A group of northern youths by the name Ahamadu Bello Youth Council of Nigeria recently came to Lagos to honour Sarkin Fulani of Lagos and Chairman, Association of Fulani Chiefs in South West Nigeria, Alhaji Mohammad Abubakar Bambado.
The group named conferred on Bambado the award of Ambassador of Peace and Tranquillity.
Handing over the award to Bambado, the National Director of Programmes of the youth body, Yahaya Yakubu Doma said Bambado was considered worthy due to his contribution to the development of the Nigerian society through his visionary leadership, drive, professionalism, unclouded treatment of all and sundry and his absolute humility.
Said he: “Bambado has no doubt achieved greatly in nation building, youth empowerment, focused leadership, integrity, community development, philanthropic gestures, educational development, quality assurance as well as mentorship.
“His greatest achievement, however, is evident in the people who have successfully achieved greatness through his mentorship.
“For us as youth, Bambado is the ultimate symbol of a true Nigerian where love and unity, integrity and fairness, compassion and brotherhood take a sit at the high table. He is a true representation of the Sardauna’s teachings.”
Doma said his association’s policy was firmly rooted on religious tolerance, adding that Bambado has worked with people from different walks of life without any form of biased treatment. This, he said, partly got him the award.
And talking about the humanitarian crisis in the north, Doma said education was a leading cause of underdevelopment in any society. He opined that the crisis in the region has nothing to do with its population, arguing that any society that leaves most of her youths without education would be unjust and insecure.
“We are all witnesses to the wanton destruction of lives and property by the strange bedfellows called terrorists, herdsmen, kidnappers and arm bandits that have wiped out a whole generation of youths, who are now in the graveyard. The northern part of the country has been turned into a human abattoir.”
He sought the support of the Sarkin in donating relief materials to the internally displaced persons’ camps in the northern states.
In his response, Alhaji Bambado appreciated the association for considering him worthy of the honour, even as he called for religious tolerance and a united Nigeria.
“We need to tolerate one another, both the Christians and the Muslims. Tolerance is the key; we need religious tolerance in the country.
“We don’t have a choice than to remain one. I urge politicians to have a rethink because they are the ones causing all these problems. Don’t use people’s children to settle your differences while your children are abroad.
“I would like religion and ethnicity issues to come to an end. We are calling on the government to seriously engage the youths.”
He said, along with his cabinet members, certain things were already being done to ensure that acts of criminality among the youth were tackled through empowerment programmes.
“You can see that criminality and insecurity have been tackled in Zamfara State and I would like other state governors to borrow a leaf from what Zamfara State Governor is doing, to engage with bandits. It was done during Ya’Adua era, during the Niger Delta issue and they were granted amnesty. If that will bring peace, I think the government should do that.
“If they are ready to dialogue and embrace peace, why not? That is what is working in Zamfara State. Then we are calling on the government to seriously invest in our youths so that criminality will stop.”