Maitama Sule
Late Maitama Sule

OBINNA EZUGWU

Shortly after his swearing in as Nigerian president on May 29, 2015, having won the February presidential election of that year on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari played host to a delegation of Northern elders led by the late diplomat and elder statesman, Yusuf Maitama Sule, who in a statement, cautioned that the only way the new president would succeed in power is by upholding justice.

Sule, a one time chief whip of the Federal House of Representatives, in his elaborate address to Buhari, harped on the need for him to do justice to all an sundry irrespective of tribe, religion or political inclination, while warning that failure to do justice to all would give rise to crisis.

The Kano State born diplomat who passed away in 2017, had noted that the President was a man of justice and encouraged him not to change.

“It is the same Buhari who gave this country a sense of direction when he was a military leader. This time around, I’m sure, Allah has brought him to correct the ills of the past, to reform,” Sule had said.

“But sir, it is easy, and you know it was easy when you were there as a military leader, but what is made it easy? Justice. With justice, you will rule Nigeria well. Justice is the key. If you do justice to all and sundry, and I repeat, all and sundry, because Allah said if you are going to work with people, do justice, irrespective of their tribe, religion or even political inclination. Justice must be done to whosoever deserves it.”

The elder statesman had pointed out to Buhari, whose government many have accused of nepotism and lopsidedness, that power would remain in the hands of an infidel if he is just, but not in the hands of a believer who is unjust.

He also pointed out that crisis the world over was given rise to by injustice, and the solution would always be justice.

“Power can remain in the hands of an infidel if he is just and fair, but it will not remain in the hands of a believer if he is unfair and unjust. Behind every crisis anywhere in the world is injustice. The solution to that crisis is justice,” he had said.

“The world itself cannot be governed by force, never by fear, even never by power. In the end, what governs is the mind. What conquers is the spirit, and the weapons of governing the mind and conquering the spirit are justice and fair play.

“I have always known you to be a man of justice, I ask you please to continue, don’t change; don’t compromise justice for anything.

“Mr. President, you know what we have gone through. I am not asking you, and I know you will not, to discriminate against any part of Nigeria. But I’m asking you to do justice to all parts of Nigeria. Justice will bring about peace, peace and stability are the prerequisite of development. Development will bring employment. With employment, you will not have idle people. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop; an idle mind thinks nothing but evil, wants to do nothing but evil.

“Do justice to us, do justice to them, do justice to everybody. Allah will reward you for that.”