The Nigerian Governors Forum on Sunday said it was concerned over the ongoing political crisis in Abia State and called on parties to the crisis to respect the rule of law.
Governor of Zamfara and Chairman of the Forum, Abdulaziz Yari, made this known while addressing traditional rulers from Abia State, who paid condolence visit to Sokoto State.
The monarchs were in the state to commiserate with the government and people of the state over the death of top politician, Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi.
In his remarks, Mr. Yari, who is a son-in-law to the late Shinkafi, said the 36 state governors in the country are worried about the political crisis in Abia State and are working behind the scene to ensure it does not degenerate further.
The NGF chair said it is important for all sides claiming victory over the governorship contest to respect the courts and avoid acts that would lead to violence.
“As a forum, we are concerned about what is going on in Abia and we are working to ensure all sides respect the courts, and uphold peace. Abia is known for peace, as such we should not do things that would disturb the peace of the state”, Mr. Yari said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, pointed out that the state has a long standing relationship with the people of the South East, saying the condolence visit by the traditional rulers reaffirmed that relationship.
Rather than harp on the things that divide the country, Gov. Tambuwal said Nigerians should focus more on those aspects that bind us together.
“We are all on journey to unity, stability and progress of our dear country. Abia State governor is a very good friend of mine, so I am praying for him to overcome the present challenges he’s facing as a public officer”, he said.
The governor described the late Mr. Shinkafi as a man of wisdom and integrity, who enjoyed the respect and admiration of all Nigerians.
“No doubt, Shinkafi is the father, and architecture of Nigeria’s modern security apparatus”, Mr. Tambuwal said.
“His ideas and handwork gave birth to our present security structure, so he fully deserved all the enconmiums that have come his way since his passage”, he added.
The royal fathers, who were led by the Chairman of both the South East Council of Traditional Rulers and the Abia State Traditional Rulers’ Council, Eberechi Dick, commended the Sokoto State government for the warm relationship existing between indigenes and residents of other states, especially those from South East, living in Sokoto.