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JNI under Sultan of Sokoto not supporting terrorism – Islamic group replies NSA

The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, on Thursday dissociated the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto, Muha...

The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, on Thursday dissociated the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, from the list of Islamic groups supporting terrorist activities in Nigeria.

Recall that the National Security Adviser, NSA, to President Muhammadu Buhari, Babagana Monguno, said the JNI, alongside other Islamic groups, supports terrorism in Nigeria and Africa.

However, MURIC’s Director, Ishaq Akintola, said JNI promotes peace and mutual understanding among different faiths in Nigeria.

In a statement, Akintola described JNI as a law-abiding group which does not support terrorists’ activities.

According to Akintola: “It is definitely not the well known Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) which is headed by the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar.

“JNI is known for promoting peace and mutual understanding among the different faiths and people in the country. It is known for collaborating with both the federal and state governments as well as national and international agencies to organise seminars, workshops and conferences aimed at enlightening Muslims nationwide on programmes like polio vaccination, good governance and responsible citizenry. It will be a huge disservice to mistake such an organisation for a group which is supporting terrorist activities.”

Akintola stressed that the NSA might have made a mistake by including JNI on the list of terrorists sympathizers.

He added: “Such a mistake may arise from glaring similarities in nomenclatures as depicted in the allegation made by Monguno. The NSA named three groups backing terrorist organizations.

“The NSA’s list may cause confusion as a lot of people, including the press, are likely to assume that the organisation mentioned by him is the same as the JNI. We hereby assert clearly, unequivocally and categorically that JNI is not on that terror-promoting list.

“The name of our JNI is shorter and it stops at ‘al-Islam’ whereas the name on the terror-promoting list is longer and it ends with ‘Muslimin’. Our JNI is Jama’at Nasr al-Islam (JNI) while the name of the group which has been accused of supporting terrorist activities is Jama’at Nasr al-Islam Wal Muslimin (JNIM). The acronyms are also different. The letter ‘M’ makes the difference between the peaceful and law abiding JNI and JNIM which has been acused of promoting terror.”

Akintola alleged mischief on the part of the JNIM for picking a name that is very similar to JNI, adding that the former opted for the name to deceive gullible Nigerians, and to unwittingly attract their support.

He suggested that JNIM may have been picked to escape early detection by security agencies and to cheat on the original and popular JNI.

“JNI is a peace-loving and law-abiding organisation. It does not support or promote terrorist activities. Never, not our JNI,” he added.

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