Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, on Thursday expressed concern over the 50,000 orphaned children in the northern region as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Sultan asked the governors of the northern states to implement the many recommendations at their disposal to tackle the security challenges in the region.
The Sultan, who is the Muslim spiritual leader, said if nothing was done about the orphans, they would turn out to be worse than Boko Haram.
He blamed the northern elites for the myriad challenges in the region, saying that only they can solve the problems.
The Sultan further condemned the Operation Shege ka Fasa’, the security initiative being promoted by the Coalition of Northern Groups.
The Sultan, who spoke at a Northern Security Meeting in Kaduna on Thursday, said: “Governors must see that they do more to address the insecurity. Just imagine that there are over 50,000 orphans who don’t know their parents. They will be worse than Boko Haram if allowed to grow without proper care.
“Several recommendations have been made but are not implemented and, as it remains unimplemented, we will continue to suffer the consequences.”
“We are not short of solutions to the challenges facing the North; what we lack is implementation.
“There was a committee set up by the Northern Governors’ Forum under Talban Minna (former Niger State Governor, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu). The committee was asked to go round the North and see how they can find solutions to the problems of the North. The committee called me and said they wanted to come and start with me before they go to other Emirs and chiefs. Then I told the committee chairman, don’t worry, I will summon all these Emirs and chiefs to Kaduna so that you can hear our submissions in one place.
“The meeting took place in here at the State House, Kawo, Kaduna, and I remember saying at the meeting that we caused our problems in the North and if we want to solve our problems, we will solve it. Nobody needs to come from anywhere to solve our problems for us. In the end, that committee finished its work, submitted its report to the Northern Governors, but what have they done with it?
“As the chairman of the Northern Traditional Rulers council, I know we have written a position paper on two occasions to the Northern Governors’ Forum and, at their meeting here in Kaduna, I personally went with Gbongon Jos, Etsu Nupe and two others, we gave them this paper. Babangida Aliyu was the chairman then; they thanked us and said they were going to work with the document. But up till now, this is 2020, I have not heard a word from anybody.
“Also on two occasions, we met with the Northern Governors’ Forum at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House and we discussed extensively on so many issues. But up till now, we have not heard anything about what the Northern Governors will be doing in collaboration with us to move the North out of the woods. We are still waiting, Hopefully, we would be invited to take part in some of the activities, because they are the ones, they own the meat and the knife.”
Sultan on ‘Operation Shege ka Fasa’
Abubakar blamed the northern elites for allowing the youth to float what they call ‘Operation Shege ka Fasa’.
“What I want talk about is the Northern Youths Coalition that just created their own security outfit with just two or three vehicles. I saw it on the the television, and the media gave them attention. Now, the elders allowed the youths to go forward. So, the elites are our problems, the elders are our problems. If the elders don’t take the lead, the youths will do whatever they like and think they are right. You have to caution these youths by giving them good leadership.
“Now, the youths have launched their own security outfit. I don’t know what they call it, Shege Ka Fasa’, meaning what?
“So, I want to call on Northern elders to caution them. Don’t allow the youths to take over leadership from you. That is why this forum is very important. You have to reach out to everybody no matter how low the person is. So, I think we need to take the bull by the horn and not allow the youth to take over responsibility. I think we need to do that and much more,” the Sultan said.