Governor Bello Describes Sultan’s Reign As Monumental Success

Governor bello, SultanNiger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has applauded the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, for his significant contributions to the unity, peace, progress and development of the Nigeria, in his first decade on the throne.

In a congratulatory message to Northern Nigeria’s most eminent monarch and spiritual leader of the Muslims, Governor Sani Bello described the sultan’s ten-year reign as one filled with immeasurable activities, challenges and ultimately, overwhelming success.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Jibrin Ndace, the Governor said the Sultan has been able to bring hope and understanding where despair, desperation and uncertainty had taken hold.

He cited instances of the various initiatives and efforts made by the monarch to counter negative perception and reduce influence of ethnic-religious extremists in Nigeria via various fora, which included inviting international Joint Muslim-Christian Delegations to Nigeria.

Governor Bello also noted that, as the 20th Sultan of Sokoto, and the President of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, (NSCIA), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar’s reign was instrumental to the establishment of Nigeria’s Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), which is championing the course for sustainable peace, security, ethnic-religious harmony among people of various faiths.

“The Sultan’s reign has brought unity and peaceful co-existence and greatly reduced mutual suspicion and tension among people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds.

“He has been able to sustain and enhance the status of the throne and wield influence that transcends the country’s borders.

Governor bello, Sultan
Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III

“These efforts have earned the Sultan national and international recognition including joint nomination with Cardinal John Onayekan, for Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of their peace-building roles,” the Governor stated.

“We are proud to celebrate a strategic leader and statesman, whose positive attitude, strong will, discipline, self-confidence and ability to manage people have been significant factors towards the progress and development of the Sultanate in particular and the country in general.

“He has clearly combined his military experience with the Sultanate leadership values in the discharge of his responsibilities,” he added.

While acknowledging the roles of traditional rulers and religious leaders in nation-building, Bello stressed the need for the government to support them by creating the right platform for them to function effectively.

The Governor prayed that the spiritual leader witnesses many more decades ahead, in good health and wisdom to continue with his “remarkable service to humanity,” by promoting mutual respect and condemning bigotry wherever it rears its head.

Sa’ad Abubakar who was a one time serving  Brigadier  General of  the Armoured  Corps, Nigerian Army, was recalled to take office as  the 20th Sultan on November 2, 2006 following the demise of his brother, Muhammadu Maccido, who died in the ill-fated ADC Airline crash in Abuja.

Osinbajo Links Terrorism To Bad Religious Doctrines

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Religious leaders and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has blamed bad religious doctrines for increased terrorism, violence and armed conflicts around the world.

The Vice President made the observation at a meeting on Wednesday with 200 world religious leaders in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Apostles Of Hatred

He advised the clerics to do all within their power to disqualify all apostles of hatred and bad doctrines across the world.

Professor Osinbajo says the government is determined to protect the sanctity of every human and their right to belong to any religion.

World leaders have moved away from talk to downright action over the last decade to confront the issue of religious extremism.

Various forms of violence have risen owing to bad doctrines, a development that prompted the meeting of world religious leaders, with participants seeking ways that religions could work for global peace.

Niger Republic, Boko Haram
Boko Haram terrorist group has pushed for an Islamic State in northeast Nigeria for over six years

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan and the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, agreed that the central concern for Nigeria is to uphold her unity and peace through religion.

The high-level international inter-religious gathering will also consider how religions could positively affect and encourage efforts to foster social harmony and economic progress.

Heat Of Insurgency

Nigeria has in the last six years continued to tackle insurgency by Boko Haram terrorist group which has attacked communities in the northeast.

The Islamic group said it wanted to establish an Islamic State and bring an end to Western education in the region.

In the heat of the insurgency, nearly 300 girls were taken from their school’s dormitory in Government Girls Secondary school in Chibok, Borno State, a stronghold of the group.

muhammadu-buhari-and-chibok-girls
President Muhammadu Buhari met with 21 Chibok girls released by Boko Haram on Wednesday

The girls were taken on April 14, 2014.

Over 50 girls escaped on the same day from the group, leaving over 200 others in their captivity.

For two years, Nigerian armed forces have made several attempts to rescue them with support from international community, but did not make any major breakthrough until October 13, when 21 girls were released.

Their release came after one of the girls was rescued in May, with one of the terrorists she was married to saying they had decided to come out of their haven due to lack of food and other things.

The Nigerian government said the girls were released based on trust and negotiation aided by some friends of the oil-rich nation.

On Wednesday, the 21 released girls met with President Muhammadu Buhari, with the President assuring them that the government would rehabilitate them, and ensure that their reintegration back to the Society is done as quickly as possible.

 

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.

Lawmakers Ask Executive To Address Alarming Maternal Mortality Rate

House of Representatives in Nigeria kick against removal of JegaThe House of Representatives says there is an urgent need to address the alarming rate of maternal mortality in Nigeria.

This position followed a debate on a motion raised by Representative Aishatu Dukku, which noted that Nigeria had one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.

The motion was largely supported by members of the house, with a call on the executive to take necessary steps to improve maternal and child health in Nigeria.

Governments at all levels were also encouraged to make qualitative antenatal care free and accessible at primary, secondary and tertiary health facilities.

The lawmakers’ concern for the nation’s maternal mortality rate came months after the National Centre for Women Development commissioned a research into maternal health indicators in Nigeria.

It was a strategy to reduce the rate of maternal deaths.

The Director General of the Centre, Ms Onyeka Onwenu, expressed optimism that the initiative would tackle the reproductive rights challenges of women and girls.

Ms Onwenu said the study was also critical to the actualisation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period requires adequate attention, but Nigeria has continued to record cases of maternal deaths during childbirth.

Advocacy For Proper Antenatal Care

This rising rate made traditional rulers from northern Nigeria in August resolve to lead the campaign against maternal and child mortality in the Region.

The region’s performance has been rated poorly in its performance in the area of maternal and child health.

Indicators showed that the region had the highest rate of maternal, infant mortality among other regions in Nigeria.

At a one-day dialogue and sensitisation meeting with Northern Traditional Rulers Committee on Primary Health Care held in Kaduna State on August 30, the Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar, who chaired the meeting, decried the high rate of maternal mortality in the north.

He stressed the need for collective effort to address the ugly trend.

The Sultan further urged traditional rulers to sensitise their subjects on the importance of providing proper antenatal and postnatal care for pregnant women and nursing mothers especially at rural communities.

According to statistics released by the United Nations Population Fund,  no fewer than 100 women die daily across Northern Nigeria during childbirth.

 

Sultan Says Armed Herdsmen Are Foreign Terrorists

Sultan of Sokoto, Sa'ad AbubakarThe Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, says the so-called Fulani herdsmen moving with guns, causing violence, fighting with farmers are not Nigerians, but foreign terrorists.

The Sultan, in his Eid el-Kabir message to the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria said that these are foreigners coming into Nigeria to cause a breach of the peace.

According to him, “the so-called Fulani herdsmen moving with guns, causing violence, fighting with farmers are not Nigerians.

“Foreigners are the ones coming into Nigeria to cause a breach of the peace. They are therefore terrorists and should be treated as such by the Nigerian security agencies.”

The Sultan, while noting that Nigerian herdsmen were peace-loving, however, acknowledged that there are problems between Fulani herdsmen and farmers, which should only be resolved through dialogue.

He warned that “Nigeria would continue to lag behind if there is no peace and unity”.

“Our diversity should be our strength and God has not made a mistake by creating us with diverse differences.”

Northern Traditional Rulers Join Campaign To Halt Maternal Mortality

maternal mortality and child care in Nigeria health care industry Traditional rulers from northern Nigeria have resolved to lead the campaign against maternal and child mortality in the Region.

The move came on the heels of the region’s poor performance in the area of maternal and child health.

Indicators showed that the region has the highest rate of maternal, infant mortality among other regions in Nigeria.

At a one-day dialogue and sensitisation meeting with Northern Traditional Rulers Committee on Primary Health Care held in Kaduna State on Tuesday, the Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar, who chaired the meeting, decried the high rate of maternal mortality in the north.

He stressed the need for collective effort to address the ugly trend.

The Sultan further urged traditional rulers to sensitise their subjects on the importance of providing proper antenatal and postnatal care for pregnant women and nursing mothers especially at rural communities.

According to statistics released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF),  no fewer than 100 women die daily across Northern Nigeria during childbirth.

Massive Sensitisation

This is due to a lot of factors which include medical complications – bleeding and infection,  social factors – poverty, lack of education, lack of adequate medical facilities and personnel among others.

Worried by this negative development, the traditional rulers gathered to brainstorm and come up with ways of addressing this major health challenge.

The meeting was conveyed by the Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development in collaboration with UNPF.

The Dean of Faculty of Medicine Kaduna State University, Dr Joel Adeze, told the gathering that lack of education and some cultural practices against women were major causes of maternal deaths.

He, however, emphasises the role of traditional rulers in sensitising their subjects about providing qualitative health care for pregnant women.

Other participants at the meeting agreed to take the message back home and ensure all necessary steps were taken to reverse the menace.

With massive sensitisation and political will from the government, participants believe these factors would help in encouraging all stakeholders to step up measures to reduce the menace of maternal mortality and save more pregnant mothers and their children from dying during childbirth.

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.

Sultan, UNICEF Urge Northern Governors To Promote Girl-child Education

International Day of the Girl Child.The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar and the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) have urged Governors of the 19 northern Nigerian states and parents to encourage girl-child education and eradicate the Almajiri syndrome.

They are of the opinion that the move will eradicate illiteracy and poverty in the region.

The Sultan and UNICEF Country Representatives made the call on Sunday in Kaduna at a one-day advocacy meeting with the Commissioners of Education and traditional rulers from the 19 northern states.

The meeting was organised by the Sultan Foundation For Peace and Development to mobilise advocacy and support for the programme.

In his speech, Mr Abubakar while urging the Governors of the northern states to work out a deliberate plan to promote girl-child education in the region, also explained that Almajiri and all forms of begging in the region were against the teachings of Islam.

He expressed worry that the alarming rate of young girls dropping out of school, if not addressed as soon as possible, would continue to militate against the socio-economic development of the region in particular and the country in general.

In her remarks, the UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria, Jean Gough, noted that education remained the cornerstone of any development, which without it, no nation could achieve any meaningful development.

While she called on leaders of northern Nigeria to commit and take action to reduce the gap in girls’ enrollment and completion of basic education, she was optimistic that the meeting would also help to find solutions to challenges militating against equal access to education by the girl-child especially in the northeast where many children are out of school due to Boko Haram attacks.

The 2013 DHS education survey revealed that educational marginalisation in northern Nigeria is particularly pronounced among women.

According to the survey, about 69. 4 per cent of women in the north have no access to education at all when compared with the 5.5 per cent in the southern region.

Participants at the meeting believed that what was needed now was for the various State Governments in the region to develop a strategy of prioritising education, as an important way to tackle education deprivation for the girls.

Pro-Biafra Protest: Northern And Eastern Traditional Rulers Meet In Owerri

biafraRepresentatives of the Northern Council of Traditional Rulers and their south-east counterparts have met in Owerri, the capital of Imo State, to discuss the prolonged protests and agitations for the state of Biafra, among other issues confronting the nation.

While receiving the delegation at the Government House in Owerri, Governor Rochas Okorocha reiterated that Nigeria would remain united, no matter the challenges being faced at the moment.

He assured Nigerians that in no distant time, the agitation for the State of Biafra will be addressed accordingly.

The delegation was led by Etsu Nupe, Yahaya Abubakar, who is the Chairman of the coordinating committee, National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, and the Emir of Gumi, Justice Lawal Aliyu Gumi, who is the co-coordinating committee Chairman of Northern States Council of Traditional Rulers.

The Emir of Lafia, Mustapha Agwai, Emir of Fika, Abali Mohammadu and Gwom Gwom Jos, Buba Gyang were also part of the team.

Mr Abubakar noted that the visit was at the instance of His Eminence, Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, who is the Chairman of the Northern Council of Traditional Rulers, to discuss the agitation by pro-Biafra groups and also find out the truth about the rumour that there was crisis in the leadership of the South-east Council of Traditional Rulers.

He maintained that the protection of the nation’s unity should remain paramount in the minds of all Nigerians, irrespective of their differences.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the South-East council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Ebere Dick, who led other south east traditional rulers, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, Eze Agunwa Ohiri, Chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers and Eze Agom Eze, Chairman, Ebonyi State Council of Traditional Rulers, said the meeting was a step towards the right direction, as it would help unite traditional institutions in Nigeria and beyond.

Sultan Of Sokoto Tasks Politicians On Keeping Of Promises

sultan

The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, has advised political candidates of different political parties in Nigeria not to deceive the electorates with empty promises while seeking their votes and to ensure that all promises made were kept.

At a press conference held in Abuja on Monday, the Sultan assured Nigerians that nobody or group could make the country an Islamic State, dousing fears that had been built around the consideration of religion before electing any leader.

The Sultan also said that things were not going right in the country because of the attitude of politicians.

He also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct elections with the fear of God in them.

The INEC had promised that the election that would begin on February 14 would be free, fair and credible, despite challenges in its distribution of Permanent Voters’ Card across the oil rich nation.

It had also said it would achieve between 80 to 85 per cent distribution before the commencement of the election, extending the date of collection to February 8.

As the elections is fast approaching, there are series of political advertisement in the media to sell the candidates. Majority of these political advertisements are attack on personalities of the opposition parties in a bid to win the hearts of the electorates.

There have been calls from the populace for political campaigns to be issue-based rather than mudslinging that had been adopted by most political parties.

The Sultan’s concerns are  as a result of complaints that promises made by politicians in the past were not kept, a deceit he stressed should cease.

At the conference, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan, also raised concerns over the rights of Internally Displaced Persons.

Jonathan Meets Sanusi At Last

President Goodluck Jonathan and a former Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, met for the first time since he (Sanusi) became the Emir of Kano.

The former CBN boss was one of the northern traditional rulers who joined President Jonathan in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, for the breaking of Ramadan fast.

The traditional rulers were led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III.

Sanusi led others in a special prayer for peace during the short event held inside the President’s residence.

The President later took turns to shake hands with all the traditional rulers in attendance, including Sanusi.

Abubakar, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, condemned the bomb blasts recorded in Kaduna earlier in the day, as well as other acts of violence across the country.

While describing the perpetrators as enemies of humanity, he insisted that they and their sponsors had no Islamic agenda.

He requested that the President should grant the traditional rulers an audience in the nearest future in order to discuss issues of national importance.

The President granted the request immediately.

In his short remarks, President Jonathan urged the traditional rulers to team up with his administration to end insurgency.

While seeking for more prayers, he said that the situation could have been worse if not for prayers.

Fighting Insecurity: Jonathan Meets With Governors, Security Chiefs

GEJ2The expanded meeting convened by the Federal Government to look at security situation in Nigeria has kicked off in the Presidential Villa with President Goodluck Jonathan presiding.

The meeting which has a fuller house as against what happened a week before, has many of the governors from the opposition parties present.

The President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Nigeria and the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, as well as the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor are also attending the meeting.

Twenty-four governors are in attendance while the governors of Jigawa, Imo, Oyo, Rivers, Kano, Ogun, Plateau, Edo and Yobe are being represented by their deputies.

The security chiefs in attendance are; the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as the Inspector-General of Police, the Comptrollers-General of Customs and  Immigration, Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Commandant-General of the  Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp.

The Interior Minister, Mr. Abba Moro, Minister of Defence, General Aliyu Gusau, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Abduljelil Adesiyan, the  Foreign Affairs Minister,  Viola Onwuleri, Agriculture Minister,  Akinwunmi Adeshina and the  Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, are also present.

The expanded National Security Council meeting was summoned by President Jonathan following the bombing in Nyanya, Abuja and the abduction of over one hundred female students from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno.