BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN, Kaduna –
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad III, has attributed the incessant killings, particularly in the North Eastern region of Nigeria, to the failure of governments to discharge their duties as expected.
Sultan who is the chairman of the Northern Traditional Rulers Council stated this in his remarks at the council’s General Assembly which held yesterday in Kaduna.
The General Assembly which had the state chairmen of 19 Northern states traditional rulers council in attendance also had representatives of traditional council chairmen from the South-South, South West and South East.
According to the Sultan, the meeting will discuss issues affecting the people, issues of good governance at all levels, justice to all mankind.
He said, “As a Fulani leader, I am the leader of Fulanis in this country, and in the West African sub region, I live with so many people and I know their problems , and I will never call on any Fulani to pick up arm to kill anybody.
“I have said it so many times at so many fora, those people picking up arms killing people are criminals and whoever you are, whether you are Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba or Fulani, you have no right to take up arms and kill anybody.
“If you see such thing happening, then there must be a failure of government, but if government wakes up to their responsibility, some of these things will not happen,” the Sultan stressed.
He said, “As usual, at this meeting when we come to close session we are going to discuss on so many issues facing us in this country which I believe at the end of the meeting , we will have a communiqué which we will send the proceedings and the communiqué to our political leaders to see if they want to implement any of our recommendations.
“We don’t have any power to force anybody to implement anything, as royal fathers , as religious leaders , we can recommend certain things, we can advice, because leadership is not a monopoly of one individual group or society, its a responsibility for all, both the lead and those leading. And people must listen to those that are leading so that we all could be on the same page, as we are struggling to build our great country Nigeria where no man is oppressed.
“I will like our brothers from the south to tell us things that they are not comfortable with, that are being done in this part of the country (North) because all of you here are representatives of your various communities living with us here.
“Tell us what you think we should do to make life better for everybody, and we will tell you too what to do to make live better for our people living with you, because we are great family and we will continue to extend that hand of love to everybody, irrespective of tribe or religion, irrespective of political party lineage.
“During the discussion, we will discuss some of those issues that are of concern, like the herdsmen/farmers clash, the various irresponsible killing of innocent women and children, that people don’t want to talk about- we must talk about this things and we call on the governors never to keep away those things from their table, we cannot keep such things under the carpet, because if we do that, we are encouraging more of such dastardly act to be carried out by others.
“We have seen how innocent people have been killed, innocent children of two years, pregnant women killed, children brought out of their mother’s womb- I don’t know the type of people we are. These are the issues we are saying we will never stop talking about them, until our political leaders take the responsibility up and help us out so that we have peace because without justice, there won’t be peace.
“So we will discuss some of these issues amicably in a public manner so that when comment is made publicly, they are not misconstrued to be people calling for war or instability in the country.
“When we make such comment, it is to alert our political leaders of their responsibilities of what they should do. When we don’t do that, almighty God will ask us on the day of judgement, that’s why we keep on talking about this, and will never call on anybody to take up arms.
“We keep on calling on everyone to please maintain peace and allow the constituted authority to take up this issues and we will continue to put pressure on them, until they find solution to this dastardly act.”