Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Monday held a meeting with the first class traditional rulers in the state to brief them on the minimum wage question, developmental issues, and security situation.
AbdulRazaq, who lauded the traditional rulers for their support, said the administration respects the right of citizens to peaceful protest, calling on the elders to continue to speak up for peaceful resolutions of the demands of the young people.
“People are free to protest. It is a democratic right. What we call for is that this should be peaceful. I urge you to please let the message go round to our young ones to keep this peaceful. They should not allow people with ulterior motives to hijack the protest. We do not have other country than Nigeria,” he said.
AbdulRazaq regretted the violence that trailed the protest on Sunday in Ilorin, saying the incident raised the red flag about possible hijack of what began as a peaceful rally and the consequences of allowing hoodlums and other interests to infiltrate the process.
He also urged the monarchs to be more vigilant in their domains and to promptly report strange developments or persons to the government and security agencies to disallow insecurity especially banditry and other unlawful activities in the state.
AbdulRazaq also told monarchs that the administration is committed to paying the minimum wage, adding that the controversy was over the consequential adjustment which he said should allow for a balance between government’s payment of salaries, fixing infrastructure, and meeting obligations to the rest of the population.
Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers, the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman of Kwara State Council of Chiefs, Dr. Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, commended the Governor for the detailed and timely briefings and said they are ready to stand by the government to maintain peace and guarantee industrial harmony.
Briefing reporters at the end of the meeting, the Emir said: “Our meeting with His Excellency focused mainly on three issues, namely: the issue of minimum wage, issue of #EndSARS, and the issue of security. These three issues are very essential in Nigeria today.
“We have decided to meet again in our council chambers (traditional rulers) to better advise the government. We’ll do our best to speak to our people all over the state and by the grace of God Kwara will remain peaceful.
“When we meet, we will come up with our communique on the key issues discussed and we will contribute our own opinion which will be useful.”