Fidelis David in Akure
Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has called on the National Assembly to grant constitutional functions to traditional institutions in the country.
Governor Akeredolu who spoke at the 4th Birthday Symposium of the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, said granting constitutional roles for traditional rulers would strengthen the present informal roles of the royal fathers to continue to mobilise their subjects for the maintenance of security
Akeredolu who was Chairman at the Symposium titled ‘Addressing Security Challenges As They Affect Grassroots Development in Nigeria: Need for Constitutional Empowerment of Traditional Institutions’, and represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Olugbenga Ale, acknowledged the various informal roles being played by traditional institutions in the country.
“Let me say that despite the fact that 1999 Constitution did not accord our traditional institutions any constitutional function, they have been very effective in the informal sector of our various societies. Their effectiveness in this sector could not be eroded as they are highly respected and revered as their words are like laws to their people,” he said.
The governor said the need to grant constitutional roles to traditional institutions for the purposes of conflict management, resolution and prevention cannot be overemphasised as they have always managed their people effectively at resolving conflicts.
“It is my firm belief that giving them constitutional recognition and authority will give them the needed impetus to carry out their hitherto informal roles more effectively and efficiently,” the governor said.
While noting that despite the fact that royal fathers do not have constitutional functions at the moment, traditional rulers in the Ondo State have continued to creatively take some salutary steps to stem insecurity in parts of the Sunshine State and equally get the import of government policies and programmes to effectively communicate with the grassroots.
The governor advised the organisers of the programme to ensure that consensus at the symposium be made available to the National Assembly so that the federal lawmakers would include it in its current constitutional amendments.
Akeredolu equally used the occasion to appeal to traditional institutions to speak up in unity in the ongoing agitation for resource control which he said would be a credible pathway to economic prosperity for states in the country.
“At my arrival in your palace for this historic programme, your Palace Traditional Secretary directed that the curator at the Palace Museum Gallery take us to where exciting historical monuments were on display.
“Of great significance, Kabiyesi is the display of precious stones in Ife with mouth-watering monetary value. What struck my mind therefore is that, if Ife or Osun State has control over this resource, the multiplier effects of the exploration and exploitation value chain on productive engagements of our restive youths and the economy of Ife and Osun State can better be imagined.
“May I therefore suggest that Kabiyesi should kindly rally his fellow Royal Fathers to support the agitation for Resource Control,” the governor said.