Sokoto State Governor, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, has called for amendment of the Nigerian Constitution to create roles for traditional rulers in the country.
Tambuwal made the call while inaugurating Delta State Traditional Rulers’ Council Secretariat in Asaba, on Wednesday.
He said that in view of the role traditional rulers played in the administration of communities, it has become expedient that a constitutional amendment be made to create a role for them.
The governor stated that Northern Governors’ Forum had already resolved to push for the amendment of the Constitution in that regard and urged their Southern counterparts to support the move.
He described Governor of Delta, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, as “an amiable, reliable and performing governor” and commended him for his contributions in the growth of the state and prayed God to preserve and keep him for greater service to the nation.
“I am overwhelmed by what I have seen here in this magnificent building that will accommodate the traditional rulers in this state.
“Three years ago, Governor Okowa invited me here for the graduation and presentation of starter-packs for the state youth empowerment programme.
“In March, last year I was also here to inaugurate the Mariam Babangida Road and the Ogwashi-Uku-Ubulu-Uno Road, and coming here again today to inaugurate the traditional rulers’ council secretariat is the icing of the cake.
“When you invited then, I was still an APC Governor and I believe that it was based on our shared and common belief that we must work together for the good of all Nigerians.
“Traditional rulers are not just traditional institution but a fountain of wisdom, knowledge and experience that we drink from in the discharge of our duties as governors.
“We must do everything possible to preserve the traditional institution and bring back the diminishing glory of the institution.
“We at the Northern Governor’s Forum, we have decided to support a constitutional amendment to give traditional rulers a place in the governance of this nation and we seek the support of the Southern Governors in this regard,” Tambuwal said.
Okowa, in his remarks, appreciated the traditional rulers for their regular advice and usual support to his administration and pledged the continued support of the state government to the traditional institution.
He said that he was one of those who believed that traditional rulers should have a place in the governance of the nation and attributed the success of his administration to the support of the traditional institution.
“I recall that I have been in this state for so many years and this place was made up of some small buildings and the terrain was quite bad, but thank God that the whole place has changed.
“I am glad that the traditional rulers made their input in the architectural design and now we can truly say we have a befitting Traditional Rulers’ Council Secretariat.
“You deserve it because all we have achieved today in Delta is because of the peace that exists in your various domains and I must thank all of you sincerely.
“I believe that a large part of the success we have today in Delta is largely due to the support from traditional rulers and the more we continue to partner together, the better we can deliver dividends of democracy for our people.
“Delta traditional rulers have never criticised us publicly but they will rather send delegations to us to advice us in certain critical issues and I must thank you publicly for this,” the governor said.
Commissioner for Housing, Chief Festus Ochonogor, said the project was executed to strengthen governance as a veritable tool for building a Stronger Delta.
“The traditional institution has played remarkable role in the peace and development of Delta and this gigantic traditional rulers council secretariat was built to provide the royal fathers a world-class meeting point to contribute in advancing a stronger Delta vision and also build a bridge of peace in their domains,” Ochonogor stated.
In his welcome address, Chairman of Oshimili South Local Government Area, Mr Kelvin Ezenyili, said that the place of traditional rulers in the administration of communities could not be over-emphasised, and commended Okowa for building a befitting secretariat for traditional rulers in the state.
Chairman, Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, Obi Dr Emmanuel Efeizomor II, said traditional rulers in the state were full of joy on the successful completion and inauguration of the secretariat.
He assured of the continued support of the traditional rulers to the stronger Delta agenda of the Okowa administration.
“Today is a great day for the entire traditional rulers in Delta State; it is indeed a day we will live to remember.
“Today we are reminded that once again we are not forgotten in the scheme of things and that we can still hold our heads high amongst our colleagues,” he stated.