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Sultan canvasses constitutional roles for traditional rulers

By Adamu Abuh, Abuja
12 December 2019   |   3:57 am
Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar yesterday canvassed an immediate amendment of the Nigerian Constitution to create roles for traditional leaders in the country.

Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (left); Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar at the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) in Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar yesterday canvassed an immediate amendment of the Nigerian Constitution to create roles for traditional leaders in the country.

Speaking at the General Assembly of the Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria in Abuja, the monarch enjoined the executive and legislative arms of government to come up with constitutional amendment aimed at achieving the objective. He argued that the measure would protect the sanctity of the traditional institution, which has been at the receiving end of operations of the executive arm of government, which who often dabble into their affairs to score political goals. He said, “It is important both the executive and legislature make this to happen. People come into office and forget 1000 years history. Those who forget history are condemned to making mistakes. “History is important. We want that respect to go down the line. If we do that we can insulate the traditional institution from insults and abuses of politicians.”

The Sultan’s position folloowed ongoing face-off between Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II over the creation of additional emirate councils in the state. Speaking, Oba Frederick Enitiolorunda Obateru Akinruntan, the Olugbo of Ugbo land, who supported the Sultan, urged the Federal and state governments to take a cue from other countries by defining clear roles for traditional rulers in the country.

His words: “If you look at what happens in other countries, they gave them window, even in Ghana the traditional council play a role in the governance of the country. “Why won’t it happen in Nigeria where we have professors, doctorate degree holders, generals and others who are knowledgeable from playing a role in the governance of the country?”

President Muhammadu Buhari who declared open the event with the theme, “Imperative of Community Policing and Menace of Drugs Abuse, the Role of Traditional Rulers” acknowledged that traditional rulers remain non-state actors who not have the coercive force of the state law enforcement apparatuses.The President, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, admitted that traditional rulers were potent arbiters whose intervention in combating societal ills remains pertinent.