Speaking at the opening of a meeting between the Northern Traditional Rulers Council (NTRC) and Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) on Monday, the Sultan expressed worries that places of religious worship were being used to preach hate.
The meeting is an attempt to find solutions to the persistent killings in southern Kaduna and violence in the north at large.
“We at the northern traditional rulers council are very worried and sad with the situation of insecurity in the north, especially the happenings in southern Kaduna, kidnapping, cattle rustling, the state of IDPs in the north-east in particular and other parts of the country,” Abubakar said.
“We are more worried with the usage of places of religious worship to preach hatred, violence and other issues that tend to divide us, rather than strengthen our unity as a people created by one God.
“We believe one of the numerous reasons why violence continues to thrive in our midst is the impunity that is allowed to thrive in our midst. Nobody is punished for criminal doings they commit. We are therefore strongly supporting more measures taken and to be taken by governors of the northern states, especially the governor of Kaduna state.
“We look forward to a very robust, blunt and honest discussion today. Let us collectively as one people say enough is enough.”
Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, said the participation of traditional rulers to finding solutions to the region’s violence could not be over-emphasised
“I believe that one of the major issues that would occupy our time today is to discuss the security challenges bedevilling this part of the country, especially clashes between Herdsmen and local communities, terrorism, kidnapping, cattle rustling, among others,” he said.
“As we all know, traditional institutions are the closest organs of government to the grassroots. Your participation in issues of security therefore cannot be over-emphasised.”
He further expressed his displeasure that “unscrupulous elements” were instigating people who had lived together for several years to fight against one another.
Kashim Shettima, governor of Borno and chairman of NSGF, said the northern governors were ready to implement decisions reached at the meeting.
“How can we address these critical concerns? We, the 19 governors of northern states believe that a gathering of some of the key leaders of the north is more than able to provide solutions to our problems,” Shettima said.
“As governors, we are more determined than ever to sincerely walk the talks generated from this important meeting.”