…Address poverty, insecurity for sustainable unity, Sultan tells leaders
…Those troubling Nigeria’s peace’ll be fished out, Buhari vows
…Shocked that only 2.5% of nation’s arable land is cultivated
…As Zulum seeks support to end insurgency
By Ndahi Marama, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Luminous Jannamike & Ibrahim Wuyo
The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, SCIA, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, yesterday asked the Federal Government and other leaders in the country to fear Allah and support the citizens to come out of hardship and insecurity.
His call came on a day Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, reminded all governments in Nigeria, especially the Federal Government to live up to their responsibility for the good of Nigerians.
According to ACF, Nigerians are unsafe and hungry and, therefore, need deliverance from these challenges.
The Sultan in his Sallah message in Sokoto State, said the existing hardship in the country was of great concern, adding that proper measures were required to address it.
“Nigeria leaders need to strategise, put more measures in place to address our level of poverty and insecurity, as such will further sustain the unity and peaceful co-existence that is in existence in the country.
“It is no longer a story but a reality, people are in dire need of the leaders’ commitment to addressing the high rate of poverty, insecurity, and hunger among other numerous challenges.
“Therefore, leaders should fear Allah and shoulder their responsibilities in order to enhance Nigerians’ living conditions,” he said.
ACF chief, Ogbeh
On its part, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, tasked governments to take Nigerians out of the poverty and insecurity that currently confront the.
ACF National Chairman, Chief Audu Ogbeh,who made the call in a Sallah message, said from the local governments through the states to the Federal Government, the primary responsibility of government was to protect life and property.
He said the best time to remind the government was at Eid-El-Adha because they took an oath to protect all the lives and property of Nigerians.
Chief Ogbe said: “I wish to, on behalf of myself and ACF, congratulate all Nigerian Muslims on this special occasion of Eid-El-Adha, a special Sallah occasion that is being solemnly observed world wide.
‘Nigeria is celebrating this Sallah with mixed feelings because of the activities of bandits, kidnappers, terrorists, armed robbers and those waging a war to tear the country apart.
“As a result of the sundry activities and the COVID-19 pandemic, hunger is looming and prices of foodstuffs are already beyond the common man.
”As we celebrate this occasion we urge the Muslim Ummah to pray for peace to return to our beloved country, Nigeria.
“Christians and other believers too should join the Muslims in praying for the people and government of Nigeria. This is a call to national duty that goes beyond religious boundaries.
“ACF is worried that farmers, particularly northern farmers, have not had a good farming season last year and this year because of the criminal activities of bandits and the terrorist; frequent clashes have made farming a very frightening and hazardous exercise.’’
Apparently responding to the calls by the Sultan and ACF, President Muhammadu Buhari vowed that his administration would do everything possible to fish out those troubling the peace of the nation and its citizens.
Buhari, who gave the warning in Daura, Katsina State, yesterday, also expressed surprise that only 2.5 per cent of arable lands in the country was being cultivated.
The President in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, urged more Nigerians to embrace farming.
Prez Buhari’s take
Shehu in the statement said that President Buhari told newsmen at his residence, after the Eid-el-Kabir prayers, that the Presidential Economic Advisory Council had notified him that only a small percentage of the land in the country had been used for farming, directing security agencies to work more with communities to create a more friendly environment for farmers.
The statement read: “The President mandated security outfits to be more relentless in maintaining peace in the country, and ensure a more harmonious relationship with communities, so they can glean intelligence.
“He said the security situation had improved considerably over time in the North East and South South, and that efforts were being made in North Central and North West, assuring that more will be done to fish out those that had been troubling the peace of the nation and citizens.”
Earlier at the prayer ground, the Emir of Daura, Faruk Umar Faruk, called on citizens to be more supportive of the President, so he could actualize his vision of improving security and boosting the economy.
“Since the President came into power, we have seen some positive changes in the country. May God continue to strengthen the President with good health and courage to bring peace to the country,’’ he said.
Borno gov, Zulum
Also in his Sallah message, Borno State governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, sought the support of Nigerians and the international community to end insurgency in the state.
The Ramat Square Eid ground in Maiduguri was filled to capacity yesterday as Muslim faithful trooped out en masse to pray.
Addressing stakeholders and members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, who accompanied Governor Zulum to Government House after the two Rakaat prayers, Senator Ali Ndume, who spoke on behalf of the governor, solicited support from all and sundry to continue to pray for restoration of peace in the state and the country as a whole.
He also expressed gratitude to security agencies and the people of the state for conducting themselves in an orderly manner which led to the peaceful Eid-el -Kabir celebration.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, Alhaji Usman Mahdi Baderi, also extended his appreciation to the Almighty Allah (SWA) for sparing lives to witness yet another important occasion of Eid- el- Kabir at a very tough time in the history of Nigeria.
In a statement yesterday in Maiduguri, Baderi said; “My sincere regards and best wishes to the good people of Borno State in this season.
“May Allah SWA accept from us all forms of worship and the just concluded animal sacrifice. May we draw lessons from the teachings of our religion of Islam and Christianity that will continue to inspire us at all times and keep us enduring.”
Katsina’s gov, Masari
In his message, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State called on leaders to promote peace and unity among various nationalities, irrespective of ethnic, religious, and political affiliations.
“As leaders, we must emphasise things that would promote peace, unity, and mutual coexistence among the people,” he said.
The governor stressed that no nation would develop in an atmosphere of differences and crises.
He said that collective efforts were required to tackle the current security challenges facing the country as the government alone could not do it.
Gov Ganduje of Kano
Kano state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje urged Muslims to pray for peace, unity, and stability in the country.
Ganduje also called on Nigerians to continue to pray against insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, and other forms of criminality in the country.
“I also urge Muslims to remain steadfast and imbibe honesty and peaceful coexistence,” he said.
The governor advised the residents to abide by all the COVID-19 protocols while celebrating the Eid-el-Kabir.
He congratulated the five Emirs and people of the state on successful and peaceful Eid and thanked the Almighty Allah for His innumerable mercies that made it “possible to witness the blessed day.”
In his sermon, the Chief Imam of Kano, Prof. Sani Zahradeen, urged the Muslim faithful to pray for an end to insecurity in the country.
Zahradeen admonished Muslims to use the teachings of Eid to promote love and brotherhood as well as live in peace with one another.
The Chief Imam also advised the people of the state irrespective of their religion to observe all COVID-19 protocols and pray against the spread of the disease.