15 January 2013

Nigeria: Security Challenges Self-Inflicted, Says Sultan

Photo: Leadership
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar

The President of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Sa'ad Abubakar III, Monday said the security challenges facing the North was self-inflicted.

The Sultan who spoke in Kaduna at the meeting of the Northern Governors Peace and Reconciliation Committee made up of Christian and Muslim leaders, lamented the inability of the relevant government authorities to implement the series of well articulated recommendations that would helped to address the challenges facing the region.

According to him, dialogue with any aggrieved party will always remain the only solution rather than violence or force, stressing that the problem of the North will remain the problem of the entire country and therefore the region can not be left with its problems.

He promised that traditional and religious leaders will continue to play their role until the challenges are permanently solved.

The Sultan stressed the need for Christians and Muslims to sit down together and discuss issues affecting them.

"It is important that, the religious and traditional rulers from our various states sit together; so that, each and every one of us will talk to freely, articulate a position as the way out of this problem we find ourselves in. In this quagmire we put ourselves in, because whatever that is happening in the North is our own doing, 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 added.

He disclosed that the Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC) had written a memo to the government on issues affecting the country where suggestions on how to solve them were made.

"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 Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan by the Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC), where we suggested solutions to the problems," he said.

In his own remarks, Cardinal John Onaikan attributed the security challenges facing the country in general to high level of poverty especially in the North.

According to him, another aspect of the problem was associated to religious intolerance which has portrayed Nigeria in bad light in the eyes of the world.

He said it was not by accident of history that God created Christians and Muslims in the same country maintaining that God's designed cannot be changed by anyone.

He added further that one of the problems bedevilling the country was bad governance, pointing out that once that is addressed headlong, all other problems would be tackled too.

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