- Sultan of Sokoto state, Sa’ad Abubakar III, has warned religious leaders against political affiliation
- The prominent monarch also expressed concern over the violence that characterised of the 2019 election
- Sultan hammered on the need to allow unity across political and religious borders ahead of 2023 elections
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, has expressed worries over the political future of Nigeria while also describing the tension and acrimony generated by the just concluded 2019 general election as unfortunate.
Speaking against the backdrop of massive violence and unhealthy rivalry that characterised the presidential election during an event in Sokoto, the prominent monarch said it was high time Nigerians moved to the round table and prepared ahead of 2023 poll.
Sultan, who noted the overheat in the polity, lamented the overt relationship between politicians and religious leaders, which he said affected Nigeria's long crave for proactive leaders, Leadership reports.
He said: “2019 election has come and gone. Thought there are court issues here and there but let us begin to plan ahead of 2023 on how to ensure that we have leaders that are our choice and not those that are forced on people.
“Prior to 2019 you have heard and see Muslims and Christians leaders preaching things that you find it difficult to respond to.
“In the recent election, we have 2 Muslims contested and some Muslims leaders pitch themselves in the camp of one or the other same way some Christian leaders also kept themselves in one camp or the other.
''Meanwhile, others also mixed up and supported candidates of their choice. “I want you to go back to your closest and ask yourself what have you done in using your influence to preach to people on the need for peace and allow the will of God to prevail?
“I made it a habit in these past years to bring big personalities to our midst. We have much more challenges now that we cannot in any way deny it. You have heard and seen that the challenges are real. You can see the insecurity in the North West.''
The prominent monarch, who is also the president general of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), charged the religious leaders against political affiliations.
He also hammered on the need to use the altars for the promotion of unity among Nigerians, adding that he was apolitical religious leader.
He said: "I have been an observer of election over the years and have never declared support for any candidate.
''As a religious leader, I have never asked Imams or Muslims preachers to preach against anybody or in support of any as well. We that are religious leaders have to be careful of what we tell our followers because most of them are not educated and will take whatever you say as true.
“The nation has become more worrisomely divided because of political difference. Brothers no longer talk to each other. Friends are now divided in very terrible way because they have been insulting one another before the election. Neighbours now hate each other because they belong to different political parties.''
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that All Progressives Congress (APC) in Sokoto state had debunked insinuations that it planned to dethrone the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III.
The party’s chairman, Isa Sadiq Acida, disclosed this to journalists in Sokoto on Monday, March 4.
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