Abuja - Iyad Ameen Madani, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), has described members of Boko Haram sect as outlaws and criminals whose activities have nothing to do with Islam.
Madani stated this when he paid a courtesy visit on the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Aminu Wali, in Abuja on Monday.
He expressed the organisation’s solidarity with Nigeria in the fight against insurgency, saying OIC was willing to play a "concrete role’’ in the international cooperation against terrorism in Nigeria.
"We have made very strong and clear statements that Boko Haram insurgency has nothing to do with Islam.
"We have classified them as outlaws and criminals and we say that Islam cannot and will never be a religion that practises or justifies indiscriminate acts of murder or kidnapping of innocent children.
"The Holy Quran says very clearly that the killing of one person equals the killing of all of humanity," he said.
He told the foreign minister that the group was waiting on Nigeria to make specific request on areas of assistance to address the current security challenges in the country.
He said the organisation had a track record of providing humanitarian assistance and mediating in conflict in member countries, citing its intervention in the crisis in Central African Republic (CAR) and northern Mali.
He said Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal, was appointed OIC special envoy to the CAR in February.
Madani lauded Nigeria’s role in strengthening activities of the group, and thanked the country for supporting his election as secretary-general.
He invited the foreign minister to attend the forthcoming OIC Council of Ministers meeting scheduled to hold in Jeddah on June 18.
Madani, who is scheduled to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo later on Monday, said the organisation would continue to promote inter-faith and cultural dialogue.
The minister congratulated the Saudi-born secretary-general on his election.
He said it was gratifying that OIC had offered support to Nigeria during her time of difficulty and challenges.
He assured the secretary-general of Nigeria’s participation at the next OIC Council of Ministers meeting in Jeddah.
He said Nigeria planned to use the occasion of the meeting to articulate its position on the role of OIC in the political and economic cooperation of member-countries.