The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, in commemoration of the International Peace Day 2022, has stated that no religion can supersede another in Nigeria because God, who created the various religions in Nigeria, did not make a mistake.
Rather, Sultan Abubakar stated that followers of various religions should learn to coexist and recognize that we all serve the same God.
The Sultan stated as a Special Guest of Honour at the National Secondary Schools Security Awareness Programme in Abuja, which was organized by the Alumni Association of the National Defence College (AANDEC) in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser and the UFUK Foundation. Peace does not imply the absence of war. The absence of injustice is what defines peace.
“In Nigeria, you cannot eliminate any religion because God, who created us, created these religions and brought us together.” Peace is critical for our nation’s progress and development; therefore, we must not allow religion to divide us.”
On the activities of bandits and terrorists that are causing security challenges in the country, the Sultan stated that these bad elements of society, their antecedents can be traced back to poor upbringing and poor parenting.
He stated that Nigerian society, like any other society, has both good and bad people, and that the good outnumber the bad; therefore, the good people, who are clearly in the majority, should rise up against the bad people, who are in the minority.
His words, “Mentoring young ones who are future leaders remained an important component of peace in the home and the society at large. Parents should start the mentoring from home because if there is peace in the home, then there should be peace outside.
“So you must have peace at home first, because everything starts from home. Your first teacher is your mother from the day you were born, when you came out. They bring you out, cut all the umbilical cord and whatever, wash you clean and dress you up.
“The mother is the one handling you from the time until you start running and working, and maybe even until they die.
Your mother is your first teacher and is the most important part of the home.
“If you have a good home, look for who is the mother; if you have a bad home, look for who is the mother and that is why the mothers are so important in our lives.
“If you have bad children running all over the place, carrying guns, killing people, kidnapping, ransom, or whatever, look at the background”.
Dr. Mrs. Dere Awosika, the occasion’s keynote speaker and Chairman of Access Bank, listed Peace, Progress, and Civic Responsibility as important attributes that youth, particularly students, should imbibe in order to reshape their mindset.
“Civic Responsibility entails your involvement in activities and participation in things that bring about a better society, with education as the foundation,” she explained. This is because when you are informed, you are more likely to perform functions for the greater good.
“You should have allegiance to God, allegiance to your country. Going by the Coat of Arms of our country and national flag, unity of Nigeria affect’s the progress of Nigeria. Your faith in Nigeria affect’s the progress of Nigeria. So a combination of unity and faith bring’s forth peace in Nigeria”.
Dr. Awosika continued, “Your mindset has to change from what you hear to concentrating on and obeying the rules and laws in Nigeria.” Be a good student, and work together with others to build a peaceful and progressive society.
“You have a right to life, and the right to life is for all,” she said of children’s rights. You are entitled to equity. Being equitable implies that you have a right to be informed about what is good, what you should do, and what you should avoid doing. Follow the rules. The right to dignity The freedom to worship. It is your right to privacy and personal liberty.”
Brigadier General AG Laka, a representative of the National Security Adviser, praised AANDEC for initiating the awareness program, noting that “it is very apt especially with the myriads of threats in areas where youths are the most vulnerable targets.”
“Youths are particularly vulnerable in a threat environment.” Youths are easy prey due to their lack of awareness. Online recruitment should be avoided by young people in particular. So be cautious of who you interact with online,” he advised.
The program, held at the Nigerian Tulip International College, drew over 400 students from 15 Secondary Schools in the FCT.