…As Sultan of Sokoto urges for action rather than talk
By Christiana Ekpa
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ajaja II, has said that the most active participants in crisis and insecurity in any society are the youths, saying that seeking for solution without them will be futile.
This was as the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’da Abubakar urged Nigerian Leaders to match their words with actions, saying talks without work is leading the country to nowhere.
The royal father stated this on Wednesday in a goodwill message at the opening of an ongoing special sumkit on national security, put together by the leadership of the House of Representatives in Abuja.
The Ooni also chides the ruling class to recognize the enormity of their inaction, even as they feel very unsafe going to their respective towns and villages, forcing them to remain in Abuja.
“In our dear country that has brought all of us together here, the youngest serving governor is only 46 years old. And we all know the demography of this country. The demography of this country above 50 all the way to the age of dependency is less than 30 per cent. But between the age of 18 and under 40, we have them in numbers of more than 70 per cent. And we are talking about security here. Who are the active participants whenever we have a breakdown of law and order? It is the average age of 18 and 39, and that is the truth.
“Are they ghosts? Are they invisible? The answer is no. They are human beings. But every time we are talking the talk, the Number 2 man, Number 3 man, Number 4 man, they are all saying the same thing the way His Eminence said it. And the participants are not faceless; they are not ghosts,” the Ooni said.
He called for a change of tactics as a natural course of action, saying that it is foolhardy to keep doing things same way and expect different outcome, adding that the youth must be engaged for solutions to come about.
“As traditional rulers, they are the most active in our system. Let us tell ourselves the truth, they are hungry and they are angry. I repeat: they are hungry and they are very angry. All of us that are here, I will be very happy if anybody can raise up their hand and say ‘I can go to my constituency, my local government area, and I can stay there in peace for one week.’ Who can do it here? Including our gatekeepers, who can do it here? Including the Senate President, including the Speaker… But you left the traditional rulers; you left district heads, the baales to continue to stay there. And you are saying all will be well in this country.
We are only building on a castle that has completely broken down. That is the foundation that will gather the most active age bracket for you in this country. You say we have 774 local governments and several wards. Where do we have the wards being put together? It is under the local government’s constituency. They are underfunded; you don’t even reference them for anything; you don’t even care about their administration. Where did we get it wrong in this country? We all have faults – all of us here”, the royal father stressed.
He said continuous talk is a waste of time and resources. “If we keep talking, we will not get any result. It is getting worse. They are getting more emboldened. They are not very bold and they are ready to face anybody because they are hungry and they are angry. Let us change our strategy,” Ooni added.
Speaking at the event, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’da Abubakar said “We were invited because we are traditional leaders, and religious leaders. We thank the House of Representatives for inviting us to this very important summit.
“The traditional leaders are partners in progress to the political leaders of this country. We don’t have any competition whatsoever as regards running the affairs of this country, because we believe in changes and when changes happen we must accept the change because only almighty Allah makes changes possible.
“If you read history books you know the traditional institution existed before Nigeria came together in 1914, before we were colonized, we’ve had Sokoto Caliphate, Oyo empire etc. the leaders were leading very well with the fear of God or Allah. But when we were colonized, we still played a role and until the 1976, the reforms that took away all the good things institution stands for. Now things are really very bad and it’s a fact. I’m happy to hear that the two leaders of the National Assembly is saying that in public. Let’s not deceive ourselves that things are alright, things are not alright and we know and we see it