Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State and his Ondo State counterpart, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, and some stakeholders, on Thursday, advocated that constitutional roles should be assigned to traditional rulers.
This, according to the stakeholders should give legal backings to traditional rulers’ responsibilities especially in the security of their domains.
The stakeholders, however, expressed concern about the current challenges confronting the country, arguing that much could be achieved by empowering the traditional rulers.
The governors among all other stakeholders made this conclusion at the fourth edition of the Ooni Ogunwusi annual international leadership symposium 2021, in commemoration of the birthday anniversary of the Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II.
Speaking on the theme: “Addressing Security Challenges As They Affect Grassroots Development In Nigeria: Need for Constitutional Empowerment of Traditional Institution”, Oyetola expressed concern about the current challenges confronting the country, saying that much could be achieved if traditional rulers could be empowered.
Represented by the Commissioner for Education, Folorunso Oladoyin, Oyetola noted that the closest people to the grassroots are traditional rulers whose functions are critical to ensuring adequate security.
Traditional rulers, in his words, are “critical components of government. They also have the responsibility for ensuring security, governance and economic development in their abodes.”
He explained that, “all security is also local. The criminals come from families, homes, villages and towns.”
Oyetola further noted that to effectively secure Nigeria, therefore, it “requires that the government should work with our traditional rulers as critical stakeholders in promoting active communal peace building, intelligence gathering, good neighborliness and responsible followership.”
In the same vein, his Ondo State counterpart, Akeredolu, prescribed that the outcome of the symposium should be compiled and transferred to the National Assembly for inclusion in the Nigerian constitution in line with the ongoing constitutional reform.
Speaking through his Chief of Staff, Chief Olugbenga Ayinde, Akeredolu implored for the kind of constitutional inclusiveness that should be given to traditional rulers which will allow them to be functional.
Also speaking, The Osun State Commissioner of Police, Wale Olokode, described traditional rulers as great partners in progress to the Nigeria Police, calling for a constitutional backing of their indispensable roles.
“In the 1999 constitution, there is no definite constitutional role for the traditional rulers. This is one of the defaults of the 1999 constitution. How do they operate without a constitutional resolution? This has seriously been undermined both in terms of authority and power. Their inability to intervene at the earlier stage of crisis has led to the escalation of such a crisis leading to a serious instability, chaos and huge damage to lives, property and economic activities of the nation,” The commissioner stated.