2019 elections: Osinbajo urges traditional rulers to promote peace process

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With just few days to the 2019 general elections, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has enjoined traditional rulers in the country to urge their communities to shun violence and hate speech as it is designed to incite and provoke disturbances

The Vice President made the call on Monday at the opening of the 10th National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) in Abuja.

Osinbajo while describing the traditional rulers as spiritual heads of their communities enjoined them to take the responsibilities of guidance and counseling and enlighten their subjects on the need to shun all forms of animosity, aggression, conflicts, and violence before, during and after the elections.

”I urge you all as traditional and spiritual heads of your communities to take up your responsibilities of guidance and counselling; to enlighten them on the need to shun all forms of animosity, aggression, conflicts, and violence before, during and after the elections, while mobilising them to participate, by voting for the candidates or parties of their choice at all levels, without fear of molestation, intimidation or harassment,” he said.

At the event themed ”Building a synergy towards free and fair credible and violence-free 2019 General Elections” the Chairman of NCTRN  and Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar and the co-chairman, the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi were  in attendance.

Professor Osinbajo in his speech thanked the traditional rulers for their support. He said the role of the traditional rulers in an election season is essential.

”The role of your royal majesties and our traditional institutions is crucial for connecting the people of your kingdoms with the federal and state agencies responsible for the conduct of the elections,” he said.

While assuring the traditional rulers that the federal government would ensure that security agencies work with them, he pointed out that they have a role to play in assisting security agencies curb violence.

”Given the activities of unscrupulous individuals and groups who use the election season to foment trouble and disrupt the electoral process, the role of the security agencies is crucial. But the backbone of effective security is quality local intelligence,” he said.

”The most trusted repository of local intelligence is, of course, the royal father in the domain. We will encourage the security agencies to work closely with you in this enormous task,” he added.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar while speaking at the event also said the traditional rulers are not rivals to the government but partners and stakeholders.

”We are not rivals to political leaders, we are partners in progress to the political leaders. We want to help them because they have the power to lead this country,” he said.

Also in attendance were the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Usman; the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi; the Olubadan of Ibadan, Saliu Adetunji; and the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu.

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