Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has revealed that traditional rulers, especially in northern Nigeria, are the worst target of Boko Haram insurgents.
Sultan, who doubles as Chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of Nigeria, said this when he delivered a lecture to the Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) 10, in Abuja.
Speaking on The role of Traditional Institution in National Security Management: lessons from Boko Haram, the monarch maintained that Boko Haram is a product of a failed education, economy and moral values.
Recalling the cases of attempts on the lives of traditional rulers by the insurgency, he said in the last few years, the Boko Haram insurgency had challenged both modern and traditional governance institutions.
“While the modern governance institutions have the resources, constitutional authority and coercive instruments of state, the traditional institutions have relied largely on its moral authority and have, by and large, remained with the people, through thick and thin.
“Boko Haram attack on these traditional institutions, which we are very much aware of, is to ensure a measure of their perception of the importance of these institutions, in the supply of intelligence and persuading public opinion.
“We are all aware of some of the traditional rulers attacked by Boko Haram.
“Late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, was targeted many times, the present Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, was attacked in a Mosque in Kano, by Boko Haram, not knowing that he was not there.
“It is right to say that traditional institutions are the biggest casualty of Boko Haram insurgency,” the monarch stated.
Speaking further, the Sultan said, “moral authority provides one of the most potent pillars of the security of society, not only by preserving order in society but, also, by giving hope to the wider society, in times of crisis,” and added that the trust that exists between the wider society and the traditional leadership is a great asset that can be leveraged to secure society.
“Today, such assets, including moral capital and trust, are called soft power and are found to be far more effective than conventional legislation or even the coercive instruments of state.
“Lessons of Boko Haram insurgency are many and still unfolding but, three are fairly obvious and could be discussed. It is now widely agreed that the Boko Haram is a product of three major failures; the economy, failure of education and of values and morals.”