The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar has again expressed concern over the level of insecurity in the country, adding that it has worsened.
Speaking at the 3rd Quarter 2021 Meeting of the Intra-Religious Council in Abuja on Thursday, the Sultan said he won’t hesitate in spilling the truth about the state of the nation.
“Things are not getting better. I have said it and will say it again and again until we see that yes; things are getting better,” Sa’ad Abubakar stated.
The Sultan said it is appalling that these days the “unknown gunmen” raid people’s houses and kill mercilessly.
The monarch wondered how the marauders could remain unknown when the nation has various intelligence agencies.
Although he commended security operatives for their efforts so far, Sa’ad Abubakar said the nation needs “proactive intelligence agencies that will think ahead of anybody, any criminal trying to do something” cynical and disrupt the peace.
The Sultan, who was a military man, explained that proper intelligence gathering will put security operatives a step ahead of the miscreants troubling the nation.
According to him, Nigerians can’t fold their hands while unknown gunmen threaten the nation.
The Sokoto ruler urged the military and the police not to spare any religious leader that comes out to the “public domain to say so many nasty and bad things that would raise tensions higher”.
While admonishing fellow monarchs and religious leaders, the Sultan said “we must always tell the truth even if it is against us or our families.
“We shouldn’t be scared of telling the truth to authorities and that is what we must continue to do”.
He argued that when religious leaders tell the truth, then they can sit at home in peace even as he challenged security agencies to “invite religious leaders who incite violence and interrogate them appropriately.
“All these people calling for such activities must be identified and our security agencies must up their game and take action against them.
“Whether it is a religious leader, ethnic leader or traditional leader, he must be made to face the law, because there is nobody who is above the law,” Sa’ad Abubakar added.
According to him, this step will help in ending the security challenges facing Nigeria.
Afraid of Dialogue?
Speaking on the theme of the meeting, “Making Nigerians Healthy To Achieve Peaceful Society,” the Sultan believes that attaining peace requires honest dialogue.
“We must be honest with ourselves, we cannot come to the council and agree then go back to our various comfort zones and start preaching hatred, and that’s what is happening every day.
“A lot of hate speeches by religious leaders… we are supposed to be very diplomatic.
“I cannot imagine using religion to shed people’s blood,” the monarch said.
He wondered why it is so difficult for the presidency to lead a dialogue involving all leaders, elders and people who can influence the citizens.
“Why are we afraid of talking to one another? What dialogue cannot solve, violence will never solve.”
“There must be a time to rise up and go beyond ethnic and religious sentiments and sit down and talk to one another in the most honest way and tell ourselves the truth.
“What’s really happening in this country is not right and this is how we should go if we really want to have a country.
“The presidency must lead the way, reach out to people, sit down and talk to one another because I have seen the goodwill of the people of this country towards one another.”
Some of the attendees at the meeting were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Olasupo Ayokunle.