The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar over the weekend warned that Nigeria’s development will continue to nose-dive unless its rulers tackle the security challenges currently confronting the nation with utmost seriousness and sincerity.
The Sultan gave the grim warning over the weekend at the 10th graduation ceremony of Igbinedion University, Okada, where he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law, honoris causa by the University.
He said that Nigeria’s quest for development was largely dependent on its rulers’ ability to tackle the ethno-religious crisis and wanton destruction of lives and properties of its innocent citizens.
“I crave your Excellencies indulgence to say that no nation develops especially and otherwise in a state of insecurity and Nigeria cannot be an exception. The current state of ethno-religious crisis, armed banditry as well as terrorist insurgencies can never advance the cause of development in Nigeria.
He did not specifically mention Boko Haram or the violence flares in Niger Delta, but the reference as ‘terrorist insurgencies’ was clear enough.
“We must put a stop to this wanton destruction and recklessness. Our developmental goal and community and interface relations must never be determined by the extremists among us,” the Sultan said, adding that it was imperative for all well meaning Nigerians to come together and work together to address the daunting challenges facing our society.
“The pain of any one of us must be a shared pain that should concern all of us regardless of creed, ethnic or religious. The happiness of anyone of us should be a shared happiness to be celebrated by all. Nigerians and Nigerians deserve knowledge.”
Commenting on the standard of education in Nigeria, the Sultan warned that Nigeria must stop paying lip service to leadership development of the nation’s tertiary institutions, noting that “we are a nation of rich cultural and religious values and we must strive to impact these values to our younger generations. We must endeavours to shore up the moral competence of our young ones such that they could make the critical changes of our national lives with courage and confidence and with the firm belief that the choices they make are in the best interest of the country.”
While calling on the the private sector to play a vital role in the resuscitation of the educational system in Nigeria, he urged those saddled with developing the nation’s education sector to regenerate a positive moral value, which he said could serve as a driving force that would propel us to be special and to greatness.
“We must endeavour to exemplify corporate giving and build effective and meaningful partnership between the universities and the private sector. Wealthy individuals and major corporations should also be encouraged to establish a specialized colleges and universities, where and when it is feasible and beneficial to the people,” the Sultan said.