Nigeria’s underdevelopment has been hinged on misplaced priorities by its political leaders.
The Sultan of Sokoto Sa’ad Abubakar III made the submission Thursday in Sokoto at an international symposium on the Sokoto caliphate.
Abubakar said Nigerians must muster courage to question their political leaders on how they spend state resources.
The sultan noted that when citizens begin to hold their government accountable, they would be forced to do the right thing.
He expressed regret that most times, Nigerian leaders had misplaced priorities, putting up projects that were of no benefit to the masses.
Focus more on the masses – Sultan
Abubakar noted that some leaders preferred to use billions to build airports when they could not pay salaries of their state workforce.
The Sultan then advised that instead of duplicating projects like airports, resources should be channeled to cogent needs of the masses.
“Of what use is it to be building airports worth billions of naira when the roads that the common man travels are bad?
“Instead of having an airport here in Birnin Kebbi that hardly sees one flight in one year, and then you have an airport in Dutse that only lifts pilgrims.
“You have an airport in Kaduna, in Bauchi, and Gombe. And another one in Ekiti, in Markudi and so on, while the roads which the common man uses for his day to day activities are so bad .
“You can imagine if you are travelling from Minna to Abuja, how many hours it will take you and from Lokoja to Okene down to Akure due to bad roads.’’
Abubakar said these were the things political leaders needed to check and talk to themselves about.
The Sultan further urged Nigerians to stop hiding behind religion, politics and tribal affiliations to perpetuate crime.
A criminal is a criminal regardless of affiliation
“People hide under politics to say or do certain things that are totally against the security of the state.
“If the person is arrested, the next thing you hear is that it is because he does not belong to the political party; what is bad is bad.
“Whether he is a Muslim or Christian or APC or PDP, remove all these and let him answer his name, a criminal, you have stolen government money.
“But once we start using tribe among others to claim right, it is not good. We must all rise and help government to get the money back.”
Abubakar urged the Federal Government to convene a national security summit of all stakeholders, including traditional and religious leaders, to deliberate on security issues; from militancy to Boko Haram to kidnapping.