Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, has attributed the situation of the country to bad leadership.
Speaking in Kaduna on Sunday at a national conference on the ‘Role of Muslim scholars in fostering unity, peace and security in Nigeria,’ in Kaduna, the Sultan, who decried the way and manner terrorism was being ascribed to Islam in some parts of the world, especially Nigeria, lamented that “so many things are going wrong in this country” because of bad leadership.
He warned that unless Nigerians learnt to stop making their leaders to believe that they were always right, things would continue to get worse.
“No leader is ever right. So many things have gone wrong in this country and they are still going wrong. So many things are not working because our leaders refuse to allow them to work,” the Sultan, who is also the Jama’atul Nasril Islam President-General, said.
According to him, the JNI is therefore “committed to ensuring that whichever leaders God Almighty blesses us with do what is right and we must tell them when they go wrong.”
Abubakar wondered why Islam was always singled out whenever criminal activities linked to religion took place and challenged Muslim leaders to wake up and ensure that the negative labelling was corrected.
“We refuse to accept time without number whenever any violence takes place anywhere in the world, if committed by a Muslim, you will hear Islamic terrorist or Muslim terrorist or Islamic fundamentalist. But when worse violence is perpetrated by somebody who is not a Muslim, we don’t hear the same coinage or the same factionalisation of the same criminal activity linking it to that particular religion.
“And we believe so many criminal activities have taken place in the name of so many other religions, but Islam has always been singled out.”
He therefore charged Muslim leaders in the North to wake up from their slumber and be united to confront the challenges facing the Muslim community.
“We will not allow anybody to stop us from being Muslims because that is what God brought to us and that is what we chose to be. We will not allow anybody to turn our lives upside down.
“I believe it is high time we put aside so much differences in understanding of Islam; put aside the so-called promise of big mannism; put aside hatred that permeates people’s hearts; and put aside personal interests. Put Islam above all, and if you do so, we will find the end of all the problems facing us.”
Abubakar pointed out that “what is happening in the Northern part of the country is an unfortunate incident which has been forced on us, maybe for so many reasons or maybe the Almighty Allah (God) wants to correct our ways.”
Delivering the lead paper at the gathering, a university lecturer, Prof. Shehu Galadanchi, blamed the security situation in some parts of the North on the failure of Muslim scholars to discharge their religious and moral obligations effectively to their followers.
“It goes without saying that our entire country in general and particularly the Muslim areas are currently facing serious security challenges. Could these challenges be the result of the preponderance of the Ulama UlSu’u and the failure of the few Ulama us Sunnah to discharge their religious and moral obligations effectively and efficiently?
“The truth of the matter is that whichever factors we consider as the root causes of the current security challenges, whether it be ignorance, poverty, injustice or failure of the political class, it is obvious that our ulama can be squarely blamed either for their failure to prevent such factors in the first place or their inability to directly intervene and address the problems when they appeared,” Galadanchi said.
Also speaking at the event, Kaduna State Governor Mukhtar Yero cautioned Muslim scholars against provocative preaching during the Ramadan, noting that it would be unfortunate for any Muslim scholar to allow his sense of reasoning to be taken over by sentiment, to the extent of sowing seeds of discord and acrimony based simply on difference of religion or sect.
“Muslims are expected to live exemplary lives of peace, love and humility as propagated and practised by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),” he said.
Yero added that Muslim scholars must be committed to preaching peace to the people in order to bring lasting peace to the country.