The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has declared that there is no problem in the world except that there is a solution.
Sultan Abubakar made this declaration in his remarks while receiving in audience the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, who visited the Gidan Sariki, Sultan’s Palace in Sokoto, on Friday.
The nation’s number one trado-religious leader said what leaders and followers should look for was their level of honesty and that, once people tell themselves the truth and are honest in dealing with their collective problems, they would overcome their problems.
The leader of Nigeria’s over 90 million Muslims therefore urged all religious leaders in the country to come together and collectively preach against violence before, during and after elections as 2019 electioneering season moves to a start.
In what appeared to be his attempt to correct impression that challenges being cried over Christians or one part of the country, the Sultan said told Nigerians through the opportunity afforded him by the Bishops’ visit to him that what affects one also affects others and that what is not okay for one side is also not okay for the other and therefore encourage religious leaders to stop using religion as cover up to satisfy their selfish interest.
“We must tell ourselves the truth and speak the truth always. Everything is not okay in Nigeria. Let’s stop hiding under religion, ethnicity or region. I know we have problems in Nigeria. Let’s not deceive ourselves,” he stated.
He noted: “There is no fight between Christianity and Islam but, maybe disagreement between Muslims and Christians. But we must try and fish out extremists in our midst. Though, you cannot completely fish out bad
eggs from the society, but we should continue in doing our part to ensure a peaceful country.”
The trado-religious leader pointed out: “No society that is made up 100 percent saints. We have our problems and challenges. But we should collectively try and overcome them. As leaders, we must try and work for peace. No problem in this world that defies solution unless we are not honest. If not, we will overcome the problems.”
The Sultan harped on unity saying, “We must also educate our followers that despite the challenges, we belong to one God Almighty but chooses to worship God in different ways,” he said.
The royal father called on Nigerians to stop hiding under the cover of religion to perpetuate evils.
He noted that many leaders use religion to better their lives. “We must remember that as leaders, we must work for peace.”
He also spoke against killing of innocent people in the name of religion saying, “People have wrong notion of Jihad. You cannot kill people pretending you are fighting for God. You are simply deceiving yourself. Jihad does not entail that,” he asserted, adding that “God did not create you to fight for Him.”
He urged: “We should however look at the too many things that bind us together and try to take our religion back from the enemies who are bent on using the religion to commit crimes”.
Earlier, National President Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, Arch Bishop Augustine Akubeze, lauded the Sultan for his roles on interfaith peace and peaceful coexistence in the country.
Also speaking, Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Cardinal Anthony Onaiyekan noted the need for peace amongst religious leaders and for them to work towards ensuring peaceful coexistence.
He asked: “If we cannot get peace amongst religious leaders, how can we get peace amongst the people?”
In a remark, Bishop of Catholic Dioceses of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah, acknowledged the Sultan’s cordiality to all irrespective of religion and other leanings.