Vice President Osinbajo Pride Of Nigeria – NSCIA

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has been described as the pride of Nigeria by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) on Friday.
Prof. Osinbajo who gave a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the General Assembly of NSCIA was praised for his commitment to the country.

Ishaq Oloyede, Secretary General of NSCIA said Prof. Osinbajo has successfully combined his religious commitments with public administration, something that is worth emulating.

“He is a model of a person combining religious commitment with public administration. He has done that creditably well. Mr. Vice President we want to thank you on behalf of the Muslim community of this country. You are a pride to this nation, we thank you and pray that God will continue to be with you,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, President-General of NSCIA and Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, applauded the Vice President for his leadership, which he said was given to him by God.

“We have the privilege of having the Vice President here who is a pastor, and I am pleased that he is here to listen to the comments we will make and to listen to him giving the keynote speech, which I believe he will say a lot having known him for some time.

“He has leadership given to him by the lord God Almighty, it is a trust and responsibility and he is here in his capacity as VP and we invited him to give the keynote speech as VP of Nigeria and he accepted to be here,” the Sultan of Sokoto said.

Prof Salisu Shehu, Deputy Secretary General of NSCIA praised the Vice President for gracing the event. “I believe as you have graciously accepted to be here to honour this event by coming personally, I believe that when resolutions are presented to you, we are sure that you’d give the necessary executive support to those resolutions.”

In his keynote address, Osinbajo commended the NSCIA for bridging the religious gap in Nigeria. “This Council is of particular importance to us as a nation because it not only promotes solidarity among Nigeria’s Muslims but also serves as an important intermediary between the government and the Muslim community and between Muslims and persons of other faiths.

“As the highest decision-making body of the Council, I offer to you this morning, both a commendation and a challenge.

“First, the commendation to you for the great leadership you have shown in galvanizing the Muslim community in Nigeria despite denominational differences. But also, for making the Council available for the promotion of interfaith peace, and religious tolerance in Nigeria.

“The challenge stems from the theme of this meeting which is “Islam and National Development.” Permit me to put the topic in context so that we do not miss the essence of the topic. So, I recast the theme to read as follows quote, “The Role of Islam in the Development of a Multi-religious and Multi-ethnic Nation.” This is the gravamen of the matter and I believe my brother, Isa Pantami (Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy who delivered the keynote address) did an excellent job.

“Decades ago in this same country, it would not have been a major topic. Leaders in the first republic did not consider religious intolerance as a major national issue, they were more concerned about the issues that touched everyone regardless of religion or ethnicity; they were concerned about providing food, shelter, education and decent livelihoods. But today, no true leader can ignore the threat that religious bigotry and intolerance poses for the development of our nation. That is just the way it is.

“But it is my respectful view that the burden of ensuring that faith promotes national development as opposed to impeding it is on leaders. This is the challenge I pose to you today.

“A few months ago, at an interfaith gathering, I told the story of an occurrence on the 20th of June 2018. Christians in their village Nshar Yelwa, Plateau State were attacked by a horde of persons who were said to be Muslims, who had attacked other villages and had killed several Berom farmers who were mainly Christians.

“As Imam Abdullahi was finishing mid-day prayers, he and his congregation heard gunshots and went outside to see members of the village’s Christian community running helter-skelter. Instinctively, the Imam ushered 262 Christians into the mosque and some into his home next to the mosque.

“The Imam then went outside to confront the gunmen. He refused to allow them to enter, pleading with them to spare the Christians inside the mosque and his home. When the assailants were adamant, he told them that they would have to kill him first if they were going to kill the Christians, he had given refuge. They eventually left without killing any of the Christians in the mosque or in his home. Imam Abdullahi’s selflessness and sacrifice saved the lives of hundreds of people of a faith different from his own.

“Imam Abdullahi not only refused to give up the Christians he had given refuge; he even offered his life in exchange for theirs. His moral courage is rooted in a profound recognition of our common humanity. His compassion, empathy and selflessness are an example to us as people of faith.”

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2019: Politicians Creating Tension In The Country – Sultan

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, has expressed worry over the unnecessary tension created by politicians in the build up to the 2019 general elections.

The Sultan, who spoke at the second general assembly of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) in Abuja yesterday condemned the way some clerics predict the winners of elections, saying the trend could cause a crisis, especially if the proclaimed candidate loses.

According to him, since religious leaders know that power comes from God, they should pray that their preferred candidates win rather than sell out to vote seekers.

He said: “As religious leaders, we should be careful about what we say to our followers in churches and mosques, bearing in mind that we will all, one day, stand before Allah and account for our deeds. We should never allow ourselves to be used by any political party or candidate. If you want to support any party or candidates, do it personally.

“Religious leaders should preach love for one another and do whatever they do with the fear of God. President Buhari has given assurances that the elections will be free and fair. But are the security agencies and politicians ready?”

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Sultan Directs Muslims To Look For New Moon Of Dhul Hijjah

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has directed the Muslim Ummah to look for the new moon of Dhul Hijjah 1439AH from Sunday Aug. 12.

The sultan gave this directive in a statement signed by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, the Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council, Sokoto, on Sunday.

“This is to inform the Muslim Ummah that Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018 which is equivalent to the 29th day of Dhul Qadah 1439AH, shall be the day to look for the new moon of Dhul Hijjah 1439AH,” he said.

“Muslims are, therefore, requested to start looking for the new moon and report its sighting to the nearest district or Village Head for onward communication to the Sultan’’.


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‘Corruption Is At A Very High Level,’ Says Sultan Of Sokoto

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has said there is still high-level corruption in the country.

The Sultan said this at the public presentation of a book, Dynamics of Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences in Abuja.

The book was written in honour of the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, where the Sultan was the Royal Father of the day.

The Sultan said Nigeria no longer have statesmen but men of state, adding that the government must find ways of getting things right in the country.

He said, “We have so many issues coming up in our polity today and I will just pick one. Nigeria is a country where we don’t celebrate innocent and honest people until after their death. After they are gone, you will now name universities, airports and other things after them.

“The issue of N36m being swallowed by a snake is a sad reality for our country. Where is our moral value; where is our ethics? The reality is that we must wake up from our sleep. Let us not fail further. Things are bad. Corruption is at a very high level and it is left for us to fight it to a terminal end.

“We cannot just sit down and think that things are okay. Things are not okay. We have to find ways of getting things right in this country. We cannot continue with these negative things. Nowadays and like I said recently in Rivers State, we don’t have statesmen; we have men of state.”

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Sultan Exonerates Miyetti Allah From killings In Benue

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) is not responsible for the wave of killings by herdsmen across the country, according to the Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III.

The leader faulted calls for the proscription of the group and condemned the killings in Taraba, Benue and other states of the federation.

MACBAN had been in the eye of the storm over massacres by herdsmen, with many Nigerians accusing the group of culpability.

At the first General Assembly of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace in Abuja, yesterday, the Sultan argued that Miyetti Allah had existed purely as a business organisation for more than 32 years, and that a call for its ban was equivalent to demanding the proscription of Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other socio-cultural organisations.

“Anyone carrying arms is not one of us,” he said, urging the Federal Government to go after perpetrators of the killings.

“There are criminal elements in every organisation,” the sultan said, adding: “We will never condone anybody taking up arms to kill innocent citizens. We will never be a part of it, whether it is a Fulani cattle herder, farmer or anybody trying to place himself at a strategic position as we move towards the 2019 general elections.

“The Fulani we know, since we were children, never went about with weapons. Where do these get weapons? How is it possible that they attack villages and disappear without being traced? What are the security agencies doing? We must get to the bottom of this problem”

The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, expressed hope that the forum would help to douse tension in the polity. He stressed the need for sincerity among religious leaders.

The Catholic Bishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, called for the building of trust among religions. “We need to know that we are in the same boat on a turbulent sea. If we continue to fight in the boat, it will sink,” he warned.


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Sultan Declares Dec. 20 As First Day Of Rabi’u Asani

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has declared Dec. 20 as the first day of the Islamic month of Rabi’u Asani, 1439 AH.

This was contained in a statement issued in Sokoto on Wednesday by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council, Sokoto.

It said:”The Sultanate Council Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs,in conjunction with the National Moon Sighting Committee, did not receive any reports from various moon sighting committees across the country confirming the sighting of the new moon of Rabi’u Asani 1439 AH on Monday, which was the 29th day of Rabi’u Awwal , 1439 AH.

”’The Sultan and President-General, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in Nigeria (  NSCIA ), has accepted the reports and accordingly declared Wednesday, 20th December, 2017 as the first day of Rabi’u Asani, 1439 AH.

”The sultan wishes all Muslims, a happy new Month. May Allah ( SWT ) accept our religious deeds.”

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PDP Chairmanship: Gbenga Daniel Visits Sokoto, Gets Sultan’s Blessing

Following preparations for the election of Chairmanship position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), an aspirant and former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, on Thursday, visited the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III to get his blessings and nod.
The Sultan, who received the former governor, alongside his entourage at the Palace assured him of winning the contest and also stressed that the entire Sultanate is praying for him.
The visit is part of the continuation of the nationwide consultation before the December 9 National Convention.
In the words of the Sultan: “Gbenga Daniel has been my very good friend since the days he was governor of Ogun. I remember the very good hospitality he affords me anytime I visit Ogun State.
“Gbenga Daniel, we all are praying for you to succeed in this quest and I am personally enjoining you not to forget the people when you get there.  You are free to visit me any time.”
While speaking on the state of the nation, the Sultan advocated for a strong opposition urging politicians to be forthright in their dealings at all times.
On his part, Daniel thanked the Sultan for the warm reception and promised to do all within his power to ensure the party becomes victorious in 2019.
After that, the team was hosted by the former governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, who assured Otunba Daniel of his support in his National Chairmanship bid.
Bafarawa who received Otunba Daniel at his Sokoto residence, expressed his delight at the interest of Otunba Daniel to lead the PDP back to victory in 2019.
According to Bafarawa, he deliberately decided to wait and receive the entourage in Sokoto when he learnt that Daniel chose to start his campaign in Sokoto.
“Many politicians may say something and do another but I’m not like that. We have discussed about your ambition before you came and I want to assure that I will stand by what I told you.”
“The PDP of today is different from the past. There must be a level playing ground where we allow the aspirants to meet the delegates instead of just sitting in Abuja and deciding who to vote for. That will be unfair to the party”.
“Now you are working hard and going round the country campaigning, that is a good development. I know you as a colleague and a friend and I know that if you can lead a complex state like Ogun, you can also lead the PDP”
“You can see that someone who left his home state of Ogun to come and talk to delegates in Sokoto is a serious aspirant.
In his response, Otunba Daniel thanked the former governor for the grand reception and the assurances of his support stating that having consulted with major stakeholders in the party, he is convinced that the electorates are ready for the authentic change.  “I have been going round the country and it is obvious that the people are regretting the decision to vote for change and they are ready to ‘change the change’. That is why I am in this race and my simple message is for all of us to start afresh together”.
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Dogara Felicitates With Sultan Of Sokoto On His 61st Birthday Anniversary

The Speaker of the House of Representatives,  Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has felicitated with the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar III on the occasion of his 61st Birthday Anniversary.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs,  Mr. Turaki Hassan,  the Speaker described the Sultan as a man of peace who has used his position to build bridges across religious and cultural divides.
” His Eminence has over the years endeared himself to all  segments of the society for demonstrating both in words and in deeds that he is a true man of peace by always preaching unity, mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence among the diverse ethnic and religious groups in Nigeria”.
While paying tribute to the traditional ruler for using his position both as the Sultan of Sokoto and as President- General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in Nigeria to preach and  promote unity in diversity and build bridges of love, peace and friendship,  Dogara prayed that the Sultan’s reign will continue to witness remarkable socio- economic development of his subjects, the Sultanate, Sokoto State and the nation.
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Breaking: Sultan Declares Sept. 1, As Sallah Day

The Sultan of Sokoto and Chairman Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has declared Sept. 1, 2017, as Eid-el-Kabir day.

This is contained in a statement signed by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, the Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs to the Sokoto Sultanate Council.

The statement, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Sokoto on Wednesday, indicated that the declaration followed the sighting of the new moon of Zulhijja on Tuesday.

“The advisory committee in conjunction with the National Committee on Moon Sighting received various reports on moon sighting across the country confirming the sighting of the new moon of Zulhijja on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017,’’ it said.

The statement said that following the development, Muslims in Nigeria would observe Friday, Sept. 1, as Sallah day.

It added that the Sultan felicitates with all Muslims and wished them Allah’s guidance, blessings, and protection.

The statement also quoted Abubakar as urging Muslims to continue to live in peace and engage in continuous prayers for the development and progress of the country and the world at large.


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Restructuring: We Should Focus On Devolution Of Economy, Says Sultan

Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, Monday, called on Nigerians to focus on devolution of economy rather than restructuring the country.

Abubakar made the call at the Niger State Investment Submit in Minna.

The summit, which attracted economic experts, industrialists and manufacturers as well as some state governors across the country, was organised to attract investors in various fields to boost the state’s economy.

He said that the nation was blessed with human and mineral resources needed to achieve greatness.

He explained that, Shiroro Dam in Niger, Goronyo Dam in Sokoto and several others across the country should be used to start all-year farming.

He explained that proper utilisation of the nation’s dams would enable farmers to0 produce assorted food crops for both local consumption and export.

“Rather than the clamour for restructuring the country, emphasis should be on Federal Government releasing dams across the country to state governments for massive participation of Nigerians in all-year farming seasons”, he said

We have the ability and technical knowledge to feed the continent with what we can produce, with the required political commitment, through the provision of modern farming implements for our teaming farmers.”

He also urged Federal Government to ensure early completion of Minna to Suleja road and Ilorin to Kaduna federal roads.

He said that the poor condition of the roads is affecting smooth economic development of the state and the region.

He called on the state government to ensure proper analysis and smooth implementation of programmes put forward by individuals and corporate organisations during the summit.

He said that Nigeria was one of the best countries in the world with various mineral resources needed to better the lots of the public.

Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state commended the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, for providing a purposeful leadership for the political growth of the country.

He said that the state governors would continue to support and cooperate with the Federal Government for peace, progress and political growth of the country.

“We will continue to initiate people-oriented policies and programmes that will ensure rapid growth. ”

“Above all, various forms of security measures will be put in place to guarantee the safety of our farmers to ensure the production of assorted food crops for local consumption and export,’’ he said. (NAN)

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EFCC Goes After Ahmadu Bello’s Grandson, As Sultan Rebuffs Calls To Intervene

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC has opened investigation into corrupt enrichment by Alhaji Hassan Danbaba, a grandson of former Premier of Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto.

He is accused of partaking in the illegal sharing of funds from the Paris Club refunds as a consultant, and at the same collecting money worth millions of Naira from Taraba State Government for a contract he has so far refused to implement.

The Taraba contract, issued to him by late Danbaba Suntai, was abandoned after Suntai got involved in a plane crash in Yola in 2012.

The EFCC is acting on a petition signed by some Taraba indigenes.

In efforts to truncate the investigation, the accused sought to involve the Sultanate Council, but his efforts were thwarted by the Sultan who insisted that the Palace would have nothing to do with the issue.

A source involved in the issue revealed that Sultan’s refusal to get involved in the fraud case led to the accused walk out on Senior Counselors and other Kingmakers during a recent meeting at the Palace.

“As you may be aware, Danbaba is contesting for the title of Marafan Sokoto in the Palace with former Minister of Youth, Inuwa Abdulkadir.

“When the contest got heated, with counter accusations and law suits, the Sultan sought to broker peace and directed former Governor of old Sokoto State, Malam Yahaya Abdulkarim.

“After the peace parley, EFCC wrote to Danbaba requesting he appears before them to explain his dubious role in the Paris Club refunds saga, and to brief them on the contract he abandoned in Taraba after collecting funds.

“Sensing the opportunity to involve the Sultanate Council, he asked the Kingmakers to intervene and seek a soft landing for him. That effort was rebuffed, and it was made clear to him that the Palace will not be involved in his personal dealings.

“He was advised to allow the law take its course. He was told that if he was innocent of the charges as claimed, he has no reason to fear.

“He then flared up and walked out on the meeting, threatening the Sultan and warning that he may not last long on his seat if he can’t stand by his close associates,” a source revealed.

While many in Taraba are not happy by his refusal to implement the contract given to him, they equally expressed anger at his decision to abandon the state immediately after the late Suntai got involved in the crash.

“That’s inhuman,” the source revealed.

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Break-Up Not Solution To Nigeria’s Problems, Says Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has reiterated the need for Nigeria to remain as one, indivisible and united nation, saying the government and people of Rivers will not be part of agitation to break up the country.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Sultan’s Palace when he led a high-powered delegation of traditional rulers and leaders of thought from Rivers to a sallah visit to Sokoto, Wike said every nation in the world has its peculiar challenges, as such the onus on the leaders of Nigeria is to find lasting solutions to the various challenges confronting the nation.

He said there are better ways to solve the agitations and problems facing Nigeria, rather than a pondering on a break up.

“Rivers state and its people believe in the oneness and unity of Nigeria and that is our stand. In Sokoto, we have a father in the Sultan. In fact, he is a father to all Nigerians and he is a peace builder in this country and beyond.

“I have also been friends with Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal since before his emergence as a Speaker of the House of Representatives and this will be sustained despite the fact that we belong to different political parties,” he added.

Tambuwal, who accompanied Wike, had earlier said that the visit cannot come at a better time than now and restated his belief in the unity of Nigeria.

The governor said the visit would help to strengthen the bond of unity between the two states.

In his remarks, Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar said ongoing agitations in the country are symptoms of rot in the Nigerian system.

According to him, lot of things had gone wrong in the past, but hope is not lost.

“A lot of things were done in the past by some people with impunity and nothing was done. That is why you find shortage of good governance now weighing us down in the country. However, as it is now, no matter how bad your hand is, you cannot cut it and throw away,” he added.

The Sultan stressed the need to adopt dialogue to resolve all the misunderstandings and problems in the country.

The monarch said Nigerians should sit together, brain storm, look at what went wrong, retrace their steps and move forward.

He appealed to statesmen in the nation to wade in this direction.

“We are not short of statesmen across Nigeria and they should help the country by championing the dialogue.”

Those in Wike’s entourage include former Rivers Governor Celestine Omehia, former Acting National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secundus, former NBA President OCJ Okocha, Chairman of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers and Amanayabo of Opobo Kingdom, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, Amanayabo og Abonnema, King Gbobo Bob-Manuel and Oda of Abua, King Kelly Obunge, among others.

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