Femi Fani-Kayode: Seven days in Zamfara – A message to Northern, Southern leaders

I give due to God for bringing me again house safely after spending seven superb, memorable and ancient days in Gusau with my good friend and brother, Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle of Zamfara State. I used to be won in Zamfara with pleasure, love and kindness anywhere I went. I used to be handled as though I used to be a son of the soil. The vast majority of the folks of Zamfara are heat, humble and kind-hearted and I beg each Nigerian to discuss with the state.

Throughout the process my shuttle, I noticed the fantastic issues that Matawalle has accomplished since he got here to energy and the way he has restored peace in maximum portions of the state and taken hope, pleasure, energy, self assurance and prosperity to the folks. I learnt in regards to the large gold and diamond reserves and mines which, as soon as the ban on mining is lifted and after correct construction and extraction, will in the end propel Zamfara to be the richest and maximum filthy rich state in Nigeria.

I additionally visited one of the most 3 large Ruga settlements that had been underneath building and came upon how this initiative has ended in a long-lasting peace procedure and therapeutic among the more than a few hitherto warring communities. I noticed the huge infrastructural construction occurring and witnessed the robust collaboration that exists between the state and federal govt to overwhelm native terrorists; squaddies and police are at strategic places. I went to each corner and cranny of Zamfara.

Throughout a courtesy name on His Royal Majesty, Alhaji Garba Tambari, the Emir of Maradun, I used to be warmly won and handled to a luxurious lunch on the palace – attended via loads of folks. This was once an excellent honor for me, I used to be touched. What made it the entire extra transferring was once the truth that the Emir were within the defunct Nationwide Birthday celebration of Nigeria with my father and he knew him smartly. We had a lot to speak about!

The next day, His Royal Majesty, Alhaji Muhammad Makwashe, the Emir of Shinkafi, and the Shinkafi Emirate Council conferred me with the traditional and ancient identify of Sadaukin Shinkafi, “Warrior/Hero” of the Shinkafi Emirate. I used to be deeply humbled via this nice honor as a result of I by no means anticipated it. I thank his Royal Highness and the Emirate Council for the boldness and I pledge to are living as much as their expectancies and construct bridges of peace, mutual recognize and solidarity between our more than a few communities and folks.

After assembly such a lot of different leaders within the state and exchanging perspectives and concepts with more than a few political teams and NGOs, I spent a lot of the time resting, pondering and meditating in regards to the significance of peace, bridge-building, cohesion and working out in our nation which can be sentiments that my brother Governor Matawalle additionally cherishes and holds pricey.

We spoke broadly into the early hours of the morning just about each evening and we agreed to construct bridges between the north and the south and between individuals of the Christian and Muslim religion with a view to save Nigeria and pull her again from the edge. I would possibly upload that that is one thing that he has been in the leading edge of doing smartly ahead of he turned into Governor and I’m happy to look that he has persevered, with even larger zest and zeal, after he turned into Governor.

It would smartly be that that is exactly why God got rid of his predecessor in place of work and put him energy. The Lord by no means makes errors and His timing is at all times best possible. Individually, the trail that Matawalle has selected proves his high quality and price as a pace-setter and I’ve a sense that over the following few years he’ll play a crucial function within the affairs of this nation and will probably be instrumental in protecting her in combination.

With the intention to make Nigeria a simply, noble, civilised, humane and equitable society that regards each unmarried Nigerian as being equivalent irrespective of tribe or religion we will have to determine the ones on all sides of the north/south divide which are average, cheap and rational, that imagine in equity, fairness, justice and equality and that perceive and admire the significance of peace, cohesion, mutual recognize and working out

When we are ready to spot such folks we will have to then get to the bottom of to enroll in forces and paintings with them in our quest to construct a greater, larger, fairer and more secure Nigeria during which all of our compatriots can are living in peace and solidarity. This is because Matawalle believes on this that he and I are shut and feature been so for years.

Fortunately there are lots of different leaders within the core north that suppose like him comparable to Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, Governor Bala Mohammed, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi (Wambai Shinkafi), former Governor Ahmed Makarfi, Alhaji Tanimu Kabiru Turaki SAN, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, former Governor Sule Lamido, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), Normal Aliyu Gusau and Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim Imam.

Those are cheap, rational and enlightened males who’ve a deep wisdom of historical past, a prepared sense of justice and who constitute the ultimate hope for Nigerian cohesion. I say this as a result of, not like some which are in energy in our nation nowadays, they don’t imagine in the use of violence as a method to an finish and neither do they imagine in or are a part of any hidden non secular or ethnic schedule.

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They don’t imagine in hegemony, suppression, subjugation, tyranny or racial and non secular domination and persecution they usually see themselves as being Nigerians ahead of being anything. Those are the kind of those who the ones folks with like minds from the south can paintings with, sign up for fingers with and construct a brand new Nigeria with. We’ve got an obligation to our respective folks and a duty to our God to do no much less.

Most significantly, as leaders, we will have to by no means be led, moved or motivated via hate or ache however fairly via compassion, working out and a deep appreciation of the virtues of decency, fairness and justice. We will have to give hope and encourage fairly than inspire department and unending strife. We will have to try to heal the injuries of the previous fairly than try to inflict new and much more painful ones.

It’s leaders that experience this mindset, irrespective of their religion or the place they arrive from within the nation, that may save Nigeria from a frightful and perilous implosion and general cave in. If we fail to spot and construct bridges with such leaders Nigeria isn’t just doomed however may be destined for an extended and horrible warfare which no sane individual needs for and which is not going to augur smartly for our folks.

Worst of all is the truth that no-one will ever win any such warfare; we will be able to all lose and we will be able to all finally end up losing tears for many years yet to come. For this reason we will have to construct bridges regardless of how tough it can be and regardless of what number of hurdles is also installed our method. We will have to construct bridges irrespective of the insidious motives and misconceptions that many who know no higher and which have been poisoned, embittered and blinded via hate have attributed to these folks that experience opted to delight in any such noble gesture and workout.

We will have to construct bridges even supposing a couple of shallow, undiscerning, feeble-minded, erroneous, naive, gullible, ignorant and politically-motivated people imagine and notice our quest as not anything however an workout in futility and a complete capitulation to tyranny and injustice. We will have to construct bridges even supposing the extremists on all sides of the divide shall hate us and solid aspersions at the persona of the ones folks that search to take action.

We will have to construct bridges as a result of the whole lot, together with the longer term and really life of our folks, is determined by it. The very best trail to tread in any controversy or advanced scenario is one among war, acrimony, war of words, extremism and in the long run violence and warfare. We’ve got all trod that trail previously in more than a few levels however, if pursued to the sour finish, it ends up in not anything however mutual annihilation and utter destruction.

Each Islam and Christianity verify the knowledge and great thing about discussion and bridge-building and handiest the enlightened can admire the truth that discussion does now not imply capitulation. An try to make peace and engender just right family members with those who have like minds and equivalent values can’t be described as cowardice, betrayal, compromise or weak point.

As a question of truth the other is the case and it’s fairly those who refuse to hunt peace and construct bridges and that refuse to even communicate to those who they understand wrongly and erroneously as their adversaries and life-long sworn enemies which are the cowards. Fans can find the money for to harbour such irresponsible sentiments however leaders can’t accomplish that as a result of it could lead to drastic and dire penalties.

I imagine that it’s suitable and sensible to at all times prolong a handshake the place one is obtainable. Handiest the mad and blind and people who industry, thrive and derive sadistic excitement within the losing of blameless blood and the destruction of lives and assets refuse to take action. Such folks haven’t any position in a civilised society or on the desk of peace and we will have to now not permit their unfavorable rantings and cynical disposition to distract or deter us from making that peace and constructing that bridge.

On my sixth day in Zamfara, Matawalle and I went to Sokoto state to fulfill with our mutual good friend and brother Governor Aminu Tambuwal the place we spent the evening. Once more we had fruitful and productive discussions about how one can transfer the rustic ahead and I used to be as soon as once more won with not anything however love and working out.

Opposite to the expectancies of many Sokoto is in truth an excessively non violent and lovely historical the town and all the ones I met there handled me with love and recognize. Prior to leaving Sokoto and within the corporate of the 2 Governors, I paid a courtesy name on His Eminence, Muhammadu Sa’advert Abubakar IV, the Sultan of Sokoto. I used to be deeply humbled via his sort phrases, sensible recommend, deep wisdom and perception and authentic heat and I thank him for receiving me.

This was once the primary time that I had the privilege of assembly with the Sultan and I used to be very inspired together with his deep and profound working out of the advanced problems that our nation and individuals are confronted with and his exceptional wisdom and recollection of our historical past. The Muslim neighborhood in Nigeria is blessed with a really nice and sensible chief who’s worthy of not anything however the largest recognize and the absolute best honor.

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I’m satisfied that so long as we’ve political leaders and conventional rulers which are able to paintings in combination and which are ready to keep up a correspondence ceaselessly and discussion frankly and candidly, regardless of how exhausting that may well be and it doesn’t matter what we could have stated and accomplished to one another previously, there’s nonetheless hope for Nigeria.

We will have to forgive one every other for previous hurts and slights and we will have to try to put our variations apart and recognise our commonplace humanity. That must be the guideline and focal point as from nowadays and it shall indisputably be mine. There’s no achieve pronouncing that during all faiths, in all races and in all tribes we’ve each just right and unhealthy. No longer one tribe or religion is freed from evil males and now not one is made up of only demons or angels.

All tribes and races have each and what’s reckless, bad, unacceptable and indefensible is for us to demonise an entire race or an entire religion merely as a result of the movements of a couple of. And to a big extent many people were in charge of doing that during various levels over time. I’m dedicated to proceed to resisting all varieties of evil and tyranny, to talking for the unvoiced, to protecting the defenseless and to face for the oppressed simply as I’ve been doing, at nice possibility to my lifestyles and liberty, for a few years.

That may by no means exchange and neither will I ever compromise or prostitute my rules and values. I will be able to by no means compromise with evil or betray my religion and neither will I ever bow ahead of hegemony or tyranny. I will be able to by no means be a slave to any person or permit others to enslave my folks and neither will I ever surrender on or forsake the battle for freedom, equality, liberty and fairness in our nation.

I will be able to proceed to withstand and talk towards all varieties of subjugation and injustice within the South and the Heart Belt, however henceforth I will be able to additionally talk up for the various sufferers of oppression, mass homicide, ethnic cleaning, slaughter, injustice, wickedness and genocide within the core north as smartly. They’re additionally being butchered and slaughtered like flies via evil souls, bandits and terrorists from basically out of doors our shores and now not sufficient folks recognize or recognise this. No longer sufficient folks in reality care.

No longer sufficient folks recognize their sufferings or talk towards the evil that they have got been subjected to via uncaring leaders and cruel and barbaric terrorist organisations. A scenario the place up till Matawalle got here to energy in Zamfara only one 12 months in the past, 300 to 500 folks had been being killed on a daily basis is unacceptable. This was once the case but the remainder of the rustic stated not anything.

Anywhere I see injustice and wickedness being unleashed on any Nigerian I will be able to proceed to combat it as a result of this is my calling. I will be able to not combat for only a few of our folks however fairly for they all. We can’t simply combat for our tribe however we will have to combat for all tribes. We can’t simply combat for our area or zone however we will have to combat for all areas and all zones. We can’t simply combat for our religion however we will have to combat for all faiths. This is management. This is braveness. This is righteousness and decency. This is God.

I really like the folks of the core north up to I really like the folks of the south east, the south south, the south west and the Heart Belt. I really like the folks of Zamfara up to I really like the folks of Plateau, Southern Kaduna and my nice in-laws within the south east who’ve at all times and can at all times have a different position in my middle. We will have to convey peace to all our folks and we will have to combat for they all, each Christians and Muslims. We’re in spite of everything, all God’s youngsters.

I thank Matawalle, the person of the instant and the person of peace, for constructing this bridge and I’d inspire different northern and southern leaders to take a cue from him and do the similar. We might disagree on many stuff however there can also be indubitably that all of us agree at the significance and advantages of peace, cohesion, love, mutual recognize and mutual working out.

That’s the handiest method to make Nigeria what our forefathers sought after her to be. That’s the handiest method to make us robust and related within the wider global and within the global neighborhood. That’s the handiest method ahead. That’s the handiest method to construct and identify a brand new, promising, inspiring and restructured Nigeria. Would possibly God information us.

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