The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has urged traditional rulers in the country to work towards ensuring peace and security and be at the forefront of correcting anti-social behaviours in their communities.
He noted that peaceful atmosphere remains the necessary ingredient for development.
Obaseki gave the charge at the Annual General Assembly of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria held in Abuja with the theme, “Imperative of Community Policing, Menace of Drug Abuse: The role of Traditional Rulers.”
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Monday Osaigbovo, said that given the increasing insecurity and insurgencies in the country, traditional rulers must be deeply involved in policies and programmes put in place by the government to arrest the menace.
According to him, “Governments all over the world acknowledge the importance of traditional rulers in good governance, peace and unity of our people. Traditional rulers are closer to the people. As a result, they serve as a bridge between the people and government. They help to translate government policies and programmes to the people.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that peace is central and key to human existence and development. Against this backdrop, I wish to implore our royal fathers across the land to develop robust cooperation and synergy with all our enforcement agencies to achieve the most desired peace in the country. We are all aware that no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere devoid of peace and security. I urge all traditional rulers to go the extra mile to promote or foster peace and unity in their respective domains so that there will be peace in the country”.
Obaseki urged the monarchs not to forget that the people causing insecurity in the country live within the communities, adding, “They are not spirits at all and working closely with the security agencies, these undesirable elements in society would be flushed out.”
Governor Obaseki said Edo State Government is working hard in collaboration with royal fathers in the state to ensure that there is sustainable peace and strict adherence to the rule of law, respect for justice, human right and other fundamental freedoms in the state.
“Indeed, I make bold to state that Edo State is the most peaceful state in the south-south zone and in Nigeria as at today. Edo State Government is collaborating with the traditional rulers in the state, especially the State Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs under the Chairmanship of His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, to maintain peace and get rid of the miscreants across the state.”
He continued, “It would interest you to know that Edo State Government is striving to tackle insecurity from its root by undertaking policies to create jobs for its citizens. In the last three years, 157,000 teeming unemployed population have been gainfully engaged either in public or private sector, thereby tackling poverty and other social menaces, which threaten the socio-political fabric walls of our society.”
According to the governor, as part of efforts to support and collaborate with the royal fathers to maintain peace and order, “I gave a directive to all Local Government Councils in the state to pay the traditional rulers 5 percent of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in addition to 5 percent allowances from federal allocation. This has since been implemented.”