Former Emir of Kano calls for collective approach to stabilising Sahel Region

Mohammed Sanusi II

The 14th Emir of Kano in Nigeria, Mohammed Sanusi II, has advised African leaders to think beyond nation borders to be successful at addressing problems confronting the Sahel region.

He said understanding the relationship between development, economy and religion within the region was key to reducing the temperature of instability that had characterised the region for decades.

“You can’t fix one chunk of Sahel in Ghana, one chunk in Nigeria and one chunk in Cameroon. These heads of state have to sit down and look at the northern parts of our countries as one region and for instance say how do we build a rail line from Port Sudan to Dakar,” he said.

Speaking at the Sanneh Institute on Tuesday during his visit to Ghana, the Former Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, observed that the Sahel, post colonial era, was a region of commerce and a common language where trading happened from East to West.

“With colonialism, the coastal cities and steam ships took over and so instead of hearing about Tumbuktu Kano, Katsina and Gao, it became Lagos, Dakar and Accra and so on.

“So if you look across West Africa, the coast has become wealthy and properous with largely Western education and the Sahel has become marginalised and poor ” he noted.

He, therefore, urged intellectual groups and think tanks to work towards getting African leaders to think multinationally and see the problems confronting the continent as transnational requiring collaboration.

Prof John Azumah, the Executive Director of the Institute said battling extremism and superstition and channeling of religious energies for good development was a task for all African scholars of religion to explore.

In line with that, he said the Institute would in April next year, launch a research project that would look at the pacifist tradition of Islam in West Africa.

The Emir who also paid a courtesy call on the former Second lady, Mrs Matilda Amissah-Arthur, was in Ghana as the Special guest at an annual Quranic recitation organised by Ali Suraj, an Officer in Charge of special duties at the Office of the Vice President.

He is scheduled to meet the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Usman Nuhu; the Vice President, Dr Mahmud Bawumia, and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, before departing to Kumasi where he will pay a courtesy call on the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II.

Source: GNA

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