Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar has advocated for transparent and credible elections during the 2015 polls, saying that Nigerians want nothing less than that.
He made the call when he received Mr. James Entwistle, US Ambassador to Nigeria, at his Palace on Monday.
Urging the US and other countries to help Nigeria to fully achieve her goals, the Sultan added that elections should not be based on religion. “We want elections not based on ethnicity or religion. Nigerians need peace and harmony. This is the Nigeria of our dreams, where all the citizens are free and equal,” he stressed.
Commending the US government for its positive disposition towards Nigeria, Abubakar noted the multifaceted areas of cooperation between the two countries.
“The two countries have mutual and sustainable partnership that is working and it covers health, peace, education and democracy, among others.”
He also said that the traditional institution in Nigeria was committed to ensuring sustainable peace and unity of Nigeria.
On the fight against terrorism and the need for people to shun extremism, Sultan Abubakar called for concerted efforts to fight the monstrous acts.
Noting that the menace of terrorism, violence and extremism were not common to Islam and Christianity, the Sultan further stressed that no country can solely fight terrorism or extremism, alone.
“It is however regrettable that this menace has crept into Nigeria in the recent years. Nobody will wish his country to be embroiled in violence or crises. Problems such as suicide bombing and other forms of extremism has crept into Nigeria,” he noted.
Entwistle earlier told the Sultan that he was in state as part of his nationwide visit to see as well as assess the realities himself.
He assured that the US was watching the political and democratic trends in Nigeria. “We will do everything to ensure the conduct of free, fair, transparent and credible elections in 2015. This is our approach and it is very simple,” he said while commending the inter-faith dialogue approach of the Sultan to ensure harmony and peaceful coexistence in Nigeria and abroad.
Entwistle stressed that violence and hatred could not be justified by religion in a situation where the key message of peace by the two major religions remain untainted. “Religion should not be used to divide the people of a great country like Nigeria.”