The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, yesterday urged Nigerian leaders to do more in order to take the country out of its present challenges, saying citizens of the country are going through difficult times.
He spoke at the 45th anniversary of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, in Zaria, Kaduna State.
He said: “We are here to pray for the emir for good end and reward from Allah for the leadership he provided not only for the Zazzau Emirate, but the entire country. We are therefore grateful to our clerics for reminding us of the divine instruction of turning back to Allah in any difficult situation. We take solace in these reminders. They are our source of relief.
“We are calling on our leaders to sympathise more with the masses. Everyone knows that we are in difficult times. There is nothing that is above Allah’s powers. Ours is to continue to pray and we are praying for our leaders. People of Zazzau, you should brace up and pray for the president, Kaduna State governor and other leaders at all levels. You shouldn’t leave us to our abilities and capacities, we need your prayers to succeed.”
The sultan has been voicing out his concerns on the security situation and other challenges in the country. On Thursday at the Northern Security Meeting in Kaduna, he blamed northern leaders for not doing enough to address the security challenges in the region, which brought about the formation of a security outfit code-named Shege-Ka-Fasa.
He said the elders had not provided good leadership and that had brought about the formation of the security outfit, urging elders of the North to reach out to all and sundry in their attempt to find a solution to the various challenges in the region and the country.
Similarly, on Friday, the Sultan in Jos, Plateau State, blamed Nigerian leaders, especially traditional and religious leaders, for their failure to lead “the citizens to the right path.”
He said at the Plateau State Forgiveness and Reconciliation Day held at Forgiveness Garden, that traditional and religious leaders had failed to preach peace and promote good societal values, noting that lack of forgiveness among Nigerians was also contributing to the predicaments of the country.
At the 45th anniversary of the emir of Zazzau, Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufa’i, said he was proud to be part of history, as he was a Form 4 secondary school student at Barewa College, Zaria when the emir was turbaned.
He added: “I am happy to be part of history to celebrate this day. We pray for long life and good health for the emir. We hope to be here again during the Golden Jubilee and beyond. We wish to thank the emir, on behalf of the state government, for the secret counseling and pieces of advice he has been offering to us whenever he sees us deviating. We also thank the clerics for their prayers.”
On the issue of the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, raised by the emir, the governor said he would organize a tour of the hospital to assess the problems and submit a report to the president, because of its importance not only to Kaduna State, but to the entire North.
El-Rufa’i said the Minister of Finance had been contacted on how to mobilize funds for the hospital’s repairs.
He added: “I would like to assure residents of Zaria that the various projects we have executed so far are just the beginning. We will do more. We appreciate the emir for his peace efforts, we appreciate him for his prayers for us, we are appealing for more prayers and counseling.”