The new Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammad Sanusi II, said yesterday that for the 2015 elections to be free of violence, the actors must play the game according to the rules.
Speaking when he received the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James F. Entwistle, at his palace, the emir said politicians, security agencies and the electoral body must abide by the rules guiding elections in the country, before, during and after the elections.
According to Sanusi II, the best guarantee for peace is to hold free and fair elections.
“We urge you to remind them that the best guarantee for peace is to hold elections that are seen to be free and fair. It is often very difficult to convince the people not to take laws into their hands if institutions fail. We do hope you will join us in urging all the institutions involved in the elections that are supposed to be independent and impartial to play the roles they were set up to play. From the electoral body to security agencies, they have to be impartial. We have seen in this country that when elections are free and fair there wouldn’t be any violence”, he said.
He noted with satisfaction the close ties existing between the US and Nigerian security agencies in addressing the insurgency.
He added that he is also working hard to structure the Kano Emirate Council in a manner that would enable it make effective input to government programmes and policies.
“We don’t run ministries but we do have access to tremendous information resources. For example, from every district head, we can get the exact statistics of students who go to school or those who have been removed from school at early age or children who are forced into early marriage. We can get this much faster than from any other organisation”, the emir said.
Sanusi II, who was the immediate past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, also pleaded with the US to assist in reviving the ailing industries in Kano, saying their resurgence is vital to lasting peace in the North.
In his remarks, the US envoy urged Nigerian politicians to shun any act capable of causing violence in the elections, saying there is nothing more important than credible polls.