The Emir of Kano and one of Nigeria’s most influential Muslim leaders, Muhammad Sanusi II, has called on the people to defend themselves against Boko Haram attacks.
The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor said residents should “acquire what they need” to protect themselves.
Sanusi, who has stayed away from political matters since he became emir, made the comments at a prayer meeting on Saturday following several further attacks in recent days blamed on Boko Haram.
The emir, who strongly criticised the government when he was a banker, said people should not be afraid of the militants and should prepare to defend themselves.
“These terrorists slaughter our boys and abduct our girls to force them into slavery,” he said.
“People should not sit idle and say prayer is the only solution. People should be made aware of the importance of being in a state of preparedness and make sure they acquire what they need to protect themselves. We should be ready to give our lives.”
The emir said residents should not wait for help from the military. There have been numerous reports of soldiers deserting, saying they are not as well equipped as the militants.
Police spokesman, Emmanuel Ojukwu, however said: “Any call for citizens to arm themselves is a call for anarchy and lawlessness. And this is not allowed under our laws. Such a call should be disregarded. The police [force] is living up to its duty to protect lives and property.”