Tambuwal canvasses constitutional role for traditional rulers Okowa, a true bridge builder, says Matawalle
By Omon-Julius Onabu
Governor of Zamfara State, Mr. Bello Mohammed, and his Sokoto State counterpart, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, yesterday stormed Delta State to perform the inauguration of several projects.
The two governors were in the state on the invitation of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for the formal inauguration of some projects completed by his administration, including secondary school in Agbor, an ultra-modern Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers Secretariat at Asaba as well as a network of about a dozen roads in Okpanam, an adjoining town of Asaba, the state capital.
Tambuwal, who is also the Chairman of the Forum of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors, made a strong case for constitutional role to be restored or created for traditional rulers in Nigeria.
Speaking while declaring open the royal fathers’ secretariat, Tambuwal said that the governors of states in northern Nigeria have begun the process of working for an amendment of the Nigerian Constitution to provide specific role for traditional rulers because of their invaluable contribution to the political, cultural and democratic development of the country.
The Sokoto State governor described the traditional institution as “an inexhaustible fountain” from which leaders in this country, including all the governors and even the President of Nigeria should drink.
He therefore sued for the support of governors of the southern states of Nigeria to throw their weight behind the move of their southern Nigeria counterparts in order to realize the needed constitutional amendment prescribing the role of the royal fathers in the scheme of things under the country’s present democratic system.
Tambuwal, however, commen-ded Okowa for his commitment not only to the development of the people of Delta State through the massive and equitable distribution of various facilities but also for his keen interest in things that unite the country.
He recalled that Okowa, who had invited him three times to launch different projects, actually first invited him to inaugurated a batch of entrepreneurial skills trainees and Trade Fair even while he (Tambuwal) was still a member of the All ProgressivesCongress (APC), noting that such a friendly gesture only underscored his host’s genuine patriotic credentials.
“When you first invited me, I was in APC; so, it wasn’t because of PDP or party affiliation,” Tambuwal said, adding, “we need to bury whatever differences that may exist among us in this country; let us unite for the sake of even future generations unborn.”
Earlier, while inaugurating the newly constructed Igumbor-Otiku Secondary School in Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of the state, Matawalle, also commended Okowa for his uncommon patriotic zeal, describing his host “a true bridge-builder” who desired the unity of Nigerians irrespective of political or cultural differences.
The Zamfara State governor, who said that he thought the structures and facilities in the new school were those of a higher institution like a university, called on Nigerians of the different divides to emulate the Okowa example by working earnestly for the unity and common progress of the country.
“On behalf of the government and people of Zamfara State, I congratulate you for what you are doing for the people of Delta.
“We pray for more wisdom to do more for your people in the remaining two years of your administration”, he said.
In his speech, Okowa thanked the two governors, members of the state council of traditional rulers as well other royal fathers from across the country and the people for gracing the various ceremonies, adding that the relative peace being enjoyed by Delta State was largely due to the commitment, administrative experience and support for government’s policies and programmes.
He particularly thanked the current traditional council leadership headed by HRM Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II, Obi of Owa Kingdom, noted that his respect for the traditional institution stemmed majorly from the fact that the royal fathers have never criticised his government but would always send a delegation to him (governor) whenever they had pieces of advice or suggestions to make about policies or governance.
The state Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro, the Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, the state PDP Chairman, Kingsley Esiso, Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Patrick Ukah, numerous traditional and religious leaders and top government functionaries attended the different inauguration ceremonies.