SHAFAQNA -Â Nigerian Muslims have expressed outrage over the abduction of a top scholar in southeastern Enugu state, demanding his abductors to free him immediately and calling the kidnapping “one brigandage too many.”
Sheikh Adam Idoko, a deputy secretary general of Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and chief Imam of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, was reportedly kidnapped early Friday at his village in Nigeria’s southeast by yet to be identified gunmen.
His abductors have not contacted his family, local police spokesman Amaraizu Ebere told OnIslam.net on Saturday, adding that police have started manhunt for the kidnappers.
“We call for unconditional release of Sheikh Idoko who is a man of peace and prominent Muslim leader in the southeast. This is one abduction too many and this action is condemnable and outrageous, to say the least,” Dr Khalid Aliyu Abubakar, secretary general of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, Muslim apex body in the northern region, told OnIslam.net.
“We plead with his abductors not to harm him. They should free him immediately and unconditionally. We call on the police to not just ensure prompt release of our brother but to also get to the roots of what led to such a disgusting behavior. Security agencies must ensure that innocent and law abiding citizens like our brother Sheikh Idoko are not subjected to harassment and risk as this.”
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights advocacy group, also expressed shock at the development.
“MURIC is shocked by this ugly incident. This is one kidnap too many. We strongly condemn this act of brigandage. We appeal to the Federal Government (FG) to take urgent steps towards finding him alive. We also urge the security agencies to do everything humanly possible to secure his release,” MURIC executive director Prof Ishaq Akintola said.
Condemning the spate of kidnappings and armed robbery especially in the southeast region,Â Prof Akintola called on the government to increase the numerical strength of the police which he observed falls short of the UN recommendation of at least 222 policemen per 100,000 civilian population.
Nigeria currently has roughly 310, 177 policemen for a population estimated at over 180million.
“While the security agencies have been doing their best, it appears they need government’s urgent intervention. The security data at our disposal shows that Nigeria is still lagging behind in the fight against crime, particularly in terms of the numerical strength of the security agencies,” he stated.
MURIC urged Muslims to pray for speedy release of the scholar.
“MURIC appeals to the kidnappers to treat Shaykh Idoko with respect and to release him unhurt immediately. Idoko is a man of peace. He cannot hurt a fly. His huge frame belies his compassionate mien. Idoko is easy-going and does not belong to the class of oppressors,” according to the rights group.
“We remind those behind this dastardly act to desist from carrying out attacks on religious leaders to avoid the wrath of the Supreme Creator. We urge Muslims nationwide to pray fervently for the safe return of Shaykh Idoko.”
A spokesman for the NSCIA Femi Abass told OnIslam.net the body has been in “constant touch” with the security agencies and the scholar’s family.
“We pray for his early and safe release. We plead with those behind the abduction to have a rethink and release the Sheikh. We urge the security agencies especially the police to ensure immediate release of the Muslim leader,” he said.
Ebere, the police spokesman, told OnIslam.net that “we are leaving no stones unturned to secure the release of the Muslim leader”, confirming that the incident had since been reported to the police who in turn he said “are doing everything to secure his release.”
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