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By Chinwendu Nnadozie-Snr/Minna
The former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida has attributed ethno-religious crisis which often metamorphosed into sectarian crisis to some traditional title holders’ insensitivity to the promotion of heterogeneity amongst the diverse ethnic nationalities in their domain.
Though efforts at checking security threats has been made by the federal government at protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria, Babangida who spoke at the 25th years anniversary of the Emir of Minna, Alhaji (Dr.) Umaru Farouk Bahago said such efforts at entrenching lasting peace may not yield desired results if traditional rulers does not tow the path of peace.
General Babangida who spoke glowingly about the traditional rulers’ leadership qualities during the Durbar to mark the Emirs’ Silver Jubilee anniversary said the traditional ruler stood out among his peers by promoting peaceful co-existence devoid of; religious, tribal and political inclinations amongst all their subjects over
Babangida who commended the Emir for leadership qualities which has distinguished him from most of his peers in the north attributed existing peace amongst all within the Minna emirate in the past 25 years to the leadership style he inherited from his late father, Umar Bahago.
For Nigeria’s tomorrow to be better than what it is yesterday and today, Babangida argued that the country needed a leader with vision as according to him, only a visionary leader can guarantee peace and security for it to overcome its current challenges.
The former military leader who presided over the affairs of the nation for eight years said what Nigeria urgently needed at the moment to thrive is peace and stability. “What Nigeria needed now is peace to guarantee security of lives and properties so that we can develop”.
Babangida however argued that it will be wishful thinking for anyone to think that government alone can guarantee peace and security without the collective
support of all Nigerians, saying, “We must join our hands to make this happen in this country”.
General Ibrahim Babangida commended the Emir for his humility in leadership and as well, creating conducive atmosphere within the Minna emirate which has
guaranteed the relative peace being enjoyed by the all and urged him not to relent in doing more in the years ahead.
While calling on other traditional rulers to emulate the leadership qualities of the traditional ruler, Babangida said, “Your highness, I urge you not to relent even though I commend your efforts at ensuring peace in your domain, continue to be focused”.
In his remarks, Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu noted that the outbreak of violence in some parts of the country will become a thing of the past if leaders give their people, including settlers a sense of belonging.
Aliyu cautioned all those predicting doom about the future of Nigeria, saying, “There will be no violence in the country if every leader gives their people and settlers a sense of belongings. Traditional customs will survive if our elders advise the people on laid down values”.
On the 2015 general election, Governor Aliyu said Nigerians should not be apprehensive over the next general election as leaders will only emerge through the ballot boxes. “We can always determine who becomes our leader by Gods’ grace, many good things will happen in 2015 as God will bring a leader that we will follow”.
“Do not be afraid, let there be 200 contestants, God will allow only one person to emerge and if election is about numbers then the north does not need to complain because what affects one affects all of us”, he told the hundreds of enthusiast who gathered at the polo club to celebrate with the Emir.
Governor Aliyu however expressed his reservations over the ‘alleged’ inconclusive Governorship election in Anambra state, saying “We pray that what happened or what is happening in Anambra state does not happen in 2015”.
Among the dignitaries that attended the 25th year anniversary of the Emir of Minna, Alhaji Farouk Bahago included the Vice President,Architect Namadi Sambo who was represented by Ambassador Hassan Adamu and the former Vice President, Atiku Abubarkar.
The Sultan of Sokoto was represented by the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji illyasu Bashir.