* Say monarch put emirate in Jeopardy
Francis Sardauna in Katsina
A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Katsina State, yesterday, faulted the Emir of Katsina, Dr. Abdulmumini Kabir Usman’s open endorsement of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the state, Dr. Dikko Umar Radda, ahead of the 2023 polls.
State chairman of the coalition, Abdulrahman Abdullahi, in an exclusive interview with THISDAY, said the endorsement of Radda by the monarch had contravened the neutrality of the emirate and subsequently put it in jeopardy.
Usman, in a statement by the Director, Media and Publicity of the APC governorship campaign council, Ahmed Abdulkadir, titled: ‘Katsina Emir Endorses APC Gubernatorial Candidate’, reportedly endorsed Radda, when he received him at his palace recently.
But Abdullahi explained that the emir was supposed to maintain political neutrality and work assiduously for the betterment of the society rather than endorsing politicians for elective positions.
The chairman noted that the involvement of traditional rulers in partisan politics under any guise was not only an aberration but a desecration of the nation’s traditional institutions.
“For us as civil society organisations in Katsina State, even though we recognised that the emir is entitled to his opinion, such a stand is wrong and unexpected from him.
“He (Usman) should consider the position he occupies. As a father to all, he shouldn’t side with any of the candidates, because all the candidates are his sons. It is just like a father taking preference for one of his children over the rest and this is not good for the traditional system.
“If a leader of a traditional institution, an emir for that matter, can side with a candidate, that means the institution is at risk. Also, the fatherly and the neutrality of that institution has been jeopardised.
“The implication is that people will begin to think that the emir or the emirate belongs to a given political party, because the general illusion is that if you support a particular candidate, it is equally that you support his political party.”
He therefore, urged traditional rulers in the state to refrain from partisan politics and champion peaceful co-existence in their domains as well as treat all contestants in the forthcoming election equally, adding that, “as royal fathers, they should pray for successful election not endorsement of candidates.”