The former Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, says Nigeria is in mess because of the “corrupt and insincere” leadership she has suffered over time.
The 18th Sultan, who is also the father of the current National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki, however praised his son, saying, “My son is a matured person with his family and is capable of taking decisions. Now, I go out every day to pray without being afraid of any attack”.
Alhaji Dasuki, who was speaking to journalists in his Kaduna home, insisted that bad leadership must be cleaned out of Nigeria.
He lamented: “Nigeria is in a mess today. How we came about it I don’t know. The country is full of richness but there are many poor people in the society. Mismanagement and injustice have led us to where we are, and unless we work hard, with everybody contributing his part and we learn to coexist with each other, we may not resolve the problems facing the country.”
Reflecting on his past when he worked in the public service, he recalled that Nigerians coexisted peacefully, and that civil servants conscientiously advised their Ministers as to what was wrong or right.
“If we disagreed with our minister, we could go to the federal executive council as permanent secretaries to defend our position,” he said, adding, “Today, the civil service is no longer civil. We used to be accounting officers as civil servants but today the governors are the accounting officers. There was justice then, but that is lacking today.”
Reflecting on the depth of corruption in the country, he said, “I didn’t know what a trillion is until I asked somebody to write it for me and he wrote 12 zeros. The average Nigerian is earning $1 per day with all the money that we have, yet somebody collected some people’s N2 billion pension and kept it in his house in cash. The oil subsidy money, which is in billions, is also gone. We don’t have our own airline now. We are a sleeping giant.”
Expressing optimism, Dasuki, who was dethroned and jailed by the late military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, said, “Greatness is not achieved by proclamation but by hard work, honesty and transparency. The leaders and whole society need to be honest, just and fair for the country to develop.”
He said that if governments, from the local government to the presidency, declared justice, everything would be all right, the insecurity would be resolved, the bombing would stop and corruption would end.