Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, said in Abuja, yesterday, that the corruption level is still high in public offices, in spite of the anti-graft fight being championed by the Federal Government.
The Muslim leader, who spoke at the public presentation of a book written in honour of the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, insisted that Nigerians must support the fight, instead of “sitting on the fence.
“Things are obviously not okay with our governance system and we have said it repeatedly, in so many fora, that we must converge at the dialogue table and discuss ways and means of getting things back on track.”
He was unhappy with some Nigerians who literally tagged a certain tribe in Nigeria, as terrorists.
“Nowadays, we don’t have statesmen; all we have now are men of states because people are more aligned with their individual states, more than Nigeria.
“We have men that only see their environment only as their own. It means that if you don’t belong to their tribal or ethnic ethnic background, you are finished.
“These are things happening and we cannot allow it to continue. We must be free to move to wherever we want to, see, live wherever we want to live.
“Nowadays, the worst word you could hear is ‘Fulani this and that.’ People forgot that there are millions of Fulani men who do not rear cattle.
“I am a very proud Fulani man but I was never a herder. But, it is unfortunate that when people see a Fulani man, the first thing they see is a killer and that judgement is unfair.
“There are so many non-Fulani who are herdsmen and there are criminals all over the world.
“So, let us give criminals their due name, call them criminals not Christian or Muslim criminals, not Fulani criminals. That has been our message to government.”
Meanwhile, Oloyede appreciated the turnout of friends and family members who came to celebrate him with the over 500-page book.
He assured them that transparency, accountability and efficiency would remain the watchword in JAMB operations under his leadership.
— 4th November 2016
*Says some govs have wrong priorities
*Abubakar III, worthy scion of his fore-fathers, says VP
Sultan of Sokoto, has advised Nigerians to stop hiding behind religion, politics and tribal affiliations to commit crime.
The Sultan, who is also the president-general, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) said this yesterday, in Sokoto, at an international symposium on the Caliphate.
“People hide under politics to say or do certain things that are totally against the security of the state,” he said.
“If the person is arrested, the next thing you hear is that it is because he does not belong to the political party; what is bad is bad.
“Whether he is a Muslim or Christian or APC or PDP, remove all these and let him answer his name, a criminal, you have stolen government money.
“But once we start using tribe among others to claim right, it is not good. We must all rise up and help government to get the money back.”
He also accused some leaders of having misplaced priorities, wondering why some governors preferred to use billions to build airports when they could not pay salaries of their state workforce.
Abubakar said it was only when citizens begin to ask questions that governors and other leaders would sit up and begin to take the people seriously.
“There is need to begin to listen to the cry of the common man, to understand their needs rather than just carrying out projects,” he said.
“Of what use is it to be building airports worth billions of naira when the roads that the common man travels are bad?
“Instead of having an airport in Birnin Kebbi, that hardly sees one flight in one year and then, you have an airport in Dutse that only lifts pilgrims; then you have an airport in Kaduna in Bauchi and Gombe and another one in Ekiti, in Markudi and so on, while the roads which the common man uses for his day to day activities is so bad.
“You can imagine if you are travelling from Minna to Abuja, how many hours it will take you and from Lokoja to Okene down to Akure due to bad roads?”
In a related development, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and some national notable personalities have described the Sultan as “a worthy scion of his fore-fathers.”
Osinbajo spoke yesterday in Sokoto when he declared the International Symposium on the Sokoto Caliphate open, yesterday.
Osinbajo said: “The Caliphate was founded over 200 years ago, on the sterling principles of honesty, piety, good governance and truthfulness, among others.
“The intellectual endeavours of the founding fathers of the caliphate on theology and jurisprudence, among others, were relevant now as they were then. They left legacies of wealth of resources in their books, premised on the principles of good governance and social justice.”
The vice president also stressed the need for social justice.
saying that its absence always lead to chaos.
Osinbajo, therefore, urged leaders to always protect public treasuries and not to loot them.
The vice president noted that the Sultan has continued in the path of his fore-fathers, urging him not to relent.
He also noted that the reign of the Sultan, came at a challenging time for Nigeria.
“But the Sultan has handled them with pragmatism and graciousness.
“Leadership is a privilege and the leaders must set moral and ethical tones for the society,” he added.
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State also described the Sultan as an intellectually-endowed leader. Tambuwal commended the Sultan for his sustained moral and royal support to his administration.
“You are not only a bridge builder, but the bridge itself,” Tambuwal said.
Chairman on the occasion, Prof. Shehu Galadanchi, pioneer vice chancellor, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, commended the Sultan for consistently working for peace, unity and development.
The Chairman, Main Organising Committee and Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, said: “The symposium was organised to reflect on the past, ponder on present and transform the future’’.
The keynote Speaker, Prof. Murray Last, Professor Emeritus, University College, London, said that the celebration of the Caliphate was to recognise its crucial importance.
He said: “The Caliphate has been an institution in Northern Nigeria that possesses an extraordinary phenomenon.
“The caliphate has strengths which we need to understand, not as political scientists but as Nigerians.
“For without the Caliphate, Nigeria might never have existed. It would have been more like Northern Ghana, a Burkina or a Mali.
“Celebrating the Caliphate and recognising its importance is truly a great pleasure.”
The celebrantor, the Sultan advocated a national security summit of all stakeholders to brainstorm on most of the contemporary challenges affecting Nigeria.
These, he said, include insurgency, militancy, kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling and farmers-herdsmen clashes.
However, Abubakar III, said that these burning challenges should be discussed at the proposed summit, as they were threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria.
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
The Presidency on Thursday said President Muhammadu Buhari would not fight the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Mohammadu Sanusi, over his Wednesday’s criticism of the present administration.
Sanusi had said the Buhari-led administration might end up like the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration if it failed to retrace its steps on some policies.
The traditional ruler, who was the chairman of the 15th meeting of the Joint Planning Board and National Council on Development Planning in Kano State, had argued that the failure of the Buhari-led government to create employment opportunities for “the over 80 million youths in the country,” made terrorism attractive to the unemployed.
But in an interview with our correspondent on Thursday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said criticism such as the one made by the first-class traditional ruler was healthy for democracy.
Rather than fighting the Emir, Shehu said Buhari’s government would listen and act on the criticism.
The presidential spokesman said, “This government will not fight people for criticising the present administration led by President Buhari. This kind of criticism is healthy for our democracy. One cannot get better without being criticised. I can assure you that this government is listening.”
Meanwhile, Buhari on Thursday met behind closed doors with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, in what was believed to be a fallout of Sanusi’s criticism of Buhari.
A Presidency source told our correspondent that the CBN would respond appropriately to Sanusi’s comment.
He said the CBN boss could have used the opportunity of the meeting with the President to get approval to reply Sanusi.
The monarch, who titled his speech, “Nigeria in search of new growth model,” had said some policies of the government were bad for the economy, adding that Buhari must retrace his steps.
He noted that there were times when the Federal Government tried to get it right, adding that it failed to follow up, which contributed to the ongoing economic downturn.
He said, ‘‘I will neither change nor be political by telling people what they want to hear. The truth is that there is nothing we are facing today that we did not know would happen. We made mistakes, many of them deliberate; we ignored every single warning.
“If you take a brand-new car and hand it over to a driver who doesn’t have a licence to drive it and you are involved in an accident, you can’t say you are surprised, unless you are some kind of an idiot.
“We should not just keep blaming the previous administration; we also made some mistakes in the current administration.
“They must retrace their steps. They have to retrace those steps all the way. We should not fall into the same trap we fell the last time when the government was always right. The bottom line is that if your policy is wrong, it means you must change it and nothing will make it right as it has to be changed.
“If this government continues to behave the way the last government behaved, it will end up where Jonathan ended.”
From Ndubuisi Orji and Basil Obasi, Abuja
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III yesterday appealed to the Federal Government to review policies and programmes that are not in the interest of the people, noting that if policies do not work, there was nothing wrong in reviewing them.
The Sultan made the call in Abuja while speaking at a town hall meeting/policy dialogue organized by the Alumni Association of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (AANI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, with the theme: “Towards effective implementation of the 2016 budget.”
He said that when policies and programmes of government are not achieving desired results, they should be reviewed and realigned in line with prevailing realities.
Abubakar admonished those in authority to be conscious of the fact that they hold power in trust for the people, stating that according to 1999 constitution, the primary objective of government is to ensure security of lives and property and promote welfare of citizens. “Those in authority should appreciate the fact that they hold power in trust for the people. They should listen and be prepared to make policy changes that address the welfare of the common people. Change has been said to be constant. Therefore, there is no problem if government would review policies and programmes.
“If a policy doesn’t work there is nothing wrong in reviewing them. In my view, policies that are anti-people should be discarded and realigned in line with prevalent realities. Where Nigeria has critical problem is in the area of policy implementation.”
The Sultan added: “At times, changes come with difficulties, but it is important that both the government and the governed should accept with clean hearts that after the days of suffering, there would be days of rejoicing. If we get it right in the 2016 budget, every other thing will fall into place.”
The monarch applauded the different efforts of the present administration towards re-positioning the Nigerian economy in the path of sustainable development, stressing that all hands must be on deck in ensuring that government delivers on its mandate.
He, however, encouraged the federal government to utilize the enormous human resources available in the AANI in driving the country towards the path of desired economic progress.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed reiterated the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari in mitigating the current economic woes in the country, which he said was not created by the present government.
The minister noted that the federal government is willing to engage with Nigerians in charting a way out of the present recession. He said this is one of the reasons the government has being engaging the people through the various town hall meetings being organized by the government.
He therefore solicited the support of all Nigerians, especially the private sector and Civil Society Organizations towards moving the country forward.
BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI – Despite the angry reactions that trailed the alleged kidnap of 14 year old Esse Oruru from Bayelsa state to Kano, relations of another missing 14 year old girl, Patience Paul, have alleged that the primary six student of Mohammed Zako Model Primary school, Sokoto may have been abducted and housed at the palace of the Sultan of Sokoto.
Father of the girl, Mr. Paul Adaji, an indegene of Ochobo in Ohimini local government area of Benue, told Vanguard on phone that his daughter had been missing since August 12th., 2015.
Mr. Paul who resides in Sokoto with his family, alleged that some persons sported his daughter at the palace while the family was searching for her.
He said, “we got information that she was in the Sultan’s palace and the last time we went there we did not find her there.”
When asked how they knew she was at the palace, he said, “some people told us that they saw her there, they also used to camp some of them there before, that is why we went there to see if she has been taken there. Even her friend who used to be a Christian was found there. She was taken there and they converted her.
“We will still continue to search for her, we will not give up, we only want the world to help us so that our daughter can be released to us.
SUMMARY OF REPORT
Subject matter: Forceful abduction
Name of complainant: Paul Isaac Adaji
Reasons complain about: Forcefully abduction of my daughter by the Hisbah group in Gidan Kukah, Runjin sambo area sokoto.
Date missing: Since on the 12th of August 2015.
Name of the girl: Patience Paul
Her age: 14 years
Language spoken: Idoma
Her whereabouts: In the Sultans palace
GSM Number of the Hisbah commander’s or abductors:
1) Ilyasu Muhammed
Gsm No. 08169317038
2) Umar Dauda Gada
Gsm No. 08035584277
More Details soon]]>
He said, “People are suffering, billions of naira had been collected for their welfare but what we hear every day and what we see on the pages of newspapers is very bad. It is important that this money be disbursed immediately through the state governors.”
“Whenever we meet with our political leaders, we always tell them that we are only here to advise them and that is what we are doing here and we will continue to advise them as long as it is necessary. We will continue to advise them for the good of our people especially in the Northern part of the country.
“We believe that once problems of the North are taken up from the troubled spots or the map of troubled areas in the world, we believe Nigeria will be a better place. So we intend to discuss on issues affecting the North and also the country in general.”
The Sultan spoke at the opening of the 2nd General Assembly of the Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council in Kaduna.]]>
The property is one of two that were invaded and searched last week by the State Security Service (SSS), the other being in Abuja.
The 94 year-old Dasuki, who was famously dethroned by General Sani Abacha’s military junta in 1996, spoke with the BBC Hausa Service in London on Monday. He emphasized that his home is different from that of the retired colonel.
The older Mr. Dasuki, who is receiving treatment in the United Kingdom, told the BBC that he received news of the standoff between his son and SSS with shock.
“I am surprised at 94 how security will enter my own house and entered my wives rooms because of my son. In all my life and experience I don’t know how you will invade someone’s house because of his son,” he declared. “We are different people. Yes, he is my own son, but his house is in Abuja while mine is in Sokoto. How can you do that to me? My other children have rights in my own house.”
He noted, however, that he has yet to obtain the details of the incident, but stressed that his son is nearly 60.
“He is on his own. Why will they invade my own house?” he asked.
In a statement last Sunday, the SSS explained that it undertook the exercise following receipt of credible intelligence that the former NSA planned to commit treasonable felony against Nigeria.
Spokesman Tony Opuiyo, said the SSS had planned simultaneous searches on its two targets, but that the former NSA refused its men entry into his main residence despite being presented with a genuine and duly signed search warrant.
The former NSA, he said, used the military guards at his home to prevent the SSS operatives from performing their legitimate duty, creating a potentially dangerous situation.
“Please, recall that Sambo retired from the Army as a Colonel, and is therefore not entitled to have military guards, if not for the fact he was NSA,” he said. “Even as NSA, such guards should have been withdrawn after his removal as NSA since he would not have been entitled.”
The agency said that during the subsequent search, it recovered from Dasuki’s home sophisticated arms and ammunition, seven high caliber assault weapons, several magazines and military-related gears.
They also found 12 new vehicles that included five bullet-proof cars.
The Sultan stated this in his sallah message to the Muslim Ummah at his palace in Sokoto yesterday, adding that the perpetrators of the heinous acts were out to destroy Islam.
He enjoined Muslim ummah to continue living in peace and harmony with one another and prayed God bring an end to the bloodshed in the country.
Abubakar III also described as senseless the serial killings of villagers by cattle rustlers in the North, especially in Zamfara and Sokoto states, and called on the Federal Government to adopt stringent measures to tackle the menace in the North.
“I am appealing to the Federal Government to take proactive measures against cattle rustling in the North, especially in Zamfara and some communities in Sokoto state where people are being killed and their cattle stolen by cattle rustlers.
“There is need for traditional leaders in the North to join hands with governments in the region in order to curb the ugly trend,” the monarch said.
On western education, the monarch urged parents to enrol their children in schools to acquire both western and Islamic education.
He advised Northern governors to enact laws that would compel parents to send their children to school, saying there won’t be security when majority of youths are ignorant.
“We must ensure that parents send their children to school to acquire education because society will not be secured when majority of young people are ignorant,” the Sultan stated.
(Tunde Omolehin, Daily Sun)
Wild jubilation erupted across Nigeria on Tuesday following the victory of the All Progressives Congress candidate in the March 28 presidential election, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The 72-year-old Katsina-born former Head of State defeated incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in an epic electoral battle, winning in 21 states of the federation while Jonathan won in 15 and the Federal Capital Territory.
From the North-East to the North-Central, North-West, South-South, South-East and South-West, the young, the old, male and female trooped out to celebrate a history-making political victory in the annals of the country.
The victory marked the first time political power at the centre would shift from the conservatives to the progressives in a country, whose politics is strewn along the pathways of ethnicity, religion and corruption.
A cross-section of prominent Nigerians has, however, described the victory of Buhari, who had failed on three consecutive attempts to clinch the presidency, as the dawn of a new order for Nigeria.
Prominent among those who reacted to Buhari’s victory, were his ardent critics such as a chieftain of pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo; leader of the Oodua Peoples Congress, Gani Adams; National Chairman of the Unity Party of Nigeria, Fredrick Fasehun, among others.
However, encomiums and congratulatory messages poured in from prominent Nigerian leaders, especially members of the APC, who described the victory as deserving.
Obasanjo, Atiku react
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has congratulated Buhari over his victory at the poll, charging him to fight corruption and carry out reforms in different sectors.
Obasanjo, who noted that so much harm had already been done to many national institutions including the military,however, advised him to be magnanimous in victory.
He said, “With so much harm already done to many national institutions including the military, which proudly nurtured you and I, you will have a lot to do on institution reforms – education, health care, economy, security, infrastructure, power, youth employment, agri-business, oil and gas, external affairs, cohesiveness of our nation and ridding our land of corruption.”
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar also congratulated the winner, saying the victory symbolises national rebirth.
He said, “Your victory in the polls, with votes from across the length and breadth of our country, bears witness to the acceptance of not just our party, the APC, but also your ideology of justice, fair play and zero tolerance for corruption as the bedrock for national rebirth.”
Sultan of Sokoto
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, hailed Nigerians for coming out to peacefully vote in the presidential and National Assembly elections.
The Sultan also commended President Jonathan for calling Buhari to congratulate him on his victory at the polls.
He made the comments while speaking with Channels TV about the elections.
He said, “I have heard so many comments from so many people across the country and some parts of the world. The elections have been very peaceful in most part of the country and I have seen that the voters and electoral officials behaved very well and everything went so smoothly.”
Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, described the victory as “the best thing that can happen to a country that has endured 16 years of misrule at the centre.”
In a statement by his media aide, Semiu Okanlawon, on Tuesday, Aregbesola said, “Nigeria has finally been rescued from the jaws of death after 16 years of social, political and economic strains.”
Speaking in a similar vein, Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, described Buhari’s victory as the best thing to happen to Nigeria’s democratic experience and a signal to the end of the Peoples Democratic Party at all levels.
Amaechi, who spoke on Tuesday through his Chief of Staff, Chief Tony Okocha, explained that the PDP refused to deliver the goods to Nigerians for the past 16 years, promising that Nigerians would soon begin to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
He said, “General Buhari’s victory is no doubt the best thing that has happened to the whole of our democratic experience in Nigeria. Of course, his victory will signal the end of the PDP at all levels.”
A former National Secretary of the PDP, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, described the victory as a huge victory for democracy and for all Nigerians.
Oyinlola, a former Osun State governor, who is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the APC, said in a statement on Tuesday that “the peaceful manner change came to Nigeria showed the hand of God in the nation’s affairs.”
Congratulating the President-elect, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State said the victory signalled a new dawn in the nation’s polity
Oshiomhole, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Peter Okhiria, said, “The spread of your victory across the length and breadth of the country shows your national acceptance as the man Nigeria needs at this critical stage to reposition her from the 16 years of misrule of the PDP.”
He added, “Despite the smear campaigns against your person and candidature and the attempts to polarise the country along ethnic and religious lines, Nigerians made a bold statement by speaking through their ballots that you are, indeed, the President they want at this time of our national history.”
A former Governor of Osun State, Isiaka Adeleke, said the victory was ordained by God, adding that Buhari’s emergence was the climax of a political revolution whose time has come.
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, said by the victory he had been justified for his decision to be part of the merger that resulted in the creation of the APC.
Okorocha, who is the Chairman of APC Governor’s Forum, in a statement signed by his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo, said it “would have been disastrous for the lgbo to be excluded in the new order in Nigeria.”
A former Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, said the emergence of Buhari signposted a new beginning for Nigeria.
Fayemi, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Olayinka Oyebode, said, “History has just been made in our dear country. Nigerians have spoken. They have spoken clearly through their votes. They want a new direction and a new approach to governance and the APC government under the able leadership of General Muhammadu Buhari owes them this and more.”
A renowned professor of political economy and former presidential candidate, Prof. Pat Utomi, said the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, and President Jonathan deserved credit for a successful conduct of the presidential election on Saturday.
He said, “This election was won by the poorest of the poor and unless the government focuses on uplifting the poorest of the poor, then we have missed the road. One of the ways to do this is to determine the biggest challenges that the majority of the Nigerian people face.”
Northern Governors’ Forum
The Chairman, Northern States Governors Forum and Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, on Tuesday, congratulated the President-elect on his electoral success.
Aliyu, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Israel Ebije, said the victory of Buhari should be seen as victory for Nigeria’s democracy and the collective progress of the nation.
Aliyu also hailed President Jonathan for conceding defeat, saying history will remember him for his political maturity.
One dies celebrating in Jos
One person was killed in Bukuru area of Jos-South Local Government Area of Plateau State as jubilant youths celebrated the victory of Buhari.
One of our correspondents gathered that the youths trooped into the streets as soon as news filtered in at about 5.45 pm that Jonathan had phoned Buhari to congratulate him.
An eyewitness said that the victim died around Kugiya area of Bukuru.
Also, jubilant youths from Gangere area of Jos-North marched through Muritala Mohammad Way, singing and jubilating.
Edo declares holiday
The Edo State Government has declared today a work-free day to celebrate the victory of Buhari.
Oshiomhole, in a statement signed by Okhiria, on Tuesday, also declared a victory party, which he said would hold on the same day.
The statement read, “Meanwhile, the state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, invites the people of the state to a victory party which will hold at the Oba Ovoranmwen Square, Benin City, starting from 3pm on Wednesday, April 1.”
Wild celebrations erupted across the country on Tuesday with jubilant youths storming through cities and towns.
Sagamu, Ijebu Ode
Hundreds of Buhari supporters took to the streets of Sagamu and Ijebu Ode on Tuesday to celebrate.
In Sagamu, the party supporters thronged the party secretariat on Ewusi Street around 6pm armed with brooms amidst fanfare to celebrate Buhari’s victory.
It was celebration galore in Osogbo as youths also took to the streets. From Oke-Fia to Ola Iya to Oke Baale, hundreds of youths sang the praise of Buhari to high heavens.
Gani Adams, Fasehun, Adebanjo, Ogunlewe react
Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, has hailed the outcome of the election.
He urged Buhari to prove the Yoruba elders wrong by adhering to the tenets of democracy.
Adebanjo, who is a staunch supporter of President Jonathan, said the wishes of the people must be respected.
The 87-year-old said, “I have nothing personal against Buhari, I don’t hate the man but I cannot forget what he did in the past. He says he is now a democrat but we did not believe him. But now that he has won, he must prove us wrong by being a true democrat.”
Also speaking with one of our correspondents in a separate interview, Gani Adams, described the poll as the will of God.
Adams had promised Jonathan six million votes and was criticised for leading a protest in Lagos to drum support for Jonathan two weeks ago.
When asked what would become of the N4bn pipeline contract awarded to the OPC by the outgoing Jonathan administration, he said, “On the issue of the contract, we are all Nigerians and we fought for it. I am not an opportunist, we fought for it and we are entitled to that contract and I know Gen. Buhari knows the right thing to do at the right time.”
He said, “The contract was awarded to the OPC by the NNPC and I don’t think a change of personality in government can stop it.”
However, Fasehun, said Buhari did not have the power to terminate the contract.
He said, “The contract was awarded to the OPC by the NNPC and I don’t think a change of personality in government can stop it.”
Also speaking with one of our correspondents, a former Minister of Works, Mr. Adeseye Ogunlewe, urged Buhari, to be fair to all Nigerians and not to forget his campaign promises.
Ogunlewe, who is a chieftain of the PDP in Lagos, described the elections as a victory for democracy and Nigerians. He also thanked the people of Lagos for delivering over 600,000 votes to President Jonathan.
He said, “Nigerians have spoken and I congratulate them. Buhari must be fair to all. He should justify his victory by making Nigeria better than he met it. He must also keep the promises he made to them.”
Jonathan, who was in the Sokoto State in continuation of the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential campaign, visited the religious leader to seek his blessing.
The Sultan said it was imperative for the Federal Government to do everything within its powers to ensure that no eligible voter was disenfranchised.
He said, “Let us respect people’s wishes; let’s not try to disenfranchise anybody.
“We have had issues of the Permanent Voter Cards and I want to tell you that even myself, I don’t have a PVC, so it means I will not vote on February 14.
“So, we have to look for a way out, it is for your government to now look for what to do, how to ensure that all the cards get to the voters before the voting day or in the alternative, find a way out because for any problem there is a solution.
“We believe you will find a solution as regard this very serious hitch facing us because millions of Nigerians seem to be heading towards disenfranchisement and they won’t be able to vote. I have heard comments from the INEC Chairman, (Prof. Attahiru Jega), but we are still waiting for our cards to come.”
The religious leader expressed concerns that campaigns ahead of the general elections were taking religious colouration instead of being issue-based.
He urged all candidates to embrace peace and also caution their supporters against violence.
The religious leader urged the government to work hard to end insecurity in parts of the country.
He added, “As the leader of the Muslims in this country, I will not fail to intimate the President and his government with the problems Muslims face in this country, that is our own area of attention as Muslim leaders.
“We care about how we live as a people and we are very worried about how we are living now as a people and God Almighty who placed leadership of the country on your shoulders, we feel we must always alert you on how we have been living.
“I will say never a time in this country’s history that we face very serious challenges like what are facing now.
“The whole politicking had been turned into either religion or ethnic matters and this should not be so because we see what happens across the world.
“We are worried because religion had been brought into it, we made it very clear in 2011, there is no way religion should be part of the election campaigns or even the election itself.
“As you have seen here, I think there are more Muslims in this room than Christians and coming here now to come for prayers for success of your campaigns goes to show that as the leader of the Muslims, I have no choice than to pray for you.”
The Sultan advised the President on the need to tackle insecurity and unemployment.
“On insecurity issues facing us in all parts of country, we have heard campaign promises left, right and centre but we want to hear from our political leaders, how do you intend to resolve the security issues? How do you intend to tackle unemployment? How do you intend to tackle the rot in education?
“These are issues that should concern the various political leaders instead of mudslinging, calling each other names and whatever.
“We are very worried what we see in newspapers, watch on television and hear comments from our people, brothers and friends.
“Politics of this country have now been turned into a war, families are being divided, friends have become enemies just because of seeking for political office,” he lamented.
He wished the Jonathan’s campaign team well in its endeavours as he prayed for peaceful and fair elections.
Jonathan told the Sultan that his administration was committed to transforming the country.