By Emmanuel Acha
The Sultan of Sokoto, Dr Sa’ad Abubakar III, said the various ethnic and interest groups in the country can co-exist peacefully if there is justice.
He spoke on Tuesday in Nsukka, during a civic reception organised in his honour by the Nsukka Socio-Cultural zone.
Abubakar regretted that contemporary Nigerians had failed to build on the foundation laid by the country’s founding fathers.
He said that there were more cohesion and integration between preceding generations than the new generation.
The sultan attributed the seeming mistrust among Nigerians to misinformation and ignorance.
“We have refused to come together as a nation due to ignorance and suspicion.
“Our visit here is to strengthen relationships, having started my youthful life in Nsukka 39 years ago.
“My coming here is at the right time, considering the loss of lives due to insecurity in parts of the country,” he said.
Abubakar said that no Nigerian would aim at killing an Igbo man in any part of the country for whatever reason, adding that they were only targeted because of their hard work.
“Nobody in the Northern part of the country has been aiming at an Igbo man to kill.
“Miscreants target them because they are the most industrious and the people that move the economy.
“That is why their shops and other businesses are mostly the target during civil unrest because the hoodlums are sure to find valuables in the shops,” he said.
The Sultan said that he was overwhelmed at the love shown him by Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and residents of the state.
“As Nigerians we can be the best of families if we want to,” he said.
Abubakar challenged the three tiers of government to investigate how suspected herdsmen and other Nigerians acquire AK 47 and other arms and ammunition.
“They have always asked us how the herdsmen acquired these ammunition, but I throw the question back to the politicians; find out how people acquire the guns.
“Find out how the herdsmen that move with AK47 riffles acquire them,” he said.
Abubakar said that Nigerians had the option to live as one united family, adding that such visits would continue to strengthen the ties between the peoples of the country.
The Sultan, who is on a three day visit to Enugu State inaugurated road projects executed by the state government in Enugu and Nsukka.