The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to wield the big stick on state governors who fail to implement recommendations for tackling the challenges of almajiri, divorce, drug abuse and other social menace.
According to sultan, no governor is bigger than the country.
He spoke as chairman at the Joint National Conference of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and Future Assured Initiative of First Lady Aisha Buhari, on “Repositioning the Muslim Family for National Development”.
Sultan said: “Mr. President, as the Commander-in-Chief, as a retired general and I know you’re not tired. I think you should give matching orders to governors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to implement decisions reached at this conference and all our conferences. If not, you have that big stick on any of the governors who refuses to do a, b, c, d on what you instruct them to do.
“I believe we must pass that stage of having these high level meetings, come out with excellent recommendations on how to solve problems and then go home and sleep. We must start solving our problems because nobody from any part of the world will come and solve the problem for us.
“No matter how big a governor is, he is not bigger than Nigeria, no matter how big an individual he is, educated or powerful, he is not bigger than Nigeria. We should all know that is Nigeria first, we must solve our problems ourselves because we all know what the problems are.”
President Buhari urged state governors to rise up to the challenges facing family as an institution by doing their full parts in the effort for social regeneration.
He said most of the challenges affecting the family fall within the mandates and jurisdictions of the state governments
He urged Christian and Muslim leaders as well as preachers to give more attention to issues that strengthen the family and build society.
The according to the president, since poverty alleviation is central to safeguarding the integrity of families, the government will also put more efforts in ensuring economic support and empowering of family members for more stability.
Aisha Buhari said the conference would make far-reaching recommendations in the areas of marital responsibilities and care for children to avoid having future vulnerable ones, particularly the almajiris that were now indoctrinated into different sects threatening the society’s stability.
Senate President Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan said the Universal Basic Education should be fully implemented to compel parents to send their children to school, arguing that governors could not solve the problems alone without the support of religious and traditional leaders.
Lawan called for synergy between federal state governments as it required huge resources to tackle the almajiri problem in states.
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, called for enactment of laws against all forms of injustice in marriages by state governments.
He recommended the arrest of any irresponsible father that sends out his child as Almajiri to beg for alms.
“Don’t send your children to go and beg and stop treating Almajiri as criminals. You should rather go and arrest the father because he is responsible for Al-majiri. You’re not allowed to abandon your children on the streets.”
He advised men to take full responsibility for their marriages, especially in economic terms, by marrying only when they could take care of a wife, and having children they can cater for.
“Everyday, wives are complaining about their husbands who claim their rights, but abandon their responsibilities of marriage, women being divorced with their husbands not taking care of the children and those children ending up on the streets, engaging in drugs, political thuggery, violent extremism.
“I can spend 100 years saying that it’s wrong and un-Islamic for a man to beat his wife, but it’s the governors and the State Houses of Assembly that should pass the law, it’s the courts and the police that’ll make sure that the woman gets justice. The scholars and emirs cannot do that.
“So, the problem is these groups of human beings are those who will stand to answer to Allah if there is no justice.
“The traditional and religious leaders have an obligation to ask for justice, but those with the political powers have an obligation to put in place the processes that will make sure that these justices are complied with,” Sanusi said.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, advocated the need to make laws that would force fathers to be responsible for their children upbringing.
The traditional ruler also said the almajiri challenge must be seen as a national problem that must be jointly solved.