Sultan’s visit, blessing to Ondo –Akeredolu
By Adekola Afolabi
The historic visit of the Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, to Ondo state has been described as a blessing not only to Akure but the state at large.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu made the assertion in Akure at a public lecture in commemoration of the 2019 Ulefunta Festival of the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo, held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure ( FUTA).
The festival marked the end of annual leave of the Deji.
Akeredolu specifically lauded the guest lecturer, His Eminence, Sa’ad Abubakar, for the choice of the lecture titled, “Our Diversity, a Divine Gift and Blessing Untapped: Wrong Path Trodden and way to Peace”, saying the topic was apt at this time.
Akeredolu said “we must cherish our diversity, we must tap into our diversity for social integration, and as brothers, we must stand as one.”
The governor particularly encouraged all Nigerians regardless of religious, ethnic or political backgrounds, to involve in peace building and unifying the country, just as he described the Sultan’s lecture as an antidote to Nigeria’s myriad of problems.
Earlier, the Sultan and other traditional rulers had paid a courtesy visit to the governor where he called on them to be involved in peace keeping programmes, saying all of us must come together to talk about peace and diversity because it is important.
“Collaboration of this nature must be sustained because our traditional rulers must be involved in peace keeping programmes. They should come together as a group because people have more confidence in our traditional rulers than politicians,” the governor added.
Akeredolu described the Sultan’s visit as a golden handshake across the Niger, and a gesture which Ondo State would cherish for a long time.
The governor equally emphasised that unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable, noting that both muslims and christians must see themselves as one, and should not allow religion or politics to divide the country.
Earlier, His Eminence Sa’ad Abubakar, advised religious and political leaders to come together in the fight against insecurity in the country, saying that all hands must be on deck to fight extremists and criminals among the people.
The monarch who said he was sleeping in the state for the first time, particularly called for religious tolerance between Christians and Muslims across the country.
According to the Sultan, we should celebrate our diversity as it is not a problem, but an asset, a divine gift and a blessing indeed, adding that “for every gift, we should give thanks.”
The Sultan was accompanied by the Deji of Akure, Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, Olubaka of Oka, Oba Adebori Adeleye, Orangun of Oke-Ila and the Attah of Ayede Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Orisagbemi.