The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has condemned the early Monday morning explosion at Nyanya park, Abuja, and called for collective efforts toward addressing insecurity in the country.
Abubakar made the remarks during the Central Council meeting of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) meeting on Monday in Kaduna.
The Sultan condemned the act, commiserated with families of the bereaved and prayed to God to grant eternal rest to the departed.
He said: “We never thought that such things will ever come to Nigeria some years back, but they are with us right now. It is left for us to wake up from our deep slumber and face the challenges.
“We condemn what happened this morning in Nyanya, Abuja, and we pray that almighty Allah will expose whoever is behind it and all other mayhems in this country fast.
The Sultan urged Nigerians to discard ethno-religious sentiments and strive toward promoting peaceful coexistence and harmony.
“All hands must be on deck to find a lasting solution to this problem. It is high time we put sentiments aside, sentiment of religion, sentiment of ethnicity and see how we can take our country out of these killings.’’
The Sultan, therefore, reiterated the commitment of religious and traditional leaders toward promoting peace, and urged governments at all levels to put more efforts toward addressing the security challenges facing the nation.
Governor Ramalan Yero, also urged Nigerians to follow the tenets of their religion, which preached peace and sanctity of human lives.
Yero called for fervent prayers and urged citizens to shun vices.
The governor urged religious organisations to assist government toward tackling poverty, insecurity, unemployment and high rate of illiteracy among the people by initiating programmes that would address the problems.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, has also condemned the bomb blast describing it as “cowardly and barbaric’’, and urged all Nigerians to join hands to bring an end to the spate of wanton killings in the country.
Also, the Deputy Speaker of the house, Rep. Emeka Ihedioha, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Oke Epia, condemned the bomb blast.
The Christian Association of Nigeria had also condemned the bomb blast, describing it as inhuman.
Pastor Simon Dolly, the National President of the Youth Wing of CAN, made the condemnation in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He urged the Federal Government to avoid a recurrence of such unfortunate incidence, saying “it is a threat to national unity.’’
Dolly advised government to take more proactive security measures to protect lives and property.
Also reacting to the blast, the Special Adviser to the President on Youths and Student Matters, Mr Jude Imagwe, said the blast was a clarion call on Nigerians to work together in fighting terrorism.
Imagwe said the citizenry should not rely on security agencies only as it was a shared responsibility as Nigerians.
The Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Mike Omeri, said those behind the incident would forever be hunted by the repercussion of their action.
He condoled with the bereaved families and those who were injured in the explosion.
Chairmen of some of the registered political parties have also condemned the explosion, which left many dead and scores injured.
The chairmen, who gave the condemnation in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, called on security agencies to be more proactive to security issues.
Mr Peter Ameh, the National Chairman, Progressive Peoples’ Alliance (PPA), expressed sadness at the bomb explosion and urged security apparatus to be more proactive in tackling security matters.
He said: “We are sad over the loss of lives and we condemn the act, the primary responsibility of any government should first be the security of lives and property of its citizens.
“Government should rise to the challenge before it gets out of hand. They should be proactive to issues of insurgency by putting security check at motor parks and other public places.”
Dr Yunusa Tanko, the National Chairman, National Conscience Party (NCP), said “the act is highly condemnable.’’
On his part, Mr Osita Okechukwu, the National Publicity Secretary of CNPP, described those behind the act as “devils who do not have genuine course.
“Effective surveillance equipment should be deployed to motor parks and other public areas to help tackle insurgency.’’