Gov. Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger has tasked traditional leaders in the country to ensure peaceful and violent-free general elections.
Bello gave the charge during the coronation and presentation of staff of office to the 7th Sarkin Sudan of Kontagora, Alhaji Muhammad Muazu II, that took place at the premises of the Federal College of Education, Kontagora.
He described traditional leaders as custodians of cultural heritage that people emulate to be non-partisan during and after elections.
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“This is a period that traditional rulers are expected to uphold the confidence of the people and consolidate on the gains of their forebears by ensuring the continued peace, stability and progress of our nation,” he said.
He, however, described the Emir of Kontagora as a gentle, compassionate, humble man full of perseverance and faith in the will of God and expressed optimism that the Emir would provide the needed leadership that would propel development in the emirate.
The governor commended the kingmakers for conducting credible election to elect the new Emir, adding that the process had broadened the legitimacy and integrity of the traditional institutions.
In his acceptance speech, Muazu promised to prioritise the welfare, peace and security of the people in the emirate and urged his subjects to be law abiding.
In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Muhammad Abubakar III, noted that leadership comes with huge responsibilities and urged the Emir to allow God to guide him in leading the people in justice, fairness and equity.
He enjoined those that contested for the position to sheath their swords and join hands with the elected Emir to develop the Emirate as well as strengthen the existing cordial relationship between the emirate and the caliphate.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the oath of office was administered by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Halima Abdulmalik, and supervised by the governor.