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Top Nigerian Islamic cleric calls for unity against Boko Haram

The sultan of Sokoto, the spiritual leader of Nigeria's Muslims, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar III, speaks to the media at the state house in Abuja on December 27, 2011The leader of Nigeria’s Muslims on Sunday called for followers of the faith to unite against Boko Haram extremists, pledging the government full support to ensure their defeat. But the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, also said the government should address issues of inequality towards Muslims, which have been seen as factors in fuelling the five-year insurgency. “Terrorism has no place in Islam,” he told a congregation, including Nigeria’s Vice-President Namadi Sambo, clerics and traditional rulers, at the National Mosque in the capital, Abuja. The Sultan, who is president of Nigeria’s Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, has come under pressure to speak out against Boko Haram, who have killed thousands in their quest for an Islamic state in the north of the country.

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