Stop Criminalizing Ethnic Groups, Sultan Tells Newsmen

The new Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar, also the spiritual leader of Nigeria's Muslim, sits on his throne during his coronation ceremony in Sokoto, Northern Nigeria, March 3, 2007. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde (NIGERIA) - RTR1N1ZM

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’adAbubakar, has told the Nigerian media to stop the practice of wholesale labeling of particular ethnic groups in the country as criminals on accounts of infractions committed by individuals.

AlhajiAbubakar said this in Abuja on recently at the presentation of a book, “Dynamics of Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences”, written in honour of the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede.

The Sultan, who was the Spiritual and Royal Father at the event, said, “We should stop giving criminals ethnic labeling. There are criminals among all ethnic groups and if somebody or a group commits a crime, let’s deal with them as criminals and not as Muslim criminals,       Christian criminals, Yoruba criminals, Hausa criminals, Fulani criminals or Igbo criminals”.

AlhajiAbubakar, who is also the Sarkin Musulumi and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, pointed out that “thousands of people are being killed every day for economic survival but we are fond of giving these crimes religious and ethnic colorations”, stressing that “this is wrong and we should stop this if we want stability in our country”.

The Sultan commended the brains behind the book publication, saying they have done a good job by honouring Prof. Oloyede when he is still alive rather than waiting until he is no more before celebrating him.

According to the respected royal father, “If you want to celebrate an achiever, do so when he is alive so that he could be encouraged to do more and not after his death when he would not know anything happening behind him”.

AlhajiAbubakar commended Prof. Oloyede, saying that the Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence is doing a wonderful job as the Registrar/Chief Executive of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion and former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice S. M. A. Belgore, commended the initiators of the book project, saying, “The book is a wonderful publication”.

Justice Belgore, who said that he had known Prof. Oloyede since his student days in the University, described the honoree as “extremely religious and very polite. He is a very kind human being with the fear of God, a good teacher and a good Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, one of the best in Africa”.

The book reviewer, Prof. Afiz Oladosu of the University of Ibadan, pointed out that “Dynamics of Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences” is “written for those who value knowledge”

In his remarks while presenting the book, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) described the publication as “a product of a high level of selflessness”.

Dr. Babalakin, who is the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Lagos, also showered encomiums on the honoree, Prof. Oloyede, whom he said, “worked at the University of Ilorin as if his entire life and the lives of his family depended on it”.

The Book Presenter disclosed that “at the Fountain University, Osogbo, where Prof. Oloyede is the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, “he brought so many developments to the university in two years than the institution has ever had since inception”.

Also in his remarks, a former Minister of Education, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, said that himself and Prof. Oloyede had been friends since the past 40 years during their days as members of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN).

Alhaji Shekarau pointed out that “as a fellow member of the MSS and as an outstanding friend for almost 40 years, I want to say that 90 percent of what you see in Oloyede today is a product of the rigorous training he imbibed from the MSS”.

The book presentation was attended by a bevy of Who-is-Who across the Nigerian society. There were personalities from the academia, the traditional institution, the business community, the judiciary, the legal profession, the civil service and students.

 

 

 

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