The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar, has lamented over the increased rate of killings across the country, calling for an end to the “incessant bloodshed.”
The religious leader was one of the speakers at a National Summit held on Thursday Abuja. He said killings must be ended before Nigeria can witness development.
“There’s been too much bloodshed in Nigeria. The bloodshed of innocent people who don’t know what is happening. And it is across the country. If we don’t tame the senseless killing of innocent people, we cannot see peace, we cannot have peace, we cannot have any development,” he said.
Other traditional and religious leaders at the event include the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Samson Ayokunle, and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi. They joined voices with the Sultan to call for an end to bloodletting across Nigeria.
In Sultan, in his speech added that “One thing that is clear is that everybody is talking positively about what must happen in Nigeria.
“As Christians and Muslims, we know the sacredness of life. We cannot go about killing innocent people and claiming to be doing so in the name of religion. All of us must rise up against those people and let them know that this is not our religion.”
He stressed that Nigerians cannot continue to kill and spill innocent blood in the name of religion when both Islam and Christianity preaches the sacredness of life which should be respected by all.
The Ooni of Ife Oba Enitan Ogunwusi called for practical steps to address the issue of Nigeria’s population growth. He said the nation might experience worse situation if youths are continuously used to perpetrate violent activities.
“The active population of this country is about 150 million people with a bleak future. The young men that were apprehended and paraded for kidnapping the Chibok girls are below the age of 30. They thought they were doing business because they were very ignorant of what they were doing,” he said.
The traditional leader also urged those in the leadership position to engage youths in productive activities.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has hailed the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria stating that the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar are his father.
The National Council of Traditional Rulers Council Of Nigeria which is co-chaired by the holding its 9th General Assembly at Port Harcourt in Rivers State.
Governor Wike on Monday while hosting the traditional rulers promised to always partner with the traditional institutions.
He said this partnership is needed to move the country in the direction of Nigeria’s non-negotiable unity.
“The Sultan and Ooni are my fathers. We are so grateful to be the State you have chosen to host this historic national event which is the 9th General Assembly of The National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria.
“For us in Rivers state, the unity of Nigeria is very imperative and it remains non-negotiable. It is too important to be toyed with. That is why we will always partner with our traditional rulers as we have been doing,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the visiting monarchs, a Co-chairman of National Traditional Rulers Council Of Nigeria, the Ooni of Ile-Ife who is also the Chairman of the Southern Nigeria Traditional Rulers Council appreciated the Governor and the people of Rivers state for hosting them at this period which he said is a very crucial time in the country when unity must be the collective watchword.
“We thank you Mr Governor and your team for hosting the Nigerian traditional rulers who have come from all parts of the country to discuss on how to join hands with government for the unity and progress of Nigeria.
“We are here to see how best we can further cement our togetherness across all the districts within the North and South of the country because unity is all we need. As matter of fact, our first demand is unity, our second demand is unity and our third demand is unity,” Ooni Ogunwusi said.
He added that the traditional rulers are the closest to the grassroots.
“We can not fold our arms, we must work together and join forces with the government,” he added as he called for joint support of Nigerin leaders to bring about progress.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike have promised to work for Nigeria’s unity.
The leaders made the call at the traditional ruler’s place in Sokoto State where the Sultan recommended dialogue as one of the solutions to the challenges facing the nation.
He also appealed to elder statesmen across the nation to call their people to order for the country to live in peace and attract development.
The monarch, who commended Governor Wike’s visit, said: “We shall continue to work for the unity of this country, this shows that we are one family in Nigeria. We serve our Creator by serving humanity. I am very pleased with what is going on in Rivers State in terms of construction and projects”.
He also called on all political leaders to remain committed to projects delivery which according to him would attract the goodwill of the people.
On his part, Wike said the people of Rivers State believe in Nigeria’s unity and will continue to work for the country to stay united.
“Rivers State believes in the oneness of this country. We believe in the unity of the country and we will do everything possible to preach the unity of Nigeria. All countries have one challenge or the other, but what is important is dialogue to find ways to resolve those challenges. For the unity of Nigeria, there is no going back,” he said.
The governor thanked the Sultan for participating in the Rivers Golden Jubilee and for his continuous support to the state.
The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has called on traditional rulers to advise misguided youths in their domains against divisive actions.
Professor Osinbajo made the call on Tuesday when he met with traditional rulers from the Northern states in continuation of his consultations with leaders of the North and South East.
The consultations follow the recent “quit notice” given to Igbos in the North by Arewa youths, in reaction to the continued agitation for secession by groups in the South East.
Professor Osinbajo, who noted that traditional rulers have a role to play in “countering the voices of divisiveness”, urged them not to relent in playing their unique roles.
“Let us continue to counsel the misguided elements among our youth, who think that ethnic confrontation is a game and that words can be thrown around carelessly without repercussion,” he said.
“Having said this, let me say that we are not deaf to the legitimate concerns and frustrations arising from around the country. Every part of Nigeria has its own grievances. But these have to be expressed graciously and managed with mutuality rather than with scorn and disdain.”
Stressing that Nigeria is stronger and better as one unified nation, the Acting President warned that the hate hate-filled and divisive rhetoric and agitations in parts of the country are “unjustifiable, unacceptable and often times illegal”.
He also stressed that such agitations were capable of rubbishing the sacrifices made by many Nigerians over the years to keep the country united.
“Nigeria has seen enough violence and bloodshed in its history, the price of our unity has already been paid in the blood and lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians,” he said.
Professor Osinbajo assured the traditional rulers that the Federal Government is committed to keeping the country united, adding that rather than viewing the country’s diversity as a challenge, it should be a source of unity.
“We must never take our diversity for granted; the fullness of our strength actually lies in that diversity. And we must wield that diversity, not as a divisive tool, but instead as a binding agent,” he said.
Traditional rulers present at the meeting include the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara; and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, were also among those in attendance.
The ongoing consultations by the Acting President are expected to be concluded on Wednesday with a meeting with the 36 governors.
The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Saad Abubakar III, has called on Muslims in Rivers State to support Governor Nyesom Wike’s administration.
The Sultan, who made the appeal on Tuesday at a meeting with Muslims in Port Harcourt, the state capital, asked them to pray for the governor’s success.
He said after the bustle of political campaigns, all residents of the state should support the leader to move the state forward.
“Now that the noise of the campaigns are over, support the leader to succeed. If the leader succeeds, the community benefits; if the leader fails, the community suffers the consequences,” the monarch said.
He also asked the Islamic faithful to be loyal to the administration, stressing that such loyalty must be an absolute one.
The President-General asked them to ensure peaceful coexistent in the state, pointing out that the interactive session was initiated for fraternal reasons.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Niger Delta Development Commission, Mohammed Aribitonye, thanked the Sultan for his visit to the state.
He expressed optimism that the meeting would uplift the spirit of Muslims in Rivers State, adding that Governor Wike is committed to promoting religious harmony.
An emergency meeting of State Governors and traditional rulers of the 19 northern states of the country has been held in Kaduna State.
The meeting was convened on Tuesday to discuss ways of tackling the meningitis outbreak that has claimed over 400 lives across Nigeria, most of them from the region.
The meeting, which was organised by the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, and the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, seeks alternative ways of importing vaccines for the treatment of meningitis victims, and prevent further spread of the killer disease in the region.
Declaring the meeting open, the Sultan of Sokoto, who was represented by the Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, called on the Federal and State governments to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to strengthen primary healthcare system in the country.
He said the traditional rulers would support government’s effort in ensuring that the people get the needed medical attention to contain the spread of the disease.
“The traditional rulers of Nigeria, in coordination with stakeholders, will do all that is humanly possible to assist in ensuring that our people and members of communities are given the appropriate medical attention promptly, to avoid the outbreak of meningitis.
“Let me use this opportunity to call on the Federal, State and Local governments to put all hands on deck to ensure that appropriate measures are taken, to give the necessary prevention by way of immunisation and preventive drugs against the bacteria, so that our members of communities will be protected adequately,” the monarch said.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar (II), has challenged Nigerian leaders to dwell more on the issues that bind the country rather than its division.
He was speaking at the closing ceremony of the 31st National Quranic Competition in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, where the Senate President, Bukola Saraki also asked Muslims to live in harmony with others.
This is coming barely 24 hours after the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, also canvassed stronger collaboration between government and traditional institutions to foster national unity.
The monarch made the appeal in Abuja while delivering a lecture to participants of course 25 of the National Defense College.
Furthermore, he appealed to them to promote cultural heritage rather than religion which he says has divided Nigeria.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has tasked the Nigerian state governors to give priority to job creation and youth empowerment.
The Sultan, who is the President of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, proposed that the recommendation would end the menace of restiveness and violent crime bedeviling Nigeria.
He noted that if youths were fully engaged in meaningful ventures, they would not avail themselves as tools for perpetrating violence and other heinous crimes in the society.
The monarch made the recommendation in Lokoja during the inauguration of the Kogi State Revenue House which was built by the Governor Yahaya Bello led administration.
He commended Governor Bello for striving hard in bringing development to the people in the face of the economic recession and dwindling resources.
The Sultan urged the people of Kogi State to support the governor in the development of the state.
“Today we’ve gathered to (witness) this very important occasion after praying at the mosque this afternoon.
“We are here to commission the building which of course, you all know the importance of money.
“Nothing works without money; money is needed in everything to achieve a goal.
“We are therefore grateful to God for us to be part of history to commission this project,” he said.
Lack Of Vision
In his address, the Executive Chairman of the revenue board, Mr Yakubu Oseni, said that what existed as a revenue house before the building was erected was nothing to write home about.
“In retrospect, we may recall that at his inauguration ceremony, his excellency (Governor Bello) declared unreservedly that he will take this state to an enviable height.
“True to this declaration, we have gathered here to witness the commissioning of the revenue house.
“There is no better way to walk the walk than for us to witness the commissioning of this revenue house today.
“Your royal majesties, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me emphasise for better understanding that what existed as revenue house before we came on board left a lot to be desired, it was in a state of comatose.
“This was largely due to lack of vision and mission, accountability, transparency and sound leadership,” he said.
The event was witnessed by top government functionaries, royal fathers, religious leaders and indigenes from the 21 local government areas of the state among others.
The ceremony also marked the first year of Governor Bello’s administration as the fourth Executive Governor of Kogi State.
Confirming the incident, the Kaduna Police spokesperson, Aliyu Usman said the deaths occurred when gunmen suspected to have been herdsmen launched an attack on the community.
Meanwhile, the Senior Special Adviser, (Media and Publicity) to the President, Garba Shehu, has assured residents that solution is on the way as the President has ordered the establishment of two military units to provide security in the region.
Nigeria’s president, Mr Muhammadu Buhari, says the challenges of Africa’s most populous nation will only be addressed through exemplary, disciplined and committed leadership.
In a speech delivered in Sokoto on Saturday where he was for the 10th Anniversary of the Sultan of Sokoto, Mr Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, President Buhari said that good leadership would enable Nigerians accomplish their aspirations for a strong and virile polity that would be a source of pride to present and future generations.
He expressed optimism that the nation in its worst economic recession in decades is destined for greatness.
“Despite the enormity of the challenges facing us we are optimistic that by the grace of God our nation is destined to achieve greatness.
“Today economic recession is affecting our economy. But we are resolved to overcome challenges, fight corruption and ensure good governance for the benefit of our citizens. Our administration is poised to bring positive changes to all Nigerians,” President Buhari reassured Nigerians.
Continue To Work For Peace
Extolling the Sultan of Sokoto, he identified the role that traditional institutions are playing in the overall development of Nigeria, saying that such input from traditional leaders is critical.
“Let me seize this opportunity offered by this moment to once more congratulate His Eminence, the Sultan for the invaluable contributions he is making in the development of the Nigerian polity.
“The Sultan has consistently proved himself worthy of his ancestors. He has continuously worked to promote peace and unity in the country. He has remained a leader, treading the path of his revered ancestors in building bridges of understanding amongst diverse ethnic and religious groups in the country,” he told the gathering.
He decried the height of ethnic and religious divide being experienced in Nigeria, saying that the culture of discipline and patriotism seen decades ago no longer exist.
“It is an indisputable fact that in the 60s, 70s and even in the early part of the 80s, Nigeria was reputed for its peaceful coexistence between the different ethnic and religious groups; the culture of discipline and patriotism was also highly safeguarded. Commitment to national development by all key players in governance was also visible.
“However, the situation as we all know, has unfortunately changed. Events associated with the anniversary and importantly the relevance of value of the Caliphate system must be base for progressive and self-reliant nation where, every citizen, irrespective of creed or tribal affiliation is given opportunity for self-actualisation.
“In this regard, the Sultan and our highly esteemed Royal Fathers, our traditional institutions and indeed all patriotic citizens of this country have to continue to work for peace, religious harmony and sustainable development of our country,” he stressed.
The President also commissioned 500 Kalambaina Housing Units constructed for the people of Sokoto State by the administration of Mr Aminu Tambuwal.
President Buhari described the project, which was started by the previous administration of H.E Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, as a demonstration of humility and a fulfilment of our promises to our people.
“Every Government has the sacred responsibility of addressing the welfare of the governed in all possible ways. Provision of shelter to the teeming populace is in this context a priority for a purposeful leadership.
“It is interesting to note that in fulfilment of his pledges to the good people of Sokoto State, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal is making all possible sacrifices worthy of a leader.
“I salute the efforts of Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri and all those assisting him in promoting democracy and good governance.
“It is also pleasing to note that the 500 Housing Units being commissioned today are equipped with basic amenities required for a decent life. It is hoped that beneficiaries will make good use of the facilities to ensure the accomplishment of the lofty objectives for which the huge expenditures were incurred in making the houses available,” he added.
Some of top dignitaries in Sokoto to celebrate with the Sultan are former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Senate President, Dr. Bokola Saraki and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar among others.
Niger 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.
“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.
Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has charged the traditional institution to remain the watchdogs of their domain for further maintenance of peace and to curtail any act capable of breaking law and order.
He made the appeal on Saturday, while presenting staff of office to the 17th Emir of Borgu, Barrister Muhammed Sani Haliru Dantoro, Kitoro IV in New Bussa, Borgu Local Government area of the state.
The Governor stressed the need for caution and vigilance on the part of the royal fathers so as to help fish out questionable characters in the society.
“I call on all traditional rulers to be more interested in what happens in their communities. You remain security watchdogs in your domain and by extension the state. You must avoid any criminal connivance, as this is capable of ruining any leader,” the Governor advised royal fathers.
He commended the support he has been receiving from state council of traditional rulers and called on the new Emir to extend same.
The Governor also urged him to bring his wealth of experience to bear in positioning his Emirate for greatness.
The newly installed Emir of Borgu, Barrister Muhammed Sani Haliru Dantoro, Kitoro IV promised to be fair to all his subjects and called on them to come up with meaningful ideas on how to move the Emirate forward.
The royal father, whose late father was a former Senator during the botched 3rd republic, called on political leaders in the country to bury their differences for the development, progress and unity of the country.
The royal father, who was apparently referring to the crisis within the ruling party said, “Let all leaders of change bury their differences, work for the unity and for the progress of the country in the memory of my late father”.
President Muhammadu Buhari, a turbaned chief of the emirate was represented by the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello and Hon. Abu Bawa Bwari, Minister of State, Ministry of Solid Minerals.
Other attendees include, the Governor of Sokoto State, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Idris Ibrahim and former military governor of the state, Colonel Lawan Gwadabe and Ambassador designate, Hon. Ahmed Ibeto
The ceremony was witnessed by many royal fathers from across the six geo-political zones with the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad, Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi and Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahay Abubakar leading the pack.