The current administration has guaranteed constitutional roles for traditional rulers.
On Monday, while hosting the royal fathers of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Senate President Godswill Akpabio made the announcement and noted that this will be made possible through a constitutional modification.
The traditional rulers had asked for such an assurance, stressing the significance of the royal fathers’ duties in governance generally and in security issues in particular.
Having grown up in a constitutional democracy, Akpabio remarked, “Your request for constitutional role in governance is not strange to us.” One of the warrant officers my late grandfather and the colonial overlords employed to effectively enforce indirect control was my grandfather, a traditional king.
The period’s traditional rulers dealt with matters of security in their domains well.
“It is my conviction, and that of the entire Senate leadership here, that the many security concerns facing the country will be a thing of the past if traditional rulers are constitutionally engaged in governance at the grassroots level.
“You, traditional fathers, are stores of knowledge that are desperately required at the grass-roots level. Your trip to see us today was not wasted for a futile request.
The Etsu of Nupe, Dr. Yahaya Abubakar, speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers and the chairman of the National Traditional Council of Nigeria, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, said that the role of traditional rulers in the constitution was removed by the authors of the 1979 document.
He expressed disappointment that the National Council of Traditional Rulers’ (NCTR) efforts to restore traditional leaders to their former positions had failed.
He bemoaned, “The most recent of such efforts was made during the 9th National Assembly, and it didn’t scale through because of failure to get the required votes in the Senate for the demand.”
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