Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) on Monday conferred honourary degrees on top individuals including the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar; the Obi of Onitsha Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe; and the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.
The dignitaries were honoured during the seventh convocation ceremony of the institution in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital.
Sultan of Sokoto and Obi of Onitsha were decorated as Doctor of Letters while Tinubu was decorated as Doctor of Public Administration.
During the reading of his citation, the Sultan of Sokoto is described as a serial honourary awardee who has received honourary degrees in over 10 universities. He is also the current chancellor of the University of Ibadan.
Tinubu was honoured by the institution for his political acumen and for being a true believer in federalism.
The honourary awardees were subsequently inducted into the alumni association of ABUAD.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar has charged politicians to confront and address issues of insecurity, poverty and unemployment troubling the country.
Sultan Abubakar made the call on Monday when he received in audience the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and leaders of the party who were at his palace for a courtesy visit.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, says he is committed to working with health agencies across the country to eradicate polio and other childhood killer diseases in Nigeria.
He was speaking during the flag off of the sub-national immunisation plus days organised by the Sokoto State Primary Health Care Development Agency in Sokoto.
The Sultan appealed to the people to accept the vaccines, and the routine immunisation programme so that they can effectively fight polio and other child-killer diseases like measles, diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus, among others.
The Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has said that nobody can islamise Nigeria.
The monarch allayed fears in some quarters that there was a grand plan to turn Nigeria into an Islamic State.
He argued that no country survives a religious war and as such, Christians and Muslims in Nigeria must imbibe the culture of peace and peaceful co-existence.
The Sultan also appealed to Christians and Muslims across the world to desist from making comments insinuating that anyone was out to Islamise Nigeria.
He also stressed the need for Nigerians to set aside ethno-religious differences and be committed towards peace and development of the nation.
While noting that both Christians and Muslims have always lived together since Nigeria’s amalgamation, Alhaji Abubakar recommended dialogue as the best option to address some of the socio-political challenges in the country.
On his part, Governor Nasir El-Rufai decried the series of crises that have erupted in Kaduna State over the years, which he said have divided the state along religious lines.
He noted that religion that was supposed to be used for spiritual upliftment, has been turned into a tool for division in the hands of religious leaders.
The President General of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has called on the Saudi Arabian Government to investigate the cause of the stampede in which 768 pilgrims died in Mina, Saudi Arabia, during the stoning of the devil.
In a statement issued on his behalf by Secretary-General of the JNI, Dr. Khalid Abubakar-Aliyu, in Kaduna, the Sultan descibed the stampede as ‘one tragedy too many’.
Alhaji Abubakar condoled with the families of the victims of the tragedy, also calling on Muslims never to be deterred by the tragedy, but remain steadfast, despite the challenges confronting them.
While commending the Saudi authorities for the steps they have taken so far to make the Hajj operation a success, the statement maintains that an investigation into the stampede has become necessary to guard against a recurrence.
The incident occurred on Thursday, September 24 on Street 204 of the camp city at Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, where pilgrims stay for several days during the climax of the Hajj.
A political scientist and a lecturer at the University of Abuja, Kabiru Mato has called on Nigerian leaders not to disregard the comments of the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar on the security in the North.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Mato said though modern politics in Nigeria has withered the powers of traditional leaders, but “the statement by the sultan should not be put aside by any serious minded political leadership because it is a statement that is coming out from one of the highest level of the Nigerian society.”
The University don said the situation where Nigerian leaders accept responsibilities for the ills in the country is an indication of progress. Mr Mato cautioned that “If the political leadership will choose to disregard this very honest and bold pronouncement by the sultan, it will do so at its own peril.”
The Sultan had on Monday blamed the North for the present insecurity in the region.
He had said, “Let us sit and talk freely and articulate positions that will bring us out of the quagmire we put ourselves. It is important that religious and traditional rulers from our various states sit together, so that each and every one of us will talk freely for us to articulate a position as the way out of this problem we find ourselves.
“We northerners have put ourselves in a quagmire, because whatever that is happening in the North is our own doing. This was because we did not do what we are supposed to do. And since we know that, we have to solve our problems ourselves. So, I think, it is not a bad idea that the committee was set up.”
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar has blamed the North for the present insecurity in the region.
He also blamed the region for being the architect of its underdevelopment.
Sultan Abubakar who is also the President of Nigeria’s Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs disclosed this at the Northern Nigeria Governors Peace and Reconciliation Committee meeting in Kaduna on Monday. He blamed northerners for inflicting heavy pains on themselves.
“Let us sit and talk freely and articulate positions that will bring us out of the quagmire we put ourselves. It is important that religious and traditional rulers from our various states sit together, so that each and every one of us will talk freely for us to articulate a position as the way out of this problem we find ourselves.
“We northerners have put ourselves in a quagmire, because whatever that is happening in the North is our own doing. This was because we did not do what we are supposed to do. And since we know that, we have to solve our problems ourselves. So, I think, it is not a bad idea that the committee was set up,” he said.
Speaking on the efforts of to bring peace to the country, the Sultan said. “We wrote a memo of about nine pages or thereabout covering various issues affecting the country and the north in particular to the then Acting President and now President Goodluck Jonathan, through the Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC) where we suggested solutions to the problems.’’
In his own remarks, the Catholic Bishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, attributed the security challenges facing the North and the country in general to high level of poverty in the country and the region in particular.
Onaiyekan further said that another aspect of the problem was associated with religion, saying that, bad image of the country has spread to the outside world and there was need for the stakeholders to address the issue with a view to putting a permanent end to the problems.
The spiritual leader of Muslims in Nigeria and Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Muhammad Abubakar on Wednesday said that Muslim in the country should celebrate Eid-al-Kabir on Friday October 26 2012.
The date, according to the Sultan, was based on report received from the various committees on Moon sighting across the country.
In statement signed by the Chairman Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs Sultanate Council, Sambo Wali Junaidu, the Sultan confirmed the birth of new moon from Wednesday October 17, 2012.
The statement reads in part, “The Sultanate council Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs at its meeting on Tuesday October16 , 2012 reviewed reports from various Moon sighting Committees across the country, duly confirming the birth of New Moon of Zulhijja 1433 AH with effect from Wednesday, October 17, 2012 which is the 1st day of the Zulhajja, 1433. A. H.
Affirming the validity of the committees report, the statement added that, “Friday October 26 is the tenth day of Zulhajja 1433 A.H which is the Eid-al-Kabir day”.