Gov. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has applauded the Sultan of Sokoto in superlative terms, harping especially on his courage of confronting the authority, calling out injustices on their watch, and demanding change.
The Gov. also praised the monarch for his selfless interventions in the unfortunate affairs threatening the peace, progress and stability of the country.
Gov. Wike, in company of his host, Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, handed down the commendations on Friday when he visited the Sultan in his palace along with a high powered delegation from his state, to pay him a courtesy visit, commensurate with him on the slaying of 23 hapless victims by bandits attacks at the beginning of December last year.
Appreciating the monarch for his firmness in ensuring that there is stability, peace and peaceful coexistence in the country, Gov. Wike said: “You have been trying to stabilize all the various groups to understand that we have no other country than the one called Nigeria. You have always spoken up irrespective of whether it touches on Muslims, Christians or those who don’t have any religion.
“You have admonished government where necessary in terms of insecurity, poverty and other issues. You have advised government on the best way to try and see that things get better for the citizens of the country,” he stressed.
These roles, he observed, are what befits a leader and father; one, such as the Sultan with compassion and love of his country, who is constantly called upon wherever there is crisis and ethnic tensions.
He noted that another person would have cared less what happens to his country since he is not the President. “But you have had sleepless nights talking to everybody to see ourselves as one. We must commend and encourage you not to withdraw because it is the position God gave to you. And, we believe that God, in His infinite mercy, will continue to guide, protect and give you the wisdom and strength to speak for the oppressed, the less privileged and the poor, as well as the rich of this country.
He also said the Sultan is not quick to judge others. “He has never heard something and take a position without hearing from the other party. I remember when there was an issue in my state, he never concluded it is correct. He always endeavored to find a way to reach me and ask what is happening. And, by the time I explained to him, he would say: ‘that is why it is good to hear the other perspective.’ “
“This is a rare character. If all leaders can exhibit this kind of trait and character, then we will have a future. You are exhibiting a character of leadership that is expected of a leader,” he interjected.
While lamenting the dastardly acts of the marauders who attacked the passengers last year in the Eastern flank of Sokoto state, Gov. Wike said: “What affects Sokoto state also affects Rivers state. We have had a long standing relationship; and, so, the people of Rivers state have told me to commiserate with you and the people of the state, believing that Almighty Allah knows why.
“There is nothing we can do. I’m sorry for what happened and we believe the Almighty Allah will give the families that have lost their loved ones the courage and strength to bear this unnecessary loss of lives,” he added.
Wishing the Sultan a prosperous New Year, the Governor prayed that: “Tomorrow will never be better than today and today May never be better than yesterday. God will not allow that. We expect good things to happen to this country in 2022.”
In his response, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar who described Wike and his host, Tambuwal, as partners in progress, pledged to do more on his interventions in the public sphere and on the Sultanate’s relationships across the country because “no man is an island.”
“We’ll do our best and live the rest to Almighty God because we cannot ever play God. We can never even think of playing God. Whatever we have done is what our forefathers ordered us to do and we shall do more to sustain our relationship so that we can have a peaceful society and a country that we can dream of,”’he said.
Thanking the Rivers Governor for his passion, position and steadfastness “in continuing to build on the relationship that we built over the years… ,” the Sultan noted that “that is the beauty of this great country,” -having friends everywhere “who really love us and respect us.”
“If there is love, all the confusion, acrimony and killings would not have taken place. People kill without any motive. Blood thirsty people kill anyhow because there is no love. And, where there is no love, there is no Godliness,” he emphasized.
He added that Wike’s visit depicts his nature of “not allowing things to be the way they have been,” reach-out and generosity.
“All hope is not lost. God doesn’t make mistakes when brings challenges to us as human beings, because we are just mere mortals who must cope with challenges.
“In fact, if we don’t go through any challenge, we’ll not become better persons, which is testimony of our piety and beliefs in Allah,” further added.
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