Nigeria’s Major Challenges  Are Insecurity, Peace, Accountability – Sultan of Sokoto

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By; SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri

The Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad  Sa’ad Abubakar has asserted that the major and teething challenges in Nigeria as a country and developing nation are, insecurity, peace, poverty, unemployment, accountability, transparency and trust which 90 per cent of both the executive, legislative and judicial sectors of the country lack.

He added that as it is always said, without peace, there cannot be any meaningful development in the society, there cannot be development without security, while speaking  in his keynote address  at 2022 Barewa Old Boys Association (BOBA) Public Lecture and Awards Night.

The Sultan expressed this at the  2022 Annual Lecture /Dinner and Recognition Awards Event  in a public lecture as Keynote Speaker, titled, “The Challenges of Leadership and Governance in Nigeria: Looking Inwards and falling back on Indigenous  Knowledge”.

His Eminence  however, said, “throughout history, leadership has always held the key to quality of governance  where leaders capture the vision of their societies and assemble the human and material resources to realize these visions. When problems arise, leaders assemble the wisdom and then address these problems.

“It is their commitment to the welfare of the people that endears leaders to citizens and earn the trust which gives leaders  the moral capital to achieve  vision of shaping the future of their societies.

“Leaders are not necessarily the most learned in their communities, but they usually have the ability to use the knowledge available to achieve the peace and security as well as the development and prosperity of their societies 

“Good governance which represents prudence, probity, transparency, justice and equity are the major tools by which society is kept at peace, while development and prosperity flourish. 

“Peace  and security are  the foundations in which development and prosperity stand. Peace requires justice and equity as well as inclusion and respect for the other members of a plural society,” Abubakar said.

The Sultan of Sokoto further explained that it is therefore, important to emphasize good governance in any discussion on leadership, pointing out that, “the ability of leaders to ensure good governance is what defines their leadership and this requires not only knowledge, but even more importantly, character.

According to him, leaders must endeavour to keep institutions in their toes so that they achieve those  purposes of government, which include justice, peace, and development.

The Sultan of Sokoto  who is also the Acting chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT)  stood in for the substantive Chairman, Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon,  noting that the problem today in Nigeria is that  good governance is becoming increasingly  elusive  as a result of which despair and frustration are gradually setting in and building up a level that threatens  the stability of our society.

“It is in the spirit of our responsibility as leaders that I wish to draw out attention to these increasing trends  and the need to take some extraordinary measures to address them before they overwhelm us completely.

“I am particularly worried about the trend towards excessive materials in that now engulfed our politics, particularly, the leadership election processes. Our problems may be many, but their roots are few and fairly well known.

“Today this reality is echoed daily in our palaces which have been the first and sometimes the only point of call of ordinary citizens. Our development partners and our national bureau of statistics keep producing figures that are worrying.  It is important we turn a little to vision and reflect on these danger signs before they spring any more surprises like they have done recently and in the history of many societies,” Sultan said.

The religious leader emphasized that  the challenges facing leadership and governance today in Nigeria are many and vary, stressing that, “We can  here only consider the most urgent and the most consequential. Today the major challenges of leadership appears to be five  in number, namely, peace and security, accountability, trust deficit, people’s welfare and core values.”

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum in his remarks,  promised to continue to liaise and partner with the association to improve the education sector, while appreciating the association for their visit and holding of the annual public event in Maiduguri.

Zulum pledged to consult the association on how to improve the education sector of Borno State and other sectors to boost the socio-economic and political activities of the state with the emerging peace in Borno.

The National President of the Barewa Old Boys Association (BOBA), Engineer Dahiru Ibrahim acknowledged the hospitality and comfort accorded his NEC, LOC and other  members by the governor, who was their chief host,  while appreciating the state government, organizers of the event and people of Borno for their support and cooperation.

The Shehu of Borno, HRH, Alhaji Abubakar Umar Ibn  Garba El Kanemi thanked  the association for choosing to hold their 2022 annual public lecture and dinner in Maiduguri,  while appreciating His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar for the peaceful and cordial relationship that exists between the Sultanate and the Kanem Borno Empire.

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