Map of Nasarawa State used to demonstrate the story.

Cecilia Onah, Lafia

Residents of Nasarawa State have accused traditional rulers in the state of planning to influence the ongoing Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal Judgement in favour of the All Progressives Congress and its candidate, Governor Abdullahi Sule.

The tribunal had adjoined its sitting to September 14, 2023, for the adoption of written addresses by the parties involved including Dr. David Ombugadu, the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate.

In a statement made available to Journalists in Lafia on Thursday, the residents under the aegis of Concerned Citizens of Nasarawa State, urged traditional rulers across the 13 Local Government Areas of the state to stick to their roles as custodians of the people rather than dabbling into political matters.

The statement which was signed by the Leader of the group, Hon. Adamu Musa Gudi, said the appeal became necessary in view of the moves being made by some traditional rulers who had been appealing to top government officials at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to mount pressure on the tribunal to deliver the governorship judgement in favour of Governor Abdullahi Sule.

The statement reads, “Our attention has been drawn to a scheduled meeting of highly placed traditional rulers allegedly led by the Emir of Lafia, who are currently in Abuja for a scheduled meeting with top federal government officials over the governorship election petitions tribunal in Nasarawa State.

“We want to urge these officials not to get themselves involved in any judicial matter concerning the citizens of Nasarawa State.

“The attempts by the traditional rulers to influence the decision of the tribunal would be resisted by all good citizens of the state because the roles of the monarchs are to maintain peace in their respective domains, and not to be involved in political matters.”

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress in the state has dismissed the statement alleging attempts by traditional rulers to influence the outcome of the ongoing Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in favour of Governor Abdullahi Sule.

In a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Chief Douglas Otaru, the party said it was irrational and highly condemnable to drag the revered royal fathers into disrepute.

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According to the party, Governor Sule was validly returned elected, hence expressed confidence that his victory would be upheld by the Justice Ezekiel Ajayi-led Tribunal.

“It is sub-judicial for any well meaning individual or group to assert such a misleading and unfounded rumour. Perhaps, stemming from apprehension of the impending doom that awaits the purveyor of the unfortunate rumour and his paymasters.

“To us, it is irrational and highly condemnable to drag our revered traditional institutions into disrepute.

“The author of the purported rumour should be wary of the flames he is trying to ignite. The APC has closed its case, while the judicial processes are still ongoing. We will refuse to join fray on issues with those suffering from defeatist syndrome.

“Governor Abdullahi Alhaji Sule of the All Progressives Congress is confident on the process so far at the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Lafia, and we are optimistic of victory in the end,” the statement read.