Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has described the visit of the Sultan of Sokoto, Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, as a golden handshake across the Niger.
Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said Ondo State will cherish the gesture of the Sultan for a long time.
According to Olabode R Olatunde, Special Assistant to the Governor (New Media), the Governor made this known while receiving in audience, the Sultan of Sokoto and other traditional rulers at the Exco Chamber of the Governor’s office , Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital on Monday.
The Sultan is in the state capital to deliver a lecture on diversity.
The lecture is in commemoration of the Ulefunta Festival of the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi Ogunlade .
The Sultan was accompanied to the Governor’s office by the Deji of Akure, Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, Olubaka of Oka, Oba Adebori Adeleye, Orangun of Oke-Ila and the Attah of Ayede Ekiti , Oba Adebayo Orisagbemi.
The Governor said the state sees the visit of the Sultan as a blessing, noting that the state was not just receiving the sultan of Sokoto, but also an acceptable eminent leader of the Islamic religion.
Arakunrin Akeredolu, who stressed that the issue of the Unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable , warned that politics should be played without tampering with the unifying factor that binds the country together.
The Governor described both the Muslims and Christians as one, while urging the people not to allow religion to divide the country.
He said: “I’m happy you attended the NIREC meeting where you spoke with our religious leaders. Here, we don’t see the difference between the Muslims and Christians.
“Our leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is an Alhaji, his wife, is a senior Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) . That’s how we co-exist here.
“While we were growing up, we celebrated Muslim festivals with our Muslim friends . During the Christmas, they would also come to our house and we didn’t notice any difference. We are one and religion should not divide us. ”
Akeredolu also thanked the Sultan for accepting to be in the state on the invitation of the Deji of Akure. The Governor said the Sultan’s message of peace is clear to everyone.
Earlier, the Sultan of Sokoto, who said he was sleeping in the state for the first time, commended Akeredolu for all he has done in the state within a short time. He urged the Governor to continue to do more in the interest of the people.
The Sultan said he accepted the invitation to come to Akure and deliver the lecture because it bothers on the diversity of the country, adding that everyone must come together to fight the extremists and criminals among the people.