The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, and the Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Fr. Mathew Kukah, have said that Nigeria will not break up as a result of crises being anticipated during the 2015 general elections.
According to them, Nigeria will remain united, no matter the drums of war being beaten by some persons who do not wish the country well but they called on Nigerians across ethnic and religious divides to work towards sustainable dialogue, reconciliation and peace.
The Sultan, represented by the Andoma of Doma in Nasarawa State, Alhaji Ahmadu Onawo, and Kukah, spoke in separate interviews with our correspondent during a roundtable on, “Rekindling the Spirit and Culture of Volunteerism in Nigeria,” jointly organised by Kukah Centre and the Department of Mission and Dialogue, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria.
The Sultan said, “The ordinary man in Nigeria loves this country, the ordinary man in Nigeria believes in the indivisibility of this country. The ordinary man in Nigeria believes that Nigeria must remain one and united always. There is no division among Nigerians because we go to the same market, irrespective of religion; same hospital, without knowing who the doctor or nurse is and his religion. We have one shared aspiration, one nation and one people who exist in peace and supportive of each other.
“We have always prayed that nothing divides this country. We have ways prayed that God sustains Nigeria and Nigerians in unity and as brothers and by the grace of God nothing will happen to Nigeria. In 2015, Nigeria will remain one indivisible nation. It is not anybody’s evil prophecy that has kept us together but God. For politicians, let’s fear God and allow the will of God to be done.”
Kukah said since the country had become severely fractured it was the responsibility of everybody as individuals and communities to deal with the issues.
“It is our responsibility as victims to take very seriously the issues of our own security,” the cleric said.
He said there was nothing to fear about the 2015 general elections.
He said, “Everyday defines who we are and the future of this country is not tied to a date. People have always moved in Nigeria; they moved in 2011 and nothing happened. They moved in 1993 elections and nothing happened. Those who are moving in different directions will be disappointed because this is our country and from what I have heard from the Independent National Electoral Commission, we have no reason to doubt INEC.
“The commission has done a few things pretty well, which suggests to me that a lot of the areas that tend to portend violence in Nigeria will soon be a thing of the past. The most important thing to us is for INEC to educate Nigerians on the options that are now available. I urge the citizenry to take their minds away from the thinking that Nigeria is going to break in 2015. We are still in 2014 and still have two to three months to go. The key political actors are aspiring but nobody knows who will be there in 2015.”