Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III has berated the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for failing to live up to its responsibilities in curbing the constant clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers.
Speaking at the Northern Traditional Rulers General Assembly 2017 in Kaduna, the Sultan stressed that the prevailing security situation in the country is a result of government’s failure to live up to its responsibilities.
According to him, any Nigerian who takes up arms to kill another person is a criminal and must be treated as such, no matter his tribe or religion.
Speaking at the opening session, before the traditional rulers went into a closed-door session, the Sultan who is also the chairman of the Northern Traditional Rulers said:
“Our comments are meant to alert our political leaders to their responsibilities of what they should do. When we don’t do that, Almighty God will ask us on the day of judgement, that is why we keep on talking about this, and we will never call on anybody to take up arms.
“As a Fulani leader, I am the leader of Fulani in this country, and in the West African sub-region, I live with so many people and I know their problems, and I will never call on any Fulani to pick up arms to kill anybody.
“I have said it so many times at so many fora; those people picking up arms and killing people are criminals and whoever you are, whether you are Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba or Fulani, you have no right to take up arms and kill anybody.
“If you see such things happening, then they must be a failure of government. But if governments wake up to their responsibilities, some of these things will not happen.
The Sultan pledged to continue advocating for everyone to maintain peace and allow the constituted authority take up these issues He also vowed to continue pressuring authorities until they find a solution to the dastardly acts.
At the event, Abubakar also addressed other pressing issues bothering on women and youths, as well as the drug abuse menace, which he said are getting out of hand.
“We will discuss this during the meeting to see how we can assist our various authorities on how to bring this to the minimum level.
“The abuse of drugs by women and youth is a very serious issue; we will discuss that and other insecurity issues affecting this country,” he said.
On the Boko Haram crisis, the Sultan said: “We will also discuss issues concerning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) because I was told about a survey made recently and there are about 50,000 orphans in each of the camps; children who don’t know who their parents are.
“If we allow those children to grow up in the IDP camps without knowing who their parents are, then we have a big problem in our hands.
“Nobody will later know of their whereabouts. This is among the issues we are to discuss, and the possibility of some of us adopting them, after discussion with various government officials in their various camps, we will know how we can take some of them as our own children. We have started doing that, we have taken 150 children, and we will educate them to the highest level. We will call on others interested to do that as well.”
Addressing the delegation from the South, the Sultan said: “We will discuss some of those issues that are of concern, like all the herdsmen/farmers’ clashes, the various irresponsible killings of innocent women and children that people don’t want to talk about – we must talk about these things and we call on the governors never to keep away those things from their table. We cannot keep such things under the carpet because if we do that, we are encouraging more of such dastardly acts to be carried out by others.”
Those present at the event included all the state chairmen of Council of Traditional Rulers from the 19 Northern states and Abuja with representatives from the South-East, South-South and South-West. A communiqué is expected at the end of the general meeting.