By Ibrahim Shuaibu
The National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRC) has vowed to remain neutral on all national issues in order to promote peace, unity and progress in the country.
Sultan of Sokoto and the Chairman of the council, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, in his opening remarks at the 12th General Assembly of the council, which started in Kano yesterday, said the unity of the country is paramount, and called on all the participants to continue working towards bringing the country together.
“We want to assure all political leaders of our neutrality in whatever we do because we care for this country and our people. We will continue to help to stabilise this nation.
“Let the political leaders have confidence in this institution because we are here to support and help them and inshallah, this country will continue to grow stronger and stronger and become united,” he said.
He called on Nigerians to accept the fact that COVID-19 is real and observe the protocols stipulated by the government and its agencies.
He also urged Nigerians to accept the vaccination to assist the country in ending the pandemic.
Declaring the assembly open, the Kano State Governor Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, thanked the monarchs for allowing Kano to host this year’s general assembly at a time when peaceful coexistence, unity of the country and elimination of the COVID-19 pandemic is important.
“This assembly has come at a time when our country, particularly the Northern region, has been faced with enormous security challenges in spite of the measures initiated by the government at various levels to check the menace and trend at which the crime is committed.
“Therefore, this informed the need for the royal fathers here present to focus much attention on scouting the remedies for this serious menace,” he said.
According to him, Kano is spared the menace of insecurity, adding that the relative peace enjoyed in the state is not by accident but the commitment of his administration to prevent any anticipated criminality.
However, the hazy weather, which resulted in poor visibility in Kano State prevented many important personalities from attending the event.
Some of those who could not make it were the special guest of honour and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha; Co-chairman of the event, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume as well as Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.
The 12th general assembly with the themes: “Imperative of unity, peace and development: The role of traditional rulers,” and “COVID-19: The role of traditional rulers for successful vaccination and prevention,” drew its participants from monarchs from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.