The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, has urged Nigerians to pray for the incoming administration to succeed in steering the affairs of the country.
The Sultan who was speaking during a roundtable engagement with traditional and religious rulers on Wednesday in Abuja said everyone should know that a new administration would take over on May 29 “whether they like it or not.”
The event organized by the World Bank was to fashion a way out to increase human capital development in the country especially, the girl child education.
The Sultan, who was urging attendees not to abandon the advocacy of ending child marriage and other impediments to the growth of the girl when they get to their community said: “There must be change because in the next few days or weeks there will be a new government, what can we contribute to that government to stabilize?
“Whether anybody likes it, it must take place, a new government is coming on 29 May, so what can we do besides prayers because we believe in Almighty, we believe in God that gives and takes.
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“After that so what? What do we do to help the government stabilize and move the country forward?”
He added that it is an opportunity for religious and traditional leaders to work together for the betterment of the country.
“Let us continue to work as one big family with different mothers and fathers or whatever it is, but our main father and mother is Nigeria. As religious leaders, there must be equity and justice in whatever is being done and that is what I think we need to talk about the most,” Sultan said.
While explaining the efforts the leaders undergo for the development of their communities, he said, “We cater for thousands of people to go to schools but we don’t come out to say it. This is a forum where an example is brought for people to know how others can key into this. Some of our big men have so much that I don’t know what they will do with the money if they live 100 or 1,000 years and will not spend N1 of N1m of it, what will they do with it? How can they come out and help, such organizations or groups and individuals who are spending a lot to help our communities.”
He added, “Of course, our health care system, you know what it is, if a big man has a headache, he goes to London to take Panadol and comes back, it is a fact. So many of our governors built so many clinics, nothing is there but littered with rats but in the books, you have built 1,000 clinics in your state, it is a fact. These are things we are seeing.
“I am not mentioning anybody but giving a general view, so let no governor come and pick me and say Sultan has criticized me. I am not criticizing anybody. I am making a critique which is different from criticizing, so people should know that. You can critique an issue so that people will be better. We don’t criticize anybody because we have access to these people to sit down one on one, that is what we have been doing.”
He added that the religious and traditional institutions are bulwark to a progressive growth in the country as such must be accorded due respect.
“We are the most respected religious and traditional leaders and there is nothing anybody can do about it. That is why you see political candidates coming to our palaces to seek our prayers. I am sure many of our colleagues here must have seen so many politicians wanting to be Senate President or Speaker of the House going to your palaces or comfort zones to say, pray for me that I am the best candidate.
“We see this every day, so these institutions are the most prominent and productive for anybody who wants to be in a place where he wants to hold this country. So this country must hold these two together.”