Our problems in the North are self-inflicted - Sultan

Sultan of Sokoto Dr. Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar III on Monday blamed the present insecurity and other problems facing the North on the region itself.

He said the present security and developmental challenges facing Northern Nigeria was self inflicted by northerners themselves.

According to him, dialogue with any aggrieved party will always remain the only solution rather than violence or force, stressing that the problem of the North will remain the problem of the entire country and therefore the region can not be left with its problems.

Speaking in Kaduna at a Peace and Reconciliation Committee meeting set up by the Northern States’ Governors’ Forum, Sultan Abubakar said, “Let us sit and talk freely and articulate positions that will bring us out of the quagmire we put ourselves. It is important that religious and traditional rulers from our various states sit together, so that each and everyone of us will talk freely for us to articulate a position as the way out of this problem we find ourselves.

We northerners have put ourselves in a quagmire, because whatever that is happening in the North is our own doing. This was because we did not do what we are supposed to do. And since we know that, we have to solve our problems ourselves. So, I think, it is not a bad idea that the committee was set up.

“We wrote a memo of about nine pages or thereabouts covering various issues affecting the country and the north in particular to the then acting president and now president Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan… it was at the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) where we suggested solutions to the problems.

“Northern Council of Traditional Rulers met and also articulated solutions to problems of the north to the northern governors, but we don’t know what happened to the recommendations at the various authorities.

“If our recommendations had been implemented, we would have been singing a different tune in handling the challenges.”

On the issue of trying to Islamize the country as insinuated in some quarters, the Sultan said no person can either Islamize of Christianize the country. “If anybody thinks he can Islamize or Christianize the country, he must be dreaming,” he stated, adding that politicians must have the fear of God in whatever they do: “If they want to solve the problem of this country they will, because they have the resources to do so.

“There is little religious leaders can do without the support of the constitutional right to do certain things, but we must always watch our utterances and in making comments you cannot substantiate.”