Tribal Leaders Reject Yari for 10th NASS, Affirm Nigeria’s Secular State Status

Tribal Leaders Reject Yari for 10th NASS, Affirm Nigeria’s Secular State Status

The Natives, a pro-democracy and anti-sabotage group representing leaders of various ethnic nationalities, has called upon former Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state to withdraw his ambition for the Senate Presidency.

Their appeal is based on the principles of peace and religious harmony in Nigeria.

During a press conference held in Abuja on Thursday, the Supreme Leader of The Natives, Hon. Smart Edwards, emphasized that Nigeria is a secular state, and having a Muslim President, Vice President, Senate President, and Speaker simultaneously goes against the ideals of religious diversity. To promote fairness and equity, Edwards advocated for a Christian leader like Senator Godswill Akpabio to assume the position of Senate President for the 10th Senate.

Furthermore, Edwards urged stakeholders to respect the decision made by President Bola Tinubu and the ruling party regarding the importance of maintaining a balanced religious representation within the government. He called upon all newly elected and returning Senators to support the candidacy of the former governor of Akwa Ibom state for the position of Senate President.

The group emphasized that Nigeria is a secular state, and according to the group’s Supreme Leader, Hon. Smart Edwards, the Senator Godswill Akpabio/Barau ticket embodies the sentiment of the nation, promoting healing instead of showcasing strength or endorsing religious dominance.

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The Natives expressed their concern about actions that could potentially deepen divisions among the people following the elections, cautioning against any political, financial, or insensitive approaches that would support the candidacy of a Muslim for the position of Senate President. They regarded such a move as an act of national sabotage.

In their plea, the group urged the 10th Assembly to distance themselves from any initiatives that could contribute to further polarization of the country. They emphasized the importance of unity and harmony in the selection of the Senate President, encouraging a decision that upholds the principles of inclusivity and national cohesion.

The ruling party’s presentation of its candidates is acknowledged, and the group recognizes the party’s attempts to address concerns from different regions and strive for a pan-Nigerian, nationalistic, equitable, and fair balance in accordance with the constitution’s principles.

However, it is important to note that the prevailing disruptions and lingering bitterness stemming from the pre-election period indicate that no faction should aggravate discord simply because they possess significant financial resources.

“We say ‘No’ to Sen. Yari’s ambition and appeal to him in the name of our dear country to, please, shelve this ambition for all and become the hero.”

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Edwards emphasized that the 10th National Assembly should prioritize translating its actions into tangible outcomes such as job creation, infrastructure development, economic prosperity, investments in education, rural development, adherence to the rule of law, and improving the lives of the people.

Drawing attention to Akpabio’s achievements, Edwards highlighted him as a prime example of a leader who has made significant contributions. Akpabio’s track record includes successful governance as a former governor of Akwa Ibom, serving as the former senate minority leader, and his role as a previous Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. Edwards noted that Akpabio possesses the proven ability to foster collaboration between the executive and legislative branches of government, ultimately working towards the betterment of the country.

The Natives, a group representing the local population, expressed their commitment to ensuring a comprehensive revitalization of the Nigerian state, focusing on the social and economic aspects. They pledged to hold all elected officials accountable to the people, with the aim of bringing about positive change and progress.


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