Sultan meets stakeholders, pledges commitment to dialogue
strong>• Attack on southerners in north, a declaration of war, says IYC
• Civil society groups urge restraint
Desite growing agitations, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar 111, has disclosed that dialogue remains the key to resolving the country’s problems.The monarch spoke yesterday when he hosted leaders of resident communities, heads of security agencies, civil society groups and the media at a Ramadan breakfast dinner.
Abubakar, who is the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, said that crises were not unique to Nigeria.He acknowledged that the country was passing through a trying period, but added that: “No matter what is happening we are still one big family.”
According to him, every problem has a solution just as every padlock has a key and it is left for us to see how best to open it.Expressing optimism in the indivisibility of the country, he said God did not make a mistake by bringing the citizens together as one nation.
The sultan said those who felt marginalised could make their grievances known without resorting to violence and abusive language.He said neither violence nor insecurity would solve the problems, which could be fixed by sitting down to find out where the citizens went wrong and retrace their footsteps.
Lamenting the country’s poor level of patriotism, he appealed to all Nigerians to shun suspicion and embrace respect for one another.He said: “We should not look down on other people, but understand ourselves and respect one another, so that we can work together to move Nigeria to the level that is expected of a country that God has endowed with so huge resources.”
The monarch also condemned the removal of history and religious studies from the school curriculum.He said it would be wrong for the citizens forget their history by copying other people and abandoning religious studies which ensured their spiritual well-being.
He praised Acting President Yemi Osibanjo for his various initiatives to calm frayed nerves and pledged that traditional rulers would continue to work for the peace, unity and progress of the country.
Meanwhile, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has warned the northern youths that any attack on southerners in the north would be treated as a declaration of war.A statement by the IYC President, Eric Omare said the Ijaw youths worldwide would retaliate with the appropriate response of an “eye for an eye.”
Omare said the group would align with the position of southern leaders, who warned the northern youths against attacking any person of southern extraction.Also, a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has called on the groups The statement added that the ongoing consultations with the various regional and ethnic leaders without taking practical steps to address the causes would amount to postponing the evil days.that issued the ultimatum to halt their unguarded call.The groups, under the aegis of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Protest to Power Movement (P2P) stated this at a press conference.
The Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa and National Coordinator, P2P, Jaye Gaskia urged other groups who are in support of self-determination to desist from using hate speeches that are capable of provoking violence.
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