Many things are giving the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, sleepless nights. The revered monarch and head of Nigeria’s Muslim faithful is pained to the marrows.
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He has every reason to be worried. He has seen enough: The good, the bad and the ugly. Now he is seeing the absurd, the weird and the awkward. The more he sees, the more he becomes sad. His endurance was fast wearing out and he displayed it.
He was practically forced to voice out the other day. And he did it in grand style, known only to nobles and royals. He was profound in his pronouncement. He neither mixed nor missed words.
He succinctly slammed the Federal Government for lack of coordination and the nation’s security agencies for not working for a common purpose. The Sultan should know; he is a retired Army General.
That is why he could wonder aloud: The centre can no longer hold. Things are rapidly and rabidly falling apart. The situation is under serious alarm almost getting out of control.
This has evidently put the respected royal father in great pain and agony at the same time. He is convinced things are not right with Nigeria and Nigerians. He was tired of watching from Sokoto.
He was excruciating on how to wriggle out of the hopeless situation. He was in deep thought looking for a way out. Things must not continue this bad way. Just then, a golden opportunity landed without asking! He was half-relieved.
It was the National Dialogue for Democratic Stability, held, at the instance of the Alumni Association of the National Institute, Abuja. He knew time was not on his side. Promptly, that Tuesday, the Sultan made his way to Abuja, the seat of power, to register his displeasure. There, he struck the cord:
“I cannot say things are right with Nigeria; things are not right with Nigeria. We all know that and that’s why we have these kidnappings, killings everywhere, everywhere you find a community.”
He was specific in picking a damning sampler: “One of the saddest things that have happened in the last five days is the killing in Kaduna. If you know how these killings started, you would feel so bad.”
He opined: “It is not a religious crisis; it was caused by people who don’t have jobs, they are hungry, they want to lead a good life.” His reason for the crisis:
“You would find that all that took place was the looting of shops, that’s all, nothing more. There was no burning of churches and mosques. People were going about killing people, breaking cars. As we inch closer to elections, we are going to get worse scenarios.”
It is happening already and on daily basis. We are literally under siege. The Kaduna killing was just an ugly example of the many things that are not right with and in Nigeria. So many of these awkward scenarios happened before. The list is legion.
One of the legions of mess is the level of impunity being displayed at the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Its enfant terrible Executive Secretary, Prof. Yusuf Usman, is the mastermind of the unholy act. This is certainly one major reason things are not right with us. And it is making us to bleed profusely.
Definitely such irritation would nauseate one. It cannot make anyone, not even the Sultan happy. It is disgusting and embarrassing that royal father like the Sultan lives in such a country. It saddens the heart.
The impunity at NHIS is appalling; it is becoming more disgusting. It is gradually turning to repulsive immunity. What audacity! Forget the after-thought suspension. It is a fluke, an unwise decoy.
We have walked the familiar terrain before. We have seen it happen in recent times. Remember ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), David Babachir Lawal? His Babachirgate is still staring us in the face.
A huge sack is hung on his neck. Yet, he walks the street freely as if nothing grievous has happened. He equally pours out with the reckless impunity ever, as if nothing awful is at stake.
Such affront would sicken a decent and esteemed Sultan. It would obviously turn off any worthy and concerned traditional ruler. Of course, Sultan Sa’ad is one. He has adequately demonstrated that trait over the years. That is why he is at great pain.
The monarch is not done yet. He is displeased with the security agencies. And he really came down hard on government for the large (gap) in coordination and laxity in security network.
His damning posers: “Who coordinates (security)? Is it the Office of the SGF? Is it the NSA (National Security Adviser) who coordinates national security? Is he really coordinating national security? That is a big question too.”
He did a timely follow-up: “There is a disjoint between the security agencies’ leadership and the followers. The intelligence agencies are also working at different levels, so we continue to have this problem.” These are open truths!
Yet, the constituted and concerned authorities are not adequately addressing the issues. They turn deaf ears to our cries by churning out half-truths or, in some cases, blatant and white lies. They opt to trivialise our sacred future with frivolities. Yes, the on-going drama; “Presidential WAEC Result” (apologies to Casmir Igbokwe, Daily Sun, November 5, 2018) is one the of flippancies.
The earlier we put all these behind us, the better for us and coming generations. We need to clear the mess(es) before we plunge ourselves head-long into the general elections very early next year.
Already, electioneering is at our doorstep. The kick-off is later this month. This build-up is glaringly alarming and damaging.
The more reason we must heed the wisdom of the Oracle from the Caliphate. The Sultan wholeheartedly spoke our mind!