The Emir of Borgu in Niger State, Muhammed Dantoro, says he identifies with the concerns of the #EndSARS protesters but cautioned against the situation being hijacked by enemies of government.
The emir, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), after his investiture as Patron of the Oil and Solid Mineral Producing Area Landlords Association of Nigeria, OMPALAN, in Abuja.
He said, “if we destroy this country, what are we going to benefit. I know there are cases of brutality but the issue is that there are still good ones among our Police officers.
“We should be careful so that hoodlums do not take over the country. We should also be careful because people who want power can spend money to destroy our hard earned democracy, forcing us as a nation to start all over again.
“I know government is working to ensure the demands of the protesters are met, so we must play our part as citizens not to allow the situation to deteriorate.
“If we continue with the protest, the common man will suffer,” he said.
Earlier, he pledged commitment to collaborate with OMPALAN towards a peaceful and united Nigeria.
While commending OMPALAN for finding him worthy to be its patron, Mr Dantoro noted that one of the best ways to keep Nigeria one was for all Nigerians to work together in spite of religious and ethnic differences.
“I thank OMPALAN for the honour done to me and to the kingdom.
It is a great honour. I wholeheartedly accept the challenge and promise to do my best.
Having said that, “let me say here that it is important for all Nigerians to come together, understand our differences and work in unison for the sake of the peace of the land.”
Also speaking to NAN, the President of OMPALAN, Bishop Udo Azogu, said, the association was a Federal Government recognised umbrella Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, of stakeholders in the oil, gas and solid mineral industry.
He said one of the cardinal objectives of the association was to collaborate with government agencies in securing peace and sustainable development across the country.
He stressed that as an association, “we have the leverage to provide critical support to mineral producing communities in the six geopolitical zones.
“We provide support especially in the areas of peace, security, environmental protection, wealth creation, redistribution as well as domestication of robust government policies and programmes at the grassroots.
“So, the acceptance of His Highness to function as Patron of OMPALAN will add impetus to our collective effort to coordinate effective response to the spate of lawlessness and insecurity, ravaging the entire country.
“The association has developed a home-based bottom up blueprint called Mining Security and Monitoring Agency of Nigeria(MISMAN) to help carry out its mandate.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to repositioning the country in spite of the daunting challenges.
He said, ” Nigeria is currently transiting under the painful burden of corruption and elite conspiracy.
“The good intentions of President Muhammadu Buhari to remove the country from the doldrums through popular policies and programmes appear stunted by strong current of opposition.”
He assured that the association would continue to work to support the laudable projects of the current administration.
He also assured that the association would continue to hold the emir’s office in high esteem in ensuring that the Borgu emirate enjoyed greater respect.
He stressed that the association would regularly consult with the emirate in its decision making process for enhanced productivity.
Mr Chibunna Ubawuike, OMPALAN Chairman, Imo Chapter, said the choice of the emir as patron of the association was as a result of his outstanding qualities.
He said the association had for years found it difficult to identify patriotic and selfless Nigerians who would work with the association to foster peace and unity.
Ubawuike said the acceptance of the emir to act in the capacity as patron of the association would go a long way in helping to achieve its objectives.
He assured that, “OMPALAN will not relent in its resolve to discharge its duties for the growth of Nigerians and national development.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the occasion was graced by traditional rulers from different parts of the country.
Some of them include, Hammadu Abubakar(Katuka Gombe), OMPALAN Vice President, Chieftaincy Affairs and Leader North East and Oba Windapo Adesola(Alara of Ara Kingdom), OMPALAN Vice President Foreign Affairs and Leader, South West.
Also in attendance were Prof. Eyo Etim Nyong, OMPALAN National Secretary and Leader, South South as well as Princess Ajibola, OMPALAN National Women Leader.