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Traditional ruler tasks politicians on peaceful governorship polls

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The Oku Ibom Ibibio, Nteyen Solomon Etuk, has urged politicians in Akwa Ibom and across the country not to see the March 11 governorship and state Assembly elections as a do-or-die affair.

Etuk made the appeal in a statement issued by the royal father in Uyo on Friday.

He urged political parties, candidates and supporters to direct their energies in canvassing for votes and avoid violence during the polls.

Etuk, who is also the Chairman, Akwa Ibom Traditional Rulers Council, enjoined residents of the state to avoid rancour before, during or after the elections.

“Election is a democratic contest and not a war. Nobody should beat war drums. Candidates, political parties and supporters should cultivate the spirit of sportsmanship and go into the contest with open minds. Winners should be magnanimous in victory and losers should be gallant in defeat.

“Pre-determined mindset of ‘I must win at all cost’ is against sound democratic values. Let us all give people the opportunity to vote and learn to respect the outcome of the polls.

“Akwa Ibom State is greater than any one person or group of persons. We have enjoyed peace and unity under Gov. Udom Emmanuel since 2015. Let this peace and unity continue,” Etuk said.

The traditional ruler said the forebears and past leaders laboured for the creation of the state and today’s politicians must protect and not destroy it.

“As we know, peace and tranquillity are necessary for society to witness progress and general development. We need a peaceful state.

“Our forebears and past leaders laboured in their agitation for the creation of this state. They kept laudable antecedents and we have to sustain their legacies.

“Let us continue to nourish Akwa Ibom State towards greater heights, rather than destroy ourselves and slow down the pace of development. I call on all sons and daughters, including residents, to give peace a chance.

“Power comes from the Almighty God and He gives it to whosoever He wants. I also call on security agencies to maintain peace throughout the period.

“As Traditional Rulers, we will continue to cooperate with security agencies for the maintenance of peace and security in our domains,” he said.

He warned youths to avoid being used for thuggery and shedding of blood by candidates or political parties, stating that each life is more precious than the ambition of any individual.

Etuk also urged all citizens, especially politicians and their supporters, to eschew violence and hatred against other contestants.

 

He said: “Let us cooperate with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and transparent polls,” Oku Ibom Ibibio cautioned.

Besides, the traditional ruler called on all successful candidates to know that the primary purpose of their election is service to the people, advising them to work hard and fulfil their campaign promises to the people.

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