By Adaku Onoja
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on traditional rulers to use their positions as the closest to the grassroots to secure the country and ensure that forthcoming elections are peaceful.
The President made the call during an audience with a delegation of traditional rulers from the Southwest at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday.
According to the President, those who fear that their persons or their policies cannot win elections might resort to incitements to violence.
He, therefore, stressed that the young people must not be left to those who would instigate violence and cause others to lose their property or lives.
“We are determined to keep order and I hope Your Highnesses are on the same page with us,” he said.
Buhari also reiterated the commitment of his administration to infrastructural development across the nation.
“In every state in Nigeria, we are doing at least one major road project. In the Southwest, we are completing the Lagos to Ibadan expressway.
“The reconstruction of this road, which is the busiest in Nigeria, had not been given the attention it deserved till now. We will complete the first phase of railway, Lagos to Ibadan, by the end of this month.
“We are also working on several power projects in the Southwest; of importance is the imminent completion of power supply to Ondo South where many of the local governments have not had power for years,” the President told the monarchs.
Buhari said the nation could only develop if resources are spent on the people and facilities that would promote commerce and create jobs.
He commended the traditional rulers, especially the people of Southwest, “for setting the example of religious tolerance and unity.”
“It is to your credit as traditional rulers that such harmony between religions has been achieved,” the President noted.
He also thanked the traditional rulers for the solidarity visit, adding, “I am very much encouraged and your support makes me even more determined to work with the best of my ability for this country and its people.”
The delegation, led by the Ooni of Ife/Co-chair of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, commended the President for making the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway top priority.
He also commended the administration for giving priority to the Lagos to Ibadan rail line.
The traditional rulers expressed appreciation to the President for the posthumous recognition given to M.K.O Abiola as President of Nigeria, urging him to continue the good works, while assuring that history would be kind to him.
They also asked for more developmental projects in the region.
Also on the delegation were the Alake of Egbaland, the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, the Oloye of Oye Ekiti, the Olukare of Ikare Akoko, the Aseyin of Iseyin, Deji of Akure and the Alayemore of Ido Osun.