Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III yesterday challenged President Muhammadu Buhari and governors to bring insecurity in the country to an end.
The Sultan, who is the spiritual head of Nigerian Muslims as leader of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), spoke in Sokoto after the Eid prayer.
He said: “We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, and all the state governors to, as a matter of urgency, bring to an end insecurity across the country.
“As our leaders, you should continue to remain resolute and more committed to your various responsibilities of protecting the society.
“Therefore, you should enhance your commitment toward the restoration of the peaceful nature our country was long known for.”
The Sultan also urged Muslims to continue to pray for their leaders to be able to shoulder the numerous responsibilities placed on them.
He urged Muslims to continue to sustain the spirit of charity, generousity, hospitality and brotherhood that Eid-El-Filtr symbolises.
“Today is a great day for all of us to celebrate, show love, support and relate with one another, as such we should sustain the commitment for our best desire.”
In Abuja, after the Eid prayer at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa, President Buhari said the government was doing its best to address the security challenge.
He said: “With the resources and manpower available to us, we are working very hard. We are hoping Nigerians will understand the problem. Nigerians know at what stage we came in in 2015, what state we are today both on security and the economy and we are doing our best.”
The President commended the National Assembly for its support, saying “the National Assembly is cooperating very well. Within the resources available, they are certainly giving us priority on our (military) requests.”
The President added: “The elite should make the attempt to understand the military. If we order for weapons and armoured vehicles, it takes time for the manufacturers. It takes time to ship them and when brought here eventually, they are taken to training institutions, train the trainers before sending them to the field. This is a very long process.”
He appealed, saying: “I expect Nigerians to be more understanding on the issues involved, looking at time and available resources. For example, when we came in, in the Northeast, ask people in Adamawa and Borno States and the South-South in terms of security.
“Without security, you can’t do anything. Our big surprise and disappointment is what is happening in the Northwest and we are dealing with it.”
President Buhari is optimistic that with the efforts being made by his government, security will improve to enable farmers return to the land to ensure that food security is not threatened.
The President, who hoped for a good rainy season this year, said “the law enforcement agencies are working hard to regain confidence against bandits, so that we can go back to the land. This is very important. This is what the agencies are busy doing right now. We want people to go back to the land so that we can get enough food for the country and even export.”