The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has warned that disobedience to any court order is a recipe to lawlessness and that everyone must be law abiding in the interest of national development.
He gave the warning on Thursday in Abuja at the 2019 4th Quarter Meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) with the theme: “Religion and Civil Authorities in Dialogue for Nation Building”.
Daily Trust reports that while the Sultan did not cite examples or mentioned names, there have been protests against the re-arrest of Sahara Reporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore and activist Olawale Bakare by the State Security Services (SSS) after a Federal High Court granted bail and the Leader of the Shia movement in Nigeria Sheik El-Zakzaky among others.
The Sultan who is also the Co-Chairman of the Council, stressed the need to revive NIREC meeting on rotational basis by taking its to every part of the country to feel the pulse of the people as it was done before.
“We must regularly obey and respect the laws our land. We should never disregard the laws to avoid the consequences. If a court makes a judicial pronouncement on a particular matter, it should be obeyed to the later. If you have any problem or disagree with the pronouncement, the next step is to appeal the pronouncement instead of disregarding or violating court judgments.
“If you are served a court order and you deliberately refused to obey it because you are a Governor, President or any influential person, then you are setting a dangerous precedence. There’s no society that will prosper through lawlessness. Citizens must be law abiding so that we can achieve the desired development,” Sultan Abubakar said.
He also stressed the need for inter religious dialogue in the country saying that it will bring better understanding among the people.
While urged the citizenry to check extremism among themselves to stop extremists from causing trouble in the polity, he stressed the need to educate children by taking those not in the schools off the street and also to combat the rising menace of drug abuse in the country.
On his part the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, commended the Co-Chairmen (Sultan; and President Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle) and members of the Secretariat for being steadfast in maintaining the peace and harmony being currently enjoy in the country.
According to him, the Federal Government recognises the efforts of NIREC in bringing the two major religions in Nigeria together to provide religious leaders and traditional rulers with a veritable forum to promote greater interaction and understanding among the leadership and their followers as well as lay foundations for sustainable peace and religious harmony in the country.
“The time has now come for Governments at all levels to sit down and discuss the issue of religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence with our religious and traditional rulers because the success or failure of security administration in the country depends largely on both institutions. You therefore remain in the frontline of stakeholders in the business of peace building in every community,” Mustapha said.
Also, the Executive Secretary of NIREC, Prof. Cornelius Afebu Omonokhua, said that to develop more capacity to sustain the position of Nigeria as the giant of Africa, NIREC keeps reminding the nation that justice and good governance remain the most effective means for the promotion of peace, harmony, mutual co-existence and the development of a country. “NIREC urged the Government to promote the rule of law, transparency, accountability, consensus building, equity, stronger institutions and efficiency. Determined efforts should be made by Government and religious leaders to check the problems in order to protect the moral well-being of the people. They should do use the religious, political and ethnic tensions that are pervading the country. These were among the resolutions articulated in the 3rd quarter meeting of NIREC,” he said.
He added that NIREC this year participated actively in the meetings of the Africa Council of Religious Leaders in Tanzania and Uganda and also participated actively in the 10th world assembly in Lindau, Germany.
“At the meeting of the West Africa Inter-Religious Council in Lomé, Togo on November 7, 20 I 9, Nigeria was unanimously chosen as the head quarter of the West Africa Inter-Religious Council with the Executive secretary of NIREC as the General Secretary,” he said.