Sallah and the Sultan’s charge

THE Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III’s take on hate speech, and how to deal with the menace, is spot on.

As part of his Sallah message, the Sultan called on the Federal Government to hit hard at anyone guilty of spreading hate, no matter how highly placed, saying such misconduct fuels a precarious security situation.
The government, he declared, should be “decisive in dealing with those who are bent on heating up the polity with hate speeches, no matter how highly placed they may be.”
He also spoke on the dire security question: “This situation, which seems to preoccupy the attention of the Federal Government at the expense of other issues in the socio-political and economic spectra, appears increasingly problematic.”
A probable de-code?  The more the authorities try to stem insecurity, the more reckless tongues among the citizenry fuel it, leveraging ethnic, faith and sundry differences, not to talk of pressing democratic rights.  Ironically, these lobby, almost with sadistic pleasure, would be the first the scream at the government’s “failure” to  sort out the problem.
Then, the monarch’s  Sallah plea: “Today is a day of sacrifice.  We must seek divine intervention in all our activities … We have seen a lot of commitments and dedication to the fight against insecurity.  With our support and fervent prayers, we will surely succeed” — quite!
In other words, security is collective business.  Unless and until the government and the governed meet at some points on this crucial matter, both could be running at cross purposes, with devastating consequences.
As for seeking divine intervention, it could well go back to the tongue.
It is the same mouth that you use to pray that you use to curse; the same reasoned mouth that calls for moderation and restraint harbours the lunatic tongue that glories in tearing down everything; the same mouth that shows empathy and constant encouragement, along the process of solving a problem, is the one that, without thinking, hollers, barks, roars and growls: the government has done nothing!
True, all of these are allowed under the democratic ethos.  Still, you must secure a country before luxuriating in its democracy; and its guaranteed freedom and liberty.
The Sultan’s charge could not have come at a better time.
Those who have ears, let them hear.

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