Former Lagos governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has urged Nigerians not to turn the present security challenges across the country into ethnic, tribal or religious crisis.
He said anyone who had experienced ethnic confrontation or religious war before would not pray for one in Nigeria.
It was his initial comment on the spate of banditry, insurgency and other aspects of insecurity presently plaguing the country.
Asiwaju Tinubu spoke on Friday at the eight-day Fidau prayers for the late civilian governor of the state, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, held in the late statesman’s house in Ilupeju Lagos.
Speaking extempore at the event attended among others by Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, former Zamfara State governor Sani Yerima and former Ogun State governor Segun Osoba, Tinubu said: “Nigeria is currently facing crises, crisis of insurgency, of banditry and all aspects of insecurity.
“But God Almighty who made this country one of the largest and most resourceful countries will guide and protect us.
“In memory of Baba Jakande, I appeal today to all of us not to turn whatever challenges we are facing right now to ethnic, tribal and religious crisis.
“Only God Almighty will judge our faith, only Him is perfect. We usually beseech Allah to direct us on the right path. However, it’s left for us, left for me, left for you, left for the Ulamas to do the right thing.
“The Ulamas, you are very critical in the present situation. In your prayers, commitments, Uthubas, etc, all your sermons must be geared towards peace, tolerance, stability and togetherness.
“If there is war in Nigeria, it will submerge the entire West Africa and there won’t be enough space to accommodate us as refugees. Those who have seen the effects of war, the consequences of tribal conflict, of religious conflict will never want it for Nigeria.
“We pray to God Almighty to direct our minds, guide our faith, put peace in our minds and bring peace unto this our land. May Almighty Allah bless all of us. Amin.”
Speaking on the late Pa Jakande, Tinubu said: “To our father who has gone to answer the call of the Almighty, we pray that God will forgive all his sins and accept him into Aljanna Fridaus.
“This demise is not Pa Jakande’s loss, it’s our loss. We cannot be alive forever. There is always a day we would depart and render accounts of our deeds to Allah. Today is the 8th day and we are all assembled to pray for Alhaji Lateef Jakande.
“I’m a lucky one; this is the house where I began my political journey in life. Baba Jakande said go on, contest for Senate, we need many like you in politics. The rest is history.
“To our junior brothers and sisters, may God bless you and set you on the right path to success. Jakande has many children, not just you alone. We are many. We truly are his children.
“Today he is no more, but he is still living, and will live till eternity. Today we pray for Lagos State, for Nigeria that God give us more leaders that are prudent and very honest like him. Leaders who will give priority to the future, who will look at what would become of the future of our children.
“He converted three sets of school classes to one without leaving anyone behind. He created many hospitals. He is the most progressive individual that we ever have. He was a progressive to the core.
All of us in Lagos, we have been extremely lucky to draw from the fountain of his knowledge and wisdom.
“There is no way we can beat his record. He is already a martyr. To all of us, I will say, let our character, our vision drive our mission.”