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 Polls: Northern Emirs back Jega

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PostSubject: Polls: Northern Emirs back Jega   2015-03-15, 06:34

The Northern Traditional Rulers
Council has expressed confidence
in the ability of the Chairman of the
Independent National Electoral
Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to
lead the electoral body in
conducting free, fair and
transparent elections ahead of the
March 28 and April 11 polls.
The northern rulers also said it
would neither endorse the Peoples
Democratic Party’s presidential
candidate, President Goodluck
Jonathan nor its All Progressives
Congress opponent, Maj. Gen.
Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for
This was contained in a statement
on Saturday by the Etsu Nupe, Dr.
Yahaya Abubakar, after the NTRC
met in Kaduna on Wednesday to
discuss the rising “social and
political tension” in the country as
the general elections approach.
The statement was published as an
advertorial in some national
newspapers on Saturday.
The Chairman of the council, the
Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad
Abubakar, and the other traditional
rulers in attendance noted that the
country must conduct peaceful and
credible polls.
“The council noted the dire need
for the emergence of free, fair and
credible elections and resolved to
lend a helping hand to the
statutory body established to
oversee the conduct of the
elections that is INEC. The council
equally commended the good work
being done by INEC under the able
leadership of Prof. Attahiru Jega and
prayed for the success of INEC’s
worthy assignment,” the NTRC said.
It also stated that the nation was
going through serious challenge
and called on the country’s
statesmen not to act as politicians.
“These challenges, coming at the
current stage of the nation’s
development have to be addressed
very carefully and responsibly. In
these circumstances, the country
needs statesmen more than mere
politicians, for these challenges call
for reflective and strategic
leadership. Therefore, the council
calls on the statesmen in the
country to come forward and
appreciate the need to act like
statesmen so as to take the country
out of the doldrums.
“As fathers of the nation and
custodians of societal values,
traditional rulers shall remain
neutral and shall ensure that peace
reigns. But the traditional rulers
need the cooperation of the
political leadership,” the statement
The traditional rulers based in the
North also condemned the
unrestrained verbal attacks among
politicians, saying their unguarded
statements are worsening the
current situation of the country.
“Unfortunately, some religious and
ethnic leaders have joined the
bandwagon thereby making
matters worse. The vocabulary
used and absence of respect and
decorum in the campaigns is
particularly disturbing for it tends
to initiate the younger generation
into a culture of incivility and
insolence. It will be sad and tragic if
this is all the political leadership is
able to bequeath to posterity.
“Traditional rulers cannot watch
and fold their hands while the
values of the society are torn to
pieces and sacrificed on the altar of
political ambitions. The council was
also immensely disturbed by the
kind of exchanges that tend to
inflame passions and provoke
conflicts constituting a clear breach
of the peace,” the NTRC stated.
The northern rulers pointed out
that they would do their part
within the law to ensure politicians
do not destroy the country in their
desperation for power, adding that
many citizens may have to bear the
brunt of the crisis that may occur.
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