Saturday, 24 June 2017

Sultan Of Sokoto Says Nigeria Will Remain One United Country

Efforts to douse the rising tension in the country have received a huge boost with the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, saying Nigeria will not only overcome the prevailing hate-filled agitations but will also remain one united country.
A coalition of northern youth groups had recently given the Igbos living in the northern parts of the country up to October 1, 2017 to quit or face the consequences of failing to obey the notice.

The action, which was predicated on the agitations by some Igbo youths in the South-east for an independent state of Biafra, had attracted retaliatory quit notices from other sections of the country with several sectional groups issuing hate statements that had put the nation on the edge.

With palpable tension in the air, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo waded in, holding high level consultations with traditional rulers, religious leaders, the 36 state governors, public opinion leaders and media owners and editors, telling them about the dire implications of the hate speeches that were polluting the polity.

The Sultan gave the acting president a helping hand on Wednesday night, describing the agitations by the sectional groups as unnecessary diversion, saying that resorting to uncomplimentary remarks and violence to make their demands heard would not augur well for the peace and stability of the country.

Speaking while hosting leaders of resident communities, heads of security agencies, civil society groups and media practitioners to a breaking of fast in his palace in Sokoto on Wednesday night, the monarch wondered why anyone would want to hold the entire country to ransom?

The Sultan said violence and war had never solved any problem in any part of the globe.

“We don’t have to resort to uncomplimentary remarks or violence to make our demands heard because insecurity doesn’t help anybody, he said, adding: “Violence does not pay or resolve any problem.”

The Sultan told his guests: “We should stop looking down on others unless we want to lift them up. We should understand ourselves and respect one another.

“Let us sit down, discuss these issues so that together we can find out what really went wrong. Let us retrace our steps and see where did we start to get things wrong so that we can find the way of sorting things out.

“It is a simple thing because we are all eager to live in peace, united and to have a morally upright country based on justice, equity and above all the fear of God.

“So I am not totally surprised over what is happening. I like challenges and we are in a challenging period and we will take it up. We will continue preaching love, impartiality, respect and unity in the country.”

The monarch said he was confident that Nigeria would still remain as one indivisible entity despite all the agitations and counter agitations in the polity.

According to him, God did not make a mistake in creating us as Nigerians, adding that as men of faith, Nigerians should accept that and live in peace with one another.

He advised Nigerians to stop associating religion or ethnic group with any act of violence, saying criminals should be identified by their acts not by their religion or tribe.

The monarch noted that suspicion always breeds enmity and disunity and called on elders in the country to caution their youths.

The Sultan said: “No matter what anybody can say, no matter what is happening we are still one big family.
“If you see your son misbehaving and decide to keep quiet it means you are supporting him because no father wants to see his son go astray without doing anything.”

He also spoke against removing History and Religious Studies from the country’s education curriculum, saying it was at the nation’s detriment.

According to the monarch: “We should never forget our history so that we cannot copy other people, and religious studies ensures spiritual wellbeing of our children.

“I don’t know why the government decided to remove them from our curriculum, which is very wrong and we want them back.”

He called on those who felt short changed or marginalised to also look at other people, describing the north as the most marginalised region in the country.

The Sultan cited the number of out-of-school children and those who were displaced by the Book Haram insurgency in the region to buttress his claim.

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