SULTAN CONDEMNS POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE
Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa'ad III, has condemned in strong terms the post-election violence that erupted in some parts of the country following the declaration of April presidential election results, describing it as an 'unfortunate' occurrence which 'must be condemned by all right thinking individuals all over the world.'
The Sultan who led other traditional rulers who are chairmen of the traditional rulers council of the states and the FCT, during a courtesy visit to President Jonathan at the State House, Abuja, on behalf of the royal fathers, expressed sadness over the recourse to violence at short instigation, saying royal fathers across the country were particularly saddened by the killing of members of the National Youth Service Corps.
The Sultan, who co-chairs the royal fathers' council with the Ooni of Ife said, 'We felt bad that somebody will leave his state to another state only to have his corpse taken back. We were indeed saddened by the unfortunate trend,' urging traditional rulers across the country to do all they could to protect corps members in their domains and make their safety a priority.
The Sultan said the traditional institution fully supports the step taken by Jonathan to set up a panel to investigate the violence and bring perpetrators to book, adding that the council of traditional rulers will do all it could to assist the committee in its task.
The Sultan also congratulated President Jonathan on his victory at the presidential polls and pledged the solidarity of all royal fathers for his administration, saying 'we are solidly behind you and your government, and we will continue to do all it takes, Insha Allah, to assist this government achieve its programmes'.
The Ooni of Ife and co-chairman of the national council of traditional rulers, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, in his remark enjoined all Nigerians to rally around the present administration, and place the unity and stability of the country above parochial interests.
Jonathan thanked the royal fathers for their support towards the success of the April polls, and towards his election as president for a fresh term. The President said his administration will continually engage the traditional institution and push for constitutional recognition of its functions.
He solicited their continued cooperation in maintaining law and order not only in their domains but across the nation.
He noted that while the investigation panel into the post election crisis is a fact-finding and not a punitive committee, government will not shy away from investigating and prosecuting anyone found wanting in the panel's recommendations.
'We will look at the committee's recommendations and pass them to the security agencies. Anybody found culpable will be investigated and if the security agencies feel they should be prosecuted, then they will be prosecuted. We will not tolerate the culture of impunity because ours is not a lawless society,' he said.
In attendance at the meeting were all royal fathers who are chairmen of traditional rulers' councils in the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT.