By Umar Yusuf
YOLA â€”Â Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State has charged political and religious leaders in the northern parts of the country to imbibe the legacies of the late Premier of the defunct Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello in order to completely eliminate rampant cases of religious and ethnic riots that have bedevilled the region over the years.
“During the reign of the late Premier, there were no religious, ethnic, sectional or geo-political differences in the North. Christians and their Muslim counterparts saw themselves as their brotherâ€™s keepers and there was absolute peaceful co-existence,â€ Nyako said.
The Governor, who spoke, weekend, in Yola at the launching of Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation Appeal Fund, said since the demise of the elder statesman, the unity of purpose that hitherto held the North together had withered away completely.
â€œWhenever the late premier was performing hajj operations, he usually went along with many of his Christian staff to demonstrate how religious tolerant he was,” Nyako said.
He called on traditional and religious leaders as well as community and opinion leaders to sensitise their subjects and followers on the need for religious tolerance and the society devoid of ethnic and other primordial sentiments.
Nyako pledged that his administration would follow the footsteps of the late premier, adding that even the civil service during the period of Sir Ahmadu Bello was completely devoid of corruption, sectionalism, nepotism, favouritism and other social vices.
Guest Speaker at the ceremony, Dr. Tahir Mamman, regretted that the legacies and edifices established by the late Sardauna of Sokoto and premier of the defunct Northern Region were presently battling for survival, describing them as sick babies.
Mamman, who is the Director of Law School, Abuja told Northern leaders to rise to the challenge of maintaining and sustaining the structures left behind by the elder statesman, saying foundation appeal fund alone will not immortalizes his legacies.
About N100 million was realised as donations at the appeal fund with the highest donation of N21 million by local government councils in Adamawa State while the chief launcher, Major Jackson Bent (rtd) gave N20 million.