The former Nigeria permanent representative to the United Nations, Maitama Sule has advised the president-elect Muhammadu Buhari to run his administration on the principle of justice and fair play. The eloquent speaking former diplomat said ‘with justice, you can rule Nigeria well. Justice is the key, irrespective of tribe, religion and race. Justice must be done to whosoever deserves it.
Behind every crisis anywhere in the world are injustice and the solution to that is justice. The world itself can never be governed by force, fear or power. In the end what governs is the mind. What conquers is the spirit and what governs the mind and the spirit is justice and fair play.
Maitama Sule who led some members of the Northern Elders Forum which included Senator Joseph Waku, Paul Unongo,Ango Abdullahi and Bello Suleiman to the president-elect also advised Buhari to hold on to what he is known for; discipline. He said ‘I am sure you won’t compromise your principle. He further told president-elect Buhari not to discriminate against any part of the country in the implementation of his programmes. According to Maitama Sule ‘ you are the President of Nigeria, you are not the President of of Northern Nigeria by the grace of God. Your excellency, we have come to congratulate you.
‘We first of all thank God, what recently happened in Nigeria is an act of God. Nobody can claim credit for it. Allah has done it for us. Allah has listened to our prayers and our pleas to bring about this change; a change for the betterment of all. Nobody expected that the elelctions would be peaceful, nobody expected that the elections would not lead to the disintegration of the country. By the grace of God the elections were held peacefully. ‘ We are living in peace with one another. By the grace of God power will also be handed over to you and we will be living peacefully thereafter by the grace of God.’
Buhari however, sounded a note of caution that Nigerians should not expect change overnight. He said ‘the biggest message is to try and persuade the people that it is not possible to change the state of affairs now. He said the revenue earned between 1999 and now is more than what was earned from 1914 to 1999. He said ‘between then and now, what we earned in between then and what is on ground shows how efficiently the PDP managed Nigeria in the last 16 years. Now, we have invariably inherited all the problems, especially in the Northeast.
He said when President Barack Obama of the United States of America called him after the Presidential election victory; he could feel a sense of relief in his voice. He said ‘they are people of conscience because they have reached a stage where they have stabilised their society and they are relatively secured materially, physically and otherwise. They know we are in danger.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
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