Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, monday said the traditional institutions would support the federal government in harnessing the benefits of cultural ethos to keep Nigeria as one indivisible country.
He also stated that the unity and peaceful coexistence of this country depend largely on traditional institutions because of their closeness to the people.
The monarch made the remark, when he paid a courtesy visit to the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Saâ€™ad Abubakar in his palace in Sokoto.
According to him, the role of traditional institutions in building a harmonious society cannot be over emphasised, as traditional rulers are the repository and custodians of cultural and traditional values.
He posited that Nigeria is a great country and has unlimited potential for growth and development and as such Nigerians must join hands to uphold its integrity and entrench those values that would engender unity.
He noted that the country has been faced with myriad of security challenges, hence the need for traditional leaders to join hands with the federal government in tackling the ugly trend.
â€œThis country has for sometime now been bedeviled by unavoidable humanitarian crisis of unimaginable proportions.
â€œAs traditional rulers, we play a stabilising and developmental roles especially at the grassroots across the country.
â€œIt therefore behoves on us to constantly imbibe in our people the need to respect our cultural values which teach tolerance and respect for one another,â€ he said.
The monarch said his visit to Sokoto was to thank the Sultan for his support during his coronation ceremony last year and also to cement the warm relationship that existed between the Caliphate and the Benin Kingdom.
He commended the Sultan for his tireless efforts in promoting peace in the country, describing him as a bridge builder of unity and harmony.
The Oba to this end, urged the Sultan not to relent in his efforts in fostering unity and mutual understanding among Nigerians.
In a remark, the Sultan said his main agenda was the emancipation and development of humanity.
He extolled the cordial relationship that existed between the Benin Kingdom and the Sokoto Caliphate.
He pointed out that the last time the Oba of Benin visited Sokoto in 1978 and was received by his late father.
â€œToday history is being made, I remember as a young man in secondary school, my father was conferred with honorary degree by the University of Benin in 1972. And in 1978, the Oba of Benin visited Sokoto and now after 40 years, another Oba is visiting us.
â€œI really appreciate your visit to Sokoto and commend you for what you have been doing to being development at the grassroots,â€ the Sultan said.