29 July 2011
It is the first time the spiritual leader of
's Muslims has spoken about the insurgency Nigeria
The sultan of Sokoto, the spiritual leader of
's Muslims, has condemned the military crackdown against the Islamist Boko Haram sect. Nigeria
"We cannot solve violence with violence," Mohamed Sa'ad Abubakar told a meeting of religious leaders.
Correspondents say many residents of
are now more scared of the army than they are of Boko Haram. Maiduguri
"That problem can never be solved by drafting soldiers into cities where there is [a] problem - and in the process innocent lives were lost," said the sultan, who once served as military officer.
It is the first time the sultan has spoken about the Boko Haram insurgency.
Muslim clerics who have criticised the sect have been among those targeted for assassination in drive-by shootings over the past year.
The sultan also said the five policemen who have just gone on trial this month for the killing of Mr Yusuf should not be given bail.
Boko Haram's official name is Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, which in Arabic means "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad".