of "beautiful preaching," much of its expansion elsewhere, though was through war, did observe the important moral rules for fighting holy wars: women, children and the elderly were not to be directly attacked. Jihad was not supposed to be total war involving indiscriminate killing-so Boko Haram has not the interest of Islam at heart. Of course, Muslims are probably as prone as Christians to seeing in their holy scriptures only what they want to see, ignoring other passages that contradict their preconceived beliefs. Someone inferring a mandate to wage indiscriminate, offensive war from Qur'an 9:5, "Kill the idolaters wherever you find them," could only do so by ignoring the particular historical context of that passage, verses elsewhere that urge defensive and limited uses of force only, such as Qur'an 2:190, "Fight in the path of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits, for God does not love transgressors," and numerous other verses praising patience in adversity and nonviolent preaching. Whatever the case, as your president, it will not be under my watch that any religious sect will seek to terrorize fellow citizens. I will not hesitate for one second, to use maximum force to bring every Boko Haram Criminal to justice and to kill them wherever we find them. We shall also target their sponsors and make life unbearable for them. No one, no matter how highly placed, who puts the life of a fellow citizen at risk can feel safe in this country under my watch. My administration will remain focused, and committed to our manifesto. We shall not waver, we shall not give up until the security of every life and property is assured. I urge you to return back to your responsibilities as law abiding citizens and to help the New Police force with any information that you may deem necessary for your security and the safety of others. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Thank you for listening and God bless Nigeria.

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