A MEASURE OF THE TIMES

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Sa’ad Abubakar

 Monday comment 1

 It’s only sensible to heed the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad’s wake-up call, writes Tola Adeniyi

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad has told President Muhammadu Buhari and other office holders to fix the country. In a report carried by WAP CHRIS with a screaming headline, Nigeria is Sinking, the Sultan was quoted as speaking in ‘strong tone’ on Friday, October 6 during the Independence Day Lecture held at the National Mosque, Abuja.

The report is worth quoting in full: “Expressing worry about unemployment and fate of youths in Nigeria, Abubakar quipped: “What is government doing about this?” He said Nigeria was plagued with many issues of governance and other socio-economic challenges in spite of her endowment with human and natural resources.

“We should search ourselves where we are, right now. Are we in the Nigerian nation of our dream? Can 200 million people say ‘yes’ this is the country we desire? It is a question for which I don’t have answers,” THISDAY quoted him as saying.

“Referring to Buhari [represented by the FCT minister, Muhammad Musa Bello] and other office holders the Sultan said ‘governance is not one man show’.  It is for us to come together and move the country forward. As Muslims, we know the import of leadership. We should not be shy to ask our leaders to do the just and be just in handling the affairs of our people. He lamented the leadership failure was the reason Nigerian youths embark on perilous migration to Europe, with many of them in the desert and the Mediterranean Sea.

“The monarch noted that if Nigerian youths were gainfully engaged, they would not be at risk of xenophobic attacks in South Africa, and the urge to migrate abroad would be diminished. His words: “Our youths should be our pride. I say yes and no. Some of them have excelled all over the world in all fields of human endeavor and have won laurels. At the same time, some involve in criminality like banditry, insurgency and Advance Fee Fraud. What pushed them into this, we must find out and correct. What is government doing about this?

“There was a programme by the previous government of Goodluck Jonathan which built school buildings across the country? What happened to that programme? Government should revive the programme and bring children in the streets to school. Some of the children are victims of hunger and are looking for food. Islam does not allow begging, he stated.”

Sultan Abubakar is not a careless talker and he is one monarch who weighs every word before he utters it and he must have been at pains with the ugly direction the Buhari regime is pushing Nigeria to. Even as head of a Presidential Security Unit of the Armoured Corps that guarded President Ibrahim Babangida, Brigadier General Abubakar was reputed to be fearless officer who would speak his mind on any issue without fear or favour. Characteristically quiet, even taciturn, Abubakar enjoyed the admiration and respect of all his colleagues and superiors as a bridge builder who cared less for ethnicity, religious orientation or other colourisations. Humanity was all he cared about.

It is hoped that those who are privileged to be the temporary power wielders in Nigeria would heed Sultan Abubakar’s warning.

There is no doubt that Nigeria is at the last lap of her descent into the abyss and will certainly not recover therefrom if the thick necks and swollen heads who are currently pushing her into the precipice reject the admonitions of those who wish the country well. It is perhaps the cry of eminent rulers, like the Sultan that has prompted me to once again comment on the dying country.

It will be a boring repetition to attempt to catalogue the many woes which the current direction has foisted on Nigeria and her suffering peoples. Are we going to start from unceasing corruption, the deceit, the well-crafted deception, the wrongheaded agenda of importing foreigners to invade the country with view to driving indigenous peoples into the Ocean, the suffocating arrogance and arrant condescension of people in power, the nauseating opulence of those who have cornered the people’s commonwealth or the total destruction of the unity of the various nationalities in the land?

The Sultan has given the wake-up call and it is left to those who have ears to hear. Nobody in the space called Nigeria can beat his/her chest and say that he or she is happy or safe. People throughout the length and breadth of the country are living in perpetual fear and any one, anybody can be consumed by the orgy of orchestrated violence and criminality that have seized the soul of the land. Productivity is dead. Honesty is dead. Trust is dead. Humanity is dead. Cherished values are dead. Life has become one brutish hell.

The serious pity is that those who are supposed to do something about the looming anarchy are living in self-denial and have shared accommodation with the ostrich. Let as many Sultans as there are raise their voices as Sultan Abubakar has done, let all the voices in the land echo Abubakar’s cry, and let it be drummed into the ears of those who have found themselves on the drivers’ seats do something, TODAY, because tomorrow may be too late.

Adeniyi is a former managing director of Daily Times