Sa’ad Abubakar III, Sultan of Sokoto, has advised Nigerians to stop hiding behind religion, politics and tribal affiliations to perpetuate crime.
Sultan, who is the president-general, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), said this on Thursday in Sokoto while speaking at an international symposium on the Sokoto caliphate.
“People hide under politics to say or do certain things that are totally against the security of the state,” he said.
“If the person is arrested, the next thing you hear is that it is because he does not belong to the political party; what is bad is bad.
“Whether he is a Muslim or Christian or APC or PDP, remove all these and let him answer his name, a criminal, you have stolen government money.
“But once we start using tribe among others to claim right, it is t not good. We must all rise up and help government to get the money back.”
He also accused some leaders of having misplaced priorities, wondering why some governors preferred to use billions to build airports when they could not pay salaries of their state workforce.
Abubakar said it was only when citizens begin to ask questions that governors and other leaders would sit up and begin to take the people seriously.
“There is need to begin to listen to the cry of the common man, to understand their needs rather than just carrying out projects,” he said.
“Of what use is it to be building airports worth billions of naira when the roads that the common man travels are bad?
“Instead of having an airport here in Birnin Kebbi that hardly sees one flight in one year, and then you have an airport in Dutse that only lifts pilgrims; then you have an airport in Kaduna in Bauchi and Gombe and another one in Ekiti, in Markudi and so on, while the roads which the common man uses for his day to day activities is so bad.
“You can imagine if you are travelling from Minna to Abuja, how many hours it will take you and from Lokoja to Okene down to Akure due to bad roads?”