Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru El-Rufai, has called on the people of the state to shun all forms of division and strife, but contribute to building more secured communities for enduring peace.
El-Rufai made the appeal after receiving his Certificate of Return from INEC on Thursday in Kaduna.
He stressed that the people should not allow the divisions and pains of the past to shape the state’s destiny, “as the future can be better when people work together.”
The governor said it’s time for unity of purpose, as such the residents should not wallow in narrow divisions, but collectively work for progress in recognition of the state’s common heritage as children of Adam and Eve.
“Our government is committed to uniting the people of this state, as diversity is no excuse for not working together.
“We should see and embrace diversity as a source of strength, let us remove barriers and not allow religion or ethnic identities to deter us from respecting the rights of others, acknowledging their citizenship and obeying the law,’’ he stressed.
The governor expressed gratitude to the people of Kaduna State for the verdict they delivered at the polls, adding, “we shall always prove ourselves worthy of your trust.’’
El-Rufai said that he appreciated the significance of his re-election as a mandate for putting people first in the discharge of his responsibility.
“With their votes, the people of Kaduna State have shattered many myths of the entitled elites. They have demonstrated that they know who is standing up for their interest.
“They have shown that they appreciate the difficult and top decisions intended to deliver for them the quality of opportunities,’’ El-Rufai said.
According to him, ordinary people in the state have eagerly embraced the idea of their children having quality education and treated in decent hospitals and not having their wives die while giving birth to the next generation.
In her address, while issuing certificates to the governor and elected lawmakers, INEC National Commissioner for North Central, Prof. Antonia Okoosi, said there is improved integrity in the electoral system after six successive elections without hitches.
“The elections are becoming more competitive as the margins between winners and runners-up are decreasing to the extent that in many instances, elections into executive and legislatures are increasingly becoming inconclusive,’’ she said.
She however lamented that the phenomenon of inconclusive elections can be attributed to the crisis of lack of internal democracy in the parties and the desperation of candidates and their supporters to win at all cost.
“Unfortunately, the 2019 elections marked a new trend in which some parties and candidates engaged in violent behaviour.
“This included the manhandling of duty officials and intimidation of voters. The commission views the trend with concerns and assures of voter enlightenment for mandate protection,’’ she said.
Okoosi however commended Kaduna State residents for their peaceful conduct during the polls.
“The commission had noted Kaduna as a high risk state but everything went well without any report of violence across the State,’’ the commissioner said.
The Professor advised disgruntled persons and parties to seek judicial remedy to pursue their cases.
The National Commissioner also applauded members of the NYSC that served as ad-hoc staff and the CBN that secured the election materials. (NAN)