The Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has commended Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State for his visible infrastructural development in the State.
Speaking during a visit to the Governor in Benin City, Friday, the Sultan who is also President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs said the changes he saw can only come from someone committed to changing the lives of people.
The Sultan who led members of the Supreme Council including the Otaru of Auchi, Alhaji Aliru Momoh, Ikelebe III on the visit said: “we have seen tremendous changes from the Edo we used to know or the Benin City we used to know when we were young officers of the Nigerian Army, especially the famous Lagos road.
“We have seen some changes and we believe such changes can only come from people who are committed to making the lives of people God almighty put their trust on as leaders. We, therefore, want to commend the Governor and urge you to continue helping the State in particular and the larger society in this country after you leave office in the next few months.”
He continued, “We are very proud of your activities here and your achievements in the last eight years. We call on whoever God chooses to replace you to continue to build on the legacies you are leaving behind. Whoever that person is, only God knows. There are so many contenders but only one will occupy this seat, and there is nothing anybody can do about it. God knows who is going to be here. We don’t know.”
His Eminence said, “Please carry out your campaigns in peace and harmony. Of course, issue-related campaigns because everything is on the ground. So, whatever anybody is going to be is on the ground. You will see it. You will see achievements; come and match such achievements; then convince people. Don’t confuse people. Convince them to vote for you. So, I wish you the best of campaigns. I wish you all the best during elections, and I wish Edo State a more peaceful and stress-free election, and pray to God to elect a good leader who will continue to work for this State, who will love this State more than he will love himself or more than how the Comrade Governor loved this State when he assumed office.”
According to him, “We are delighted about the comments the Governor made some few days ago, about the minimum wage and payment of salaries, and that is one of the things that has been bringing so many criminal activities. Workers are not paid, and they have families; they can’t go to the market to buy anything because there is no money, and there is hunger. And as we know, a hungry man is an angry man. So, we know all the problems in the country. So as leaders, let’s put our heads together and see how we can resolve them.”
Responding, Governor Oshiomhole who described his Eminence, Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto as a bridge-builder said, “Your Eminence, I cannot explain how humble we feel to be able to play host to your Eminence and all the highly respected religious leaders, traditional rulers and Islamic scholars from across the country on the auspices of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs.
“On behalf of the government and people of Edo State, I would like to welcome you most warmly to our great city, to our great State which everybody accepts is the heartbeat of the Nigeria nation. You have honoured us in so many ways, not just by the number of visits you have paid to our great state, but on each occasion, we have been privileged to listen to you and to learn so many things from your statements and advice on a variety of issues beyond religion, but issues that also have to do with nation building.”
According to Oshiomhole, “I think for us in Edo State, government must maintain a formalized relationship with religious leaders, not when we are in crisis, but as a matter of policy and principle; because part of the problems we face today, they could be explained away in terms of challenges that confront us as a people, economic crisis, unemployment, et cetera.
“But as development literature will show, even rich nation which are rich in dollars and in pounds, in euro or in yen, if there is no fear of God and a conscious attempt to run society in a way that reflects the will of our creator, we won’t witness peace. The truth is every God-fearing person will not resort to violence particularly if he is conscious of the fact that any particular act of violence will lead to the death of another.
On the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in the state, Oshiomhole said: “when I watch debates in the US, it’s all about issues. You might be unhappy with the choice of issues, but it’s about issues. It’s not about who comes from where; it’s not about his religion; it’s not even about his gender. It’s not even about the fact that your husband was a president, now why should the wife become the next president? These are never issues. The issues seem to be, what will you do? Why should we trust you? What is your pedigree? What is your family history? Because you are going to make an assumption on election day, there has to be a basis to speculate on how you are likely to behave, and I do hope that Nigeria gets to that point. That is why we accept wholly your advice to us this morning, that as we approach September 10, we must play up the issues that we seek to deal with. We must consciously avoid violence, and we must consciously reaffirm that we are in this contestation because of the people, not because of ourselves, not only by lips but also by heart.”
He added enunciated plans by the state government to recruit teachers to teach Islamic Studies in public schools in the state from the primary school level.
CPS to Edo State Governor
CPS to Edo State Governor