By Mustapha Yawuri & Mohammed Lawal
Zaria (Kaduna State) – President Muhammadu Buhari has called on traditional rulers in the country to be symbols of national unity through patriotism, fairness and justice to all.
Buhari made the call at the 45th Anniversary of the Emir of Zazzau, Dr Shehu Idris, held at his palace on Saturday in Zaria, Kaduna State.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the emir was enthroned on February 8, 1975 by the then governor of the defunct North-Central State, Gen. Abba Kyari.
Buhari, who was represented by Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammed Mahmud, observed that patriotism, fairness and justice to all manner of people under their domain would accelerate development.
He attributed the huge development in Zazzau Emirate to the desire of the emir to move the emirate, Kaduna State and Nigeria forward.
He said: “As the Emir of Zazzau is celebrating 45th anniversary, history has shown that right from the beginning he is a patriotic Nigerian who loves his subjects, treats people fairly, equally and justly.
“It could be recalled that the emir was enthroned in 1975 and right from that period, the emirate had recorded tremendous development in different aspects of life.
“Especially in the area of education, research and other aspects for the growth and development of not only the emirate but Kaduna state and Nigeria at large.
“Going by history, the emir was born in 1936 and he is the 18th Emir of Zazzau under Fulani and it has shown that even after his enthronement as emir, he held several positions in government and private sector in view of his sterling leadership qualities,’ the president said.
Buhari prayed God Almighty to continue to bestow the emir with wisdom, good health and many more successful years ahead, hoping that in the next five years, they would come and celebrate his golden jubilee.
Also speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto, Dr Sa’ad Abubakar II, prayed that the 45 years spent on the throne would be a source of blessing to the Emir in this world and a path to paradise in the hereafter.
Abubakar appealed to leaders at all levels to redouble efforts toward ensuring security of lives and property, saying that the country actually needed prayers to overcome the security challenges bedeviling it.
He noted that with constant prayers; nothing “is impossible”, adding that there was the need for Nigerians to repent and continually pray for their leaders to lead them well.
“I want to urge us all to stand up and pray for President Muhammadu Buhari for him to deliver the goods successfully, likewise Gov. Nasiru El-Rufa’i as well as local government council chairmen and traditional rulers too.
“Prayer is key to success of any leader, please pray for us, do not allow us with our imperfection, only God Almighty is perfect,” he said.
On his part, El-Rufa’i lauded the emir over his fatherly contributions toward supporting his administration to transform the state.
El-Rufa’i noted that the successes recorded in the emirate would not have been possible without the patience, resilience and zeal to accommodate all manner of people as demonstrated by the emir.
Responding, Dr Shehu Idris appreciated God Almighty for leading him all through to witness his 45th anniversary celebration.
While describing it as a rare privilege, Idris sought for forgiveness for any wrong he might have done to his subjects.
Idris appealed called on the people to continue to give peace a chance, observing that without peace, Nigeria would never achieve its developmental goals.
The monarch admonished parents to monitor activities of their wards, saying that only descent and well-trained youths would drive the development of the country.
“I want to use this medium to remind the Federal Government of my appeal during the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the palace, on the need to look into the challenges facing the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) Zaria.
“Let me also use this event to appreciate the president for the various developmental projects being carried out in different parts of the country, especially the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Road,” he said.