Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has warned government at all levels, especially the Federal Government that things may slip from bad to worse for Nigeria if decisive steps are not taken to listen to the cries of the citizens and act on them promptly.
He spoke at the 5th coronation anniversary lecture of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, held at the Banquet Hall of Premier Hotel, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The programme, entitled: ‘Preserving our Common Heritage: Celebrating the Labour of our Heroes Past,’ was organised by the Oodua Descendants Worldwide.
The event was also attended by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III; the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I; the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero; the Oniru of Iru, the Elegushi of Ikateland, Alara of Ara and others.
The Sultan, in his address, noted the array of many traditional rulers that graced the occasion and representatives of the Oba of Benin and Emir of Ilorin, as well as political office holders on the occasion has sent a positive signal to the public space that unity in diversity of Nigeria should be emphasised.
He stated that the fact that people saw the monarchs from different parts of the country together, “means a lot, especially at this time when there so much cries; cries for division here and there and cries for do this and do that.
“I am not going to talk politics. I am not a politician. But I am the father of politicians. I can talk politics from now till tomorrow, it may not get into some people’s heads. But I know some words will get into some people’s heads, whether they like it or not.”
He also made reference to the alarm he raised on Thursday in Abuja that the Northern part of Nigeria is a dangerous place to live based on insecurity rocking the region at the moment.
Abubakar said: “If you check the papers today, almost all the papers have this very bold headlines, on what I just said on Thursday. It means some people are watching. They are listening. They are reading.
“What we want is for them to implement, act. If you listen, you will hear what people have been saying and what people are crying for. When you don’t act, then things will get worse. When things get worse, they will get worst. When they get worst, of course, it is only Almighty Allah, who will come and help us.
“So, let’s not allow that. Let’s rise up and make things change in this great country. Almighty couldn’t have made a mistake when He put this country together. And if He wants to do whatever he wants to do, He will just do it. He will separate this country, divide it into one million little pieces, and further you will need visa to go somewhere and you may not get the visa.
Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Adeyemi, who prayed for long life for Oba Ogunwusi, commended the Sultan of Sokoto for saying the truth to the authorities at the highest level in Nigeria that the Northern part of the country is the worst place to live based on protracted insecurity in the region. He also urged different ethnic groups in the country to embrace peace so that the nation could move forward.
Both Sultan and Alaafin, however, condmned the killing of a king in Ondo State on Thursday by some people suspected to be kidnappers.
Oba Ogunwusi, in his address, thanked all the traditional rulers and other representatives that honoured him with their presence on the occasion, saying: “We can see the mix of all of us that are here and that is the beauty of our dear country. Anytime we are talking about the unity of this country, that togetherness, these royal father’s are always there to support government in anything they do.”
Governors in the South West also sent representatives to the programme where they paid glowing tributes to Oba Ogunwusi.