Northern Leaders Lament Poor State Of Region

Sultan of Sokoto, Sa'ad Abubakar, Shettima, Borno, Northern Leaders, Northern NigeriaPolitical and traditional leaders from the northern part of the Nigeria are lamenting the deplorable state of the region, arising from insecurity, poverty and a downward plunge from its respected position of influence in the country.

The leaders made their position known on Monday in Kaduna state at the annual Pan Northern Summit of Leaders and Elders of the region organised by the Northern Elders Forum.

Speakers at the conference including the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar and Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, relived the unity and oneness of the people of the North in the past, saying that the fragmentation that currently exists among the people is responsible for insecurity and backwardness of the region.

Organisers of the summit believe it is time for leaders of the region to come together and address these challenges that have put them behind other regions.

Shettima, Borno, Northern Leaders, Northern NigeriaIn an emotion-laden speech, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state said that the current security challenges in the Northeast and particularly Borno State, where over 50,000 women have been turned to widows by insurgents, calls for serious concern not just from the citizens of the affected states but from Nigerians in general.

The Governor announced that Boko Haram has been largely contained that they no longer pose any security threat to the corporate existence of Nigeria.

He identified key areas which the northern leaders must address to overcome these challenges. They include poverty reduction through agriculture, job creation, reviving the education sector and gender equality.

Blessed with large land mass and population size, as well as abundant mineral deposits, participants at the summit agreed that northern Nigeria has no reason to be poor.

According to them, the way forward is for the people and the leaders to go back to the visions and dreams of the founding fathers whose tenure brought about unity and development of the region in the past.

Sultan Urges Nigerian Leaders To Uphold Justice

Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar on JusticeThe Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has challenged Nigerian leaders to always uphold justice.

He asked them not be bias in favour or against anyone, saying injustice has no place in any society.

The Sultan made the call while delivering a goodwill message at an Islamic gathering in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital in southwest Nigeria.

He called on Muslims to shun violence but always be prayerful and not take law into their hands whenever they are being denied their constitutional rights.

Alhaji Abubakar noted that constant praying for the nation’s leaders for God’s guidance is mandatory for Muslims in order for them to be successful in directing the country.

Buhari Urges Northern Leaders To Emulate Ahmadu Bello

Ahmadu belloPresident Muhammadu Buhari has urged leaders at all levels to emulate the incorruptible qualities of the late premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello.                                             

President Buhari gave the advice on Thursday in Kaduna during the 50th memorial anniversary of the death of the late Ahmadu Bello who was killed on January 15, 1966.

The President, who was represented by the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, expressed sadness that the brutal assassination of the late premier and other nationalists during a military coup in 1966, brought the region and the nation backward.

He called on the present crop of leaders to emulate the selfless leadership qualities of late Sir Ahmadu Bello by providing the people they are leading with basic infrastructure and fostering peace and unity in the region.

Other Speakers at the event lamented the absence of committed northern progressive leaders who can fit into the shoes of late Sir Ahmadu Bello and provide good governance to the people in the manner he did during his time.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, reminded the northern leaders of the enormous challenges confronting the region and the need for them to find lasting solutions to the challenges rather than hiding under the legacies left behind by late Ahmadu Bello.

He urged northern governors to address the problem of poverty and unemployment that are ravaging the region. The Sultan specifically tasked them to work towards the revival of Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State as part of efforts to create employment for the youths.

January 15, 1966 was a day that the late premier of Northern Nigeria and the Sarduanan of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello was brutally killed by some young military officers in what was described as the first bloody coup in the history of the nation, led by Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu.

The coup also claimed the lives of the late Prime Minister of Nigeria, Sir Tafawa Balewa, and some other prominent leaders across the country.

Ahmadu Bello’s many political accomplishments include establishing the Ahmadu Bello University, Northern Nigeria Development Corporation (NNDC), the Bank of the North, the Broadcasting Company of Northern Nigeria (BCNN) and the New Nigerian Newspapers among other projects.

The North was less developed economically than the South, and Bello argued that it was necessary for the North to catch up with the South for the sake of national unity.

He travelled constantly across the North, meeting people and listening to their concerns.

Sultan of Sokoto Prays For More Peace At Christmas

SultanThe Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has sent his special Christmas message to the Christian faithful across Nigeria.

In a statement signed on his behalf by the Secretary General of the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, the Sultan prayed that God’s guidance and blessing will be embedded in the festive season.

“We have every cause to celebrate and thank the almighty God for the opportunity of life and the privilege of survival. At this time last year, Nigeria was under a lot of tension with the national conscience being tormented by the apocalyptic predictions of 2015 being the end of our corporate existence,” he said.

The Sultan said that the year-end is an opportunity especially for Nigerians to learn the personages of the various religions and rededicate themselves to their true teachings.

His eminence went on to pray for the Christians to have more peace, more understanding, more wisdom, and more faithfulness to the teachings and life of Jesus Christ.

JNI Cautions Military Against Excessive Use Of Force

JNI Cautions Military Against Excessive Use Of ForceThe Jamatu Nasril Islam (JNI) led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar, has cautioned the military against the excessive use of force against unarmed members of the public in order to avoid colossal loss of lives and property.

This is in reaction to the bloody clash between members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and soldiers that left scores of people dead in Zaria, Kaduna State.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by its Secretary General, Dr Khalid Abubakar, the group emphasised that the clash was avoidable if the army had applied the internationally established convention of rules of engagement in dealing with the situation, rather than using excessive force that led to loss of lives and property.

JNI called on the Federal Government to investigate the remote and immediate cause of the clash.

According to the group, investigating the cause of the unfortunate incident and apportioning blames where necessary, would forestall a re-occurrence of such in the future.

While describing the dispute between the Shiites and the Nigerian Army as unfortunate, the group noted that the incident had created apprehension and pandemonium in Kaduna State.

The JNI said: “After following the events as they unfolded, we reiterate, in line with our previous related releases that life is sacred and must be treated as such. And, restraint should always be exercised in the course of discharging one’s civil, official and or religious duties”.

“It is against this background that JNI commiserates with the people of Zazzau over the unfortunate incident and call on all and sundry to take time and ponder over the many overwhelming challenges within the context of fairness and objectivity. We believe that it is high time all Nigerians come together, think together and take positive steps towards salvaging the quandary of insecurity in our dear country.”

“We must all view the insecurity quagmire as a challenge to all Nigerians, regardless of any parochial consideration. Similarly, members of the public should always recognize and operate within the ambit of law and order as provided by the laws of the land as well as our religious texts. In the same vein, the JNI implores the media to be wary of sensational reportage that is capable of plunging the nation into yet another avoidable crisis, (may Allah forbid, Amin).

“Furthermore, JNI commends the Federal Government for instituting a fact finding delegation, under the leadership of the Minister of Interior, for an on the spot assessment, it also implores the Government to institute an enquiry into the Zaria upheaval, to unravel its remote and immediate causes, so as to forestall future occurrence,” JNI said in the statement.

Sultan Of Sokoto Lauds Jonathan

Sultan_of_SokotoThe Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has praised President Goodluck Jonathan for congratulating the APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, on his “victory” in Nigeria’s presidential election ahead of an official declaration by the electoral body.

The Sultan was speaking to Channels Television’s Nigeria 2015 panel via the telephone while the result of the presidential election from Borno State was still being expected, although General Buhari had taken a clear lead.

Alhaji Abubakar said that the President’s action was a lesson for all Nigerians.

He noted the President’s gallantry in defeat and the peaceful conduct of the elections would strengthen democracy in the country and elevate the country’s standing in the world.

“The gesture by Mr President should be seen as a sign of the development of our democracy,” he said.

He added that President Jonathan, having always promised his full commitment to peace during and after the polls, has shown a high level of integrity. He said, “Mr President has strengthened our beliefs in his words.”

While commenting on the conduct and outcome of the polls, the Sultan of Sokoto refereed to the presidential election as “the best election we (Nigeria) have ever had”, commending all Nigerians for embracing peace.

Oritsejafor Asks Sultan To Write Boko Haram

CanLogoThe President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor has urged the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, to write a letter to Boko Haram to stop their attacks just as he did to the Islamic State militants of Iraq and Syria.

He also enjoined religious clerics, particularly those who enjoy good relationship with the sect to reach out to the leadership of the sect so that the real Islam could be presented to them instead of allowing them to continue to misrepresent Islam.

He made the statement after the sultan informed the gathering that he had written to the Islamic state to stop terrorism in the name of Islam.

We’ll Continue To Count On Prayers And Support Of Patriotic Nigerians – Jonathan

JonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan has said that he would continue to count on the support, goodwill and prayers of patriotic Nigerians as he strives to give the best possible leadership towards the positive transformation of the country.

In a letter to a young Nigerian who sent a donation of 10,000 Naira as a humble contribution to the President’s re-election, President Jonathan said that he was deeply touched and encouraged by the immense support his administration continues to receive from young Nigerians from all parts of the country.

Your gracious gesture is particularly gratifying, coming as it does from one of our nation’s vibrant and gifted youth who are our successor generation and for whom our administration is unequivocally committed to providing the requisite environment to optimally realize their tremendous creative and productive potentials.

As I carry on with the task of positively transforming our country for its God-ordained greatness and prosperity, I will continue to count on the goodwill as well as the practical and prayerful support of committed patriots like you,” President Jonathan wrote to the young Nigerian, Ezemagu Sunday Nnamdi who is currently serving in the National Youth Service Corps.

Thanking the youth corps member for the donation which was sent before the Peoples’ Democratic Party adopted the President as its sole candidate for the 2015 presidential elections, President Jonathan also welcomed his expression of faith in the Federal Government’s ongoing efforts to reposition Nigeria for sustained growth and development.

The President assured Sunday and other young Nigerians that he would continue to do his best in the service of the nation in keeping with their trust and expectations.

In the letter forwarding his donation, Sunday assured President Jonathan of the continued support of patriotic Nigerians and urged him to seek re-election in 2015.

Nigerians are behind you. We see your good works in power, transportation, education, housing, ICT, sports, electoral reforms, observation of the principle of federal character and the creation of investment opportunities.

The insurgents who are trying to destabilize your Administration are enemies of peace and progress. You will surely defeat them,” the youth corps member wrote.

Jonathan Reaffirms Commitment To Fighting Insurgency

Labaran-MakuThe Federal Government of Nigeria has reaffirmed its determination to end insurgency and reverse the attendant economic depression facing the north-east.

The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, quoted President Goodluck Jonathan, as giving the assurance when a delegation of the northern traditional rulers’ council visited him in Abuja late Thursday night.

The President told the visitors, led by the Chairman of the Council and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, about measures already put in place to end the insurgency in the region.

The visit was sequel to an emergency meeting of the traditional rulers on Wednesday in Kaduna where they discussed the security situation in their domains.

Briefing reporters after the Kaduna meeting, the Sultan said that the council would visit the President and table its observations and concerns before him.

Maku described the meeting with Jonathan as fruitful, saying that it underlined the country’s unity and the imminent defeat of insurgency and terrorism.

A total of 13 traditional rulers were at the meeting, also attended by Vice President Namadi Sambo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senetor Ayim Pius Ayim.

Insurgency: Northern Traditional Rulers Urge FG To Implement Past Security Reports

Northern Traditional RulersThe Northern Traditional Rulers Council on Thursday asked President Goodluck Jonathan and governors of the 19 northern states to implement the various reports on security in the region as a way of resolving the unending security challenges in some parts of the North.

The royal fathers noted that government’s inability to muster the political will to implement the various reports was responsible for the continued attacks on innocent people of the North.

In a communiqué signed by the Estu Nupe, Dr. Yahaya Abubakar, on behalf of the Chairman of the Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, after its meeting in Kaduna, the royal fathers expressed concern on the escalation of Boko Haram’s activities and cattle rustling in the region.

They vowed to intimate the President and northern governors with the non-implementation of the committees’ reports on the security situation in the North just as they condemned Wednesday’s bomb attack on the Federal College of Education, Kano, which led to the death of over 15 people.

Boko Haram: Sultan Urges Traditional Rulers To Close Ranks

Traditional rulers and political leaders across Nigeria have been enjoined to close ranks and confront squarely the security challenge facing the nation.

The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, on a visit to the Gbong Gwom, Jos, identified challenges of extremism, terrorism, poverty and unemployment among the youths as issues that must be tackled by all and sundry.

The Gbong Gwom palace in Jos, North-Central Nigeria played host to the Sultan of Sokoto and his entourage who were in Jos for the general meeting of the alumni association of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies and decided to pay a courtesy call on the Gbong Gwom.

The Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba believes that dialogue with sincerity of purpose remains one of the options in resolving the lingering security challenge.

There was a joint belief among the traditional rulers that the issue of security challenge should not be left for Government alone, as every citizen including political, religious as well as community leaders should rally round in providing solution rather than shifting blame.

JNI Demands Immediate Release Of Arrested Kogi Varsity Boko Haram Suspect

The leadership of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji  Sa’ad Abubakar II,  has demanded  the immediate release of an alleged Boko Haram recruitment officer and spiritual leader in Kogi state,  Dr. Mohammed Yunus.

The association  claimed Yunus was not a Boko Haram member.

Yunus,  a lecturer with the Kogi State University and four others  were  arrested  by operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) on October 29 over an allegation that they were planning to attack Igala land in Kogi State.

However, the JNI in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Aliyu, noted that  after a thorough investigation by the religious body, it discovered that the said lecturer was not connected with the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram.

According to the JNI, the lecturer could not have been a member of Boko Haram because those who have been following the trend of the sect knew that  “even ordinary members of the Boko Haram hardly deny their connection to their ideology.”

The JNI  therefore  argued that it would  be doubtful that a whole “spiritual leader and recruitment officer” of the sect  would shed tears publicly while denying any link to that ideology.

It added that it would sound contradictory also that a leader of Boko Haram would still maintain his position as a university lecturer when in fact, the first requisite for one to be a member of the group was to abandon  anything connected with western education.