By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Ahead of 2023 general elections, Rivers state council of traditional rulers has expressed support for the initiative by a group known as The Nigeria Agenda to campaign against politics of religion and ethnicity.
Chairman of the Council, His Royal Majesty, King Dandeson Jaja, the Amanayabo of Opobo Kingdom, described the unity and citizens’ focus national advocacy as the appropriate crusade that will lead to changing the concept of Nigerianess as currently perceived.
The traditional rulers declared their support for the group during a visit to Rivers state.
In a statement signed Wednesday in Abuja by the Chief Advocate of The Nigeria Agenda, Niyi Akinsiju, said King Jaja described the Nigeria Agenda as “a divine assignment being conducted by the advocacy group.”
King Jaja, according to the statement made the observation while receiving the leadership and members of The Nigeria Agenda advocacy group at the State’s Secretariat of the Council of Traditional Rulers in company with His Royal Majesty, King Felix Otunarikpo, Eze of Upata and His Royal Majesty, King Macie an Moore Ubuo, King of Engenni Kingdom, in Port Harcourt on Monday.
The chairman of the traditional council in Rivers state was responding to a highlight of the mission and vision of The Nigeria Agenda by the Convener of the advocacy group, Mallam Ahmad Sajoh, who, in his presentation had explained that the group was passionate about engendering a new conversation among Nigerians of the imperative of citizens acting together in unity and collectively to identify and support political leaders at all tiers of government devoid of ethnicity, religious and other diversionary national fault lines usually exploited by selfish politicians.
King Jaja said: “We share your concerns over the dog fights that now characterise the relationship between different ethnic groups in the country. It’s unfortunate that Nigeria is being pulled in different directions by opportunistic politicians that are determined to destroy whatever stand on their way to access power and associated privileges,” King Jaja of Opobo Kingdom said.
“What is the outcome of this ratrace? We are witnessing elimination of merit in preference for the sad installation of mediocrity across board. The truth is that where ethnicity and other divisive considerations determine political direction and decisions, the end result will be failure of governance because the right calibre of people will never be elected into political offices.
“So, on this count, we pray politicians to think holistically about Nigeria, they should be determined about what to do for the development of Nigeria and stop thinking about self. We have reached that critical stage where political leaders think and send messages to Nigeria with clear indications that we are one big family in this country not withstanding our tribe of origin or the way we worship God the Almighty.” King Jaja counselled.
While commending the leadership and members of The Nigeria Agenda, King Jaja also said: “We have to commend you for taking this bold step, this shows you are thinking about the general good of everybody. What we know is that once this advocacy gets into the mainstream it is bound to affect all of us, all of Nigerans, in the right way. You people are definitely on the right track, you’re conducting a divine assignment so we ask you to show the way and people will definitely follow you.”