The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, on Monday decried the worsening insecurity in Nigeria.
The Sultan, who led other monarchs across the country on a sympathy visit to the Borno State governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, over the recent killing of 43 rice farmers in the state by Boko Haram fighters, also asked the military to occupy Sambisa Forest and Lake Chad region which serve as hideouts for the insurgents.
He said they were in Maiduguri to commiserate with the governor on the killings and make a strong statement on the insecurity ravaging the nation.
The Sultan said: “It is not just a condolence visit, it is a statement that all of us are fed up with the shedding of innocent blood under whatever guise across this country. So many lives have been lost in the past, we can’t even compute how many lives we have lost. It becomes like a daily occurrence, a daily event. A new normal, it becomes a story when in a day, nobody was killed in a particular place of this country.
“We had various fora with our political leaders, mentioned these things out, how to take care of our security in various communities. We have written papers, sent our governors and we have discussed with all our leaders, all the way forward.
“But we see things getting worse and worse. It used to be Boko Haram alone in Borno and Yobe, now in all over the north in particular and generally all over the country. You have bandits and terrorists all over the north, you can’t even move freely. In the south, it is the same thing. The killings have taken new dimensions and we really don’t know what caused these killings.
“We decided to come together as the council of traditional rulers to make this statement to all and sundry, not only to the governor of Borno State, but to all our governors. Let’s rise up to the occasion and see how we can come together to fight this shedding of innocent people’s blood.”
Responding, the governor thanked the Sultan and other royal fathers for the visit.
He also decried the continuous dependence on donations to feed the displaced persons in the state.
The Sultan, who is the Co-Chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers, had a few weeks ago expressed concern at the security challenges in the north.
He said the situation had become so bad that people are now scared of traveling and leave foodstuff in their houses for bandits.
The monarch called for an urgent national dialogue on some of the critical issues affecting the country.