The Nasarawa State government has denied sending traditional rulers to meet with any person on its behalf, warning residents against disrespecting traditional rulers because of politics.
Daily Trust reports that last week Wednesday, some selected traditional rulers led by the Emir of Lafia, HRH Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad, who doubles as the Chairman of the state Council of Chiefs, paid a congratulatory visit on the vice president in Abuja, with the visit drawing diverse commentaries, especially from opposition political parties in the state.
The Commissioner for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs, Aliyu Tijani Ahmed, in a statement yesterday, said the traditional rulers traveled to Abuja only to congratulate the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima, on his victory during the 2023 general elections.
He said the clarification became imperative following an attempt by the opposition political parties to politicise the trip by the monarchs.
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The statement said, “Immediately after their victory at the 2023 presidential election, traditional rulers from the northern part of the country undertook congratulatory visits to the Aso Rock Villa, to identify with and congratulate His Excellency, Senator Kashim Shettima, on his election as the vice president.
“That it’s on the strength of that, that the Emir of Lafia and Chairman Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs, His Royal Highness, Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad (retd), led a delegation to pay similar congratulatory visit on the Vice President.”
“That the trip by Nasarawa State Traditional Rulers was rescheduled to Wednesday, August 30th, 2023 because the earlier date fixed for the visit by the Office of the Vice President, His Royal Highness, the Emir of Lafia, was unavoidably absent, having traveled to the UK.
“That the Nasarawa State Government did not send the traditional rulers to meet with any person on its behalf.”
The statement added that at the meeting, “The vice president spoke on how Nasarawa State can become like Lagos because of her great potential in solid minerals and other natural resources. His Excellency, Senator Kashim Shettima also spoke on the need for peaceful coexistence, as well as cautioned against indiscriminate selling of plots to people.
“No private meeting was held between any member of the delegation of traditional from Nasarawa State and the Vice President while on the visit.
“The traditional rulers are non-partisan and as such, it is unfair to accuse them of undertaking a mission in favour of a particular political party.”