Nigeria moving without focus amidst poverty –Sultan

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The Sultan of Sokoto

The Sultan of Sokoto

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar, has said the current socio-economic indices in the country are a clear indication that Nigeria has begun to drift. The Sultan, who is also the president general of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, also added that in spite of the nation’s unprecedented resources, development had failed to match the national wealth.

Abubakar spoke yesterday in Zaria, shortly after his investiture as the sixth chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), by President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented on the occasion by the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyat Ahmed Rufai.

“Corruption has emasculated our progress,” the Sultan lamented, adding that, “poverty and unemployment have pushed citizens to the brinks, fueling and confounding social conflicts; inter-communal crisis has extracted heavy toll in both human lives and property. “Persistent insecurity has generated panic and anxiety; our social and physical infrastructures are far from meeting the needs of the nation; and the country appears to be adrift and at the core of all these, is ignorance and moral decay.”

He also noted that the reform of the tertiary education sector could not be effective without putting in place, the progressive developments required in the basic and senior secondary education sectors.
According to the Sultan, “our state governments, especially here in the North, must begin to realize the enormity of the challenges facing the education sector and to take urgent and necessary steps to address these challenges.”
He lauded the founding fathers of the ABU, especially, the late Sarduana of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, and urged the authorities of the school to continue to abide by the cardinal principles on which the institution was founded.

“For us in the university, this means a number of things: firstly, we cannot build a first-rate university without building a reasonable consensus on how to move the university forward.“Our vision for this great institution must be a collective one where all major stakeholders take responsibility for their actions and take pride in discharging their varied roles.

‘Whenever we allow factionalism and primordial sentiments to dictate our attitudes and actions, we are telling the whole world that we are not ready to discharge this historic responsibility.“Secondly, we cannot be expected to establish the best university in Africa without embracing the ethos of excellence and hard work.“We must also search for the best and the brightest and encourage them to join the ranks of the community. Our processes and procedures must be transparent and fair enough to ensure equity and justice for all,” he said.

 From NOAH EBIJE, Kaduna

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