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2023 elections: Emir of Ilorin urges INEC to remain neutral

  By Abdulrazaq Adebayo   With few days to the general elections, the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji ...


By Abdulrazaq Adebayo


With few days to the general elections, the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to remain neutral and unbiased in the conduct of the exercise.


The traditional ruler also asked the electoral umpire to ensure that the exercise is conducted in a free, fair and credible atmosphere by giving all political parties equal rights and opportunities during the contest.


Alhaji Sulu Gambari cautioned politicians and their supporters not to heat up the polity in the quest to canvass for votes from the electorate as no society can grow amid rancour and disorderliness.


He also advised residents of the state to remain calm and resolute as they are confronted with the current hard time resulting from the currency swap and fuel scarcity across the country.


Alhaji Sulu Gambari, expressed serious concern over the numerous socio-economic hardships orchestrated by the inadequate circulation of the redesigned naira notes, fuel scarcity and the impending general elections in the next few days.


The monarch asserted that the current situation will only last for a short period of time even as he urged them to allow peace to reign before, during and after the general elections.


In a statement issued by his spokesman, Abdulazeez Arowona in Ilorin on Thursday, the Emir, urged parents to prevail on their children and wards to be law abiding to the constituted authorities and not involve in any act capable of causing crises especially during this hard period.


He stressed that for the nation to enjoy democratic advancement in the face of several challenges, there is need for tolerance, perseverance and adequate supports from members of the public irrespective of their social status and religious belief by standing on the path of peace and harmony in order to avoid disarray of government programmes and actions.


“As traditional rulers, myself and my colleagues are deeply touched and aware of the various challenges faced by the general public, especially people at the grassroots level.


“It is my hope that while the government is making frantic efforts towards addressing the ugly situation, I appeal to the people of Ilorin Emirate and Kwarans at large to remain calm and patient and not to allow anyone to use them to cause political unrest in the society.


“Naira notes remain the only legal tender which allow for easy transaction of business activities while a large volume of fuel is being consumed on daily basis for both domestic and industrial purposes, therefore the scarcity of both has no doubt caused unbearable hardship on the people,” he added.


According to the Emir of Ilorin, “It is only in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility that democracy can grow. I urge all political parties’ stalwarts to endeavour to play the game of electioneering processes by the rules by embracing peaceful coexistence among themselves irrespective of their party lines.


“Voters should also exercise their franchise in a peaceful manner and vote for candidates of their choice without fear. The Ilorin Emirate is peaceful, Kwara State is peaceful and we don’t want any unfortunate incident that will tarnish our longstanding reputation as the most peaceful state in Nigeria,” the statement added.


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