Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has advocated for constitutional roles for traditional rulers in the country in view of their contribution to peacebuilding.
Akeredolu made the call during the 4th Birthday Symposium of the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi on Friday, October 15.
”As a result of the roles traditional rulers play in engendering peace in their various domains; a place should be provided for them in the constitution of the country.
”This will also strengthen the present informal roles of the royal fathers to continue to mobilise their subjects to maintain security,” he said.
The symposium is titled: “Addressing Security Challenges As They Affect Grassroots Development in Nigeria: Need for Constitutional Empowerment of Traditional Institutions”.
”Let me say that in spite of the fact that the 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.
“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.
“In spite of the fact that Royal Fathers do not have constitutional functions at the moment, Traditional Rulers in 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 effectively communicated to the grassroots,” he said.
Akeredolu also advised the organisers of the programme; to ensure that consensus at the symposium be made available to the National Assembly.
He 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 palatial palace for this historic programme; your Palace Traditional Secretary directed that the Curator at the Palace Museum Gallery has exciting historical monuments 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.