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Politics of Saturday, 20 February 2021

Source: The Nation

Don't turn security challenges into ethnic, religious crises - Tinubu to Nigerians

National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday urged Nigerians not to turn the present security challenges across the country into ethnic, tribal or religious crisis.

Tinubu, who spoke at the Eighth-Day Fidau for former Lagos State governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, said anyone who had experienced ethnic confrontation or religious war before would not pray for one in Nigeria.

He said: “Nigeria is currently facing crises, crisis of insurgency, of banditry and all aspects of insecurity. But God Almighty who made this country one of the largest and most resourceful countries will guide and protect us.

“In memory of Baba Jakande, I appeal today to all of us not to turn whatever challenges we are facing right now to ethnic, tribal and religious crisis.

“Only God Almighty will judge our faith. Only Him is perfect. We usually beseech Allah to direct us on the right path. However, it’s left for us, left for me, left for you, left for the Ulamas to do the right thing.

“The Ulamas, you are very critical in the present situation. In your prayers, commitments, Uthubas, etc, all your sermons must be geared towards peace, tolerance, stability and togetherness.

“If there is war in Nigeria, it will submerge the entire West Africa and there won’t be enough space to accommodate us as refugees. Those who have seen the effects of war, the consequences of tribal conflict, of religious conflict will never want it for Nigeria.

“We pray to God Almighty to direct our minds, guide our faith, put peace in our minds and bring peace unto this our land.  May Almighty Allah bless all of us.”

Recalling the life and times of Jakande, the first civilian governor of Lagos State, Tinubu disclosed that he (Jakande) once rejected an offer to become the president of Nigeria.

He recalled that at a particular time when the country was experiencing leadership crisis, the late Jakande was offered the chance to become President but he said he was not interested.

Tinubu also described the late elder statesman as the most progressive individual he ever knew.

Recalling his foray into politics, Tinubu, who is also a former governor of Lagos State, said he cut his political teeth under the late Jakande.

According to him, it was the late Jakande who advised him to go to the Senate.

Tinubu said: “He is the most progressive individual that we’ll ever have; progressive to the core.

“For all of us in Lagos, we’re extremely lucky to draw from the fountain of his knowledge and wisdom.

“Nigeria equally is lucky, for when there was a crisis and many other issues arose, we said we wanted him but he said he was no longer interested in becoming the President.

“We told him we wanted him to come and lead, he said no.

“He has left an open field, there’s no way one can say we will beat his record. He’s already a martyr. It’s only from our own character and vision that we will drive our mission.”

Tinubu described the death of Jakande as a loss to the people of Lagos State, saying: “This demise is not Pa Jakande’s loss, it’s our loss.

“We cannot be alive forever. There is always a day we would depart and render accounts of our deeds to Allah.

“Today is the 8th day and we are all assembled to pray for Alhaji Lateef Jakande.

“I’m a lucky one; this is the house where I began my political journey in life. Baba Jakande said go on, contest for Senate, we need many like you in politics. The rest is history.

“To our junior brothers and sisters, may God bless you and set you on the right path to success. Jakande has many children, not just you alone. We are many. We truly are his children.

“Today he is no more, but he is still living, and will live till eternity.

“Today we pray for Lagos State, for Nigeria that God give us more leaders that are prudent and very honest like him; leaders who will give priority to the future, who will look at what would become of the future of our children.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the late Jakande served with a clear conscience and with the determination to leave Lagos more developed than he met it.

He pledged that the state government would preserve the iconic legacy he left in the service of Lagos.

He said: “Baba Jakande came into public service with the sole determination to serve and leave a good legacy for us.

“He only governed for four years and three months, but his marks and records are still visible almost 40 years after.

“What he did for Lagos and Nigeria is beyond what his family can bear alone.

“He was an enigma of our time and a national icon whose leadership in public service remains a reference point.

“This is a time for all of us in the position of leadership today to reflect on how our administration, our policies and programmes have impacted the lives of the people.”

Sanwo-Olu said the honour for the deceased would not end with the Fidau, disclosing that a formal day of honour for the late Jakande was being planned by the state government and the family would be availed of the details.

In their sermons, Mudir Markaz Sheikh Habeebullah Adam, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria (ADS) National Missioner Sheikh AbdurRahman Ahmad and Sheikh Muyideen Bello, urged Tinubu, Sanwo-Olu and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, who was present, to team up with their fellow politicians and find a solution to the insecurity in the country.

Sheikh Ahmad lamented the state of insecurity in the country, urging politicians to quickly look for a way out.

Among those in attendance were Lagos State Deputy Governor Dr Obafemi Hamzat and wife Oluremi; widow of the deceased, Alhaja Abimbola Jakande; former Ogun State governor Aremo Olusegun Osoba; former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Alhaji Musiliu Smith; Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker Mudasiru Obasa; Prince Tajudeen Olusi; Bashorun Olorunfunmi and state executive members.

Others include Senators Sani Yerima, Ganiyu Solomon and Anthony Adefuye; Chief of Staff to Governor Sanwo-Olu Mr Tayo Ayinde; Head of Service Hakeem Muri-Okunola; APC Lagos Caretaker Committee Chairman Tunde Balogun; Chairman of Odi-Olowo Local Council Development Area Rasaq Ajala; Mushin Local Government Chairman Emmanuel Bamigboye and the Chairman of All Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas Vice Chairmen in Lagos Gbenga Oyebode.

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