Insecurity: Need for traditional leaders involvement
Sir: Nigeria is really at her worst perilous time in many ways than one. Insecurity remains the most challenging problem of mankind despite humanity’s outstanding and unsurpassed advancement in the field of science and technology, the world has been moving from one form of horrendous crime to another such as kidnapping, militancy, assassinations, gangsterism, roadblock robberies, armed muggings, Boko Haram and of course the raging insurgency dimension hitherto to unknown in Nigeria which has become the order of the day in our national discourse.
The traditional rulers are the gatekeepers of any society and also the catalyst for socio-economic development and the custodian of the tradition and culture of people and values also serve as a political symbol of unity and power. The traditional rulers are to provide security for their subjects which is the primary responsibility. This was the norm during the pre-colonial era hence we had well-secured communities then but today we rely completely on the modern methods of security. Nigeria has not been able to meet the United Nations’ requirement which is one policeman to 400 people. The number we have now is grossly inadequate and this little number we have is attached to politicians and government officials.
Therefore, involving traditional institutions in security procedures is very vital to any country because they are more relevant in ensuring peace, stability, and wellbeing of every given society and also play a vital role in nation-building in the contemporary Nigeria situation from the local to the federal level. The 1999 constitution traditional rulers are not even represented in the council of the state. But the wording of the 1989 constitution with respect to the council of chiefs is exactly the same as the 1979 constitution.
In addition, Nigeria security, especially with the burgeoning population growth, can be improved by involving the traditional rulers insecurity matters because most of the occupants of traditional stools are highly qualified and experienced personalities whose wealth of knowledge is a great asset for development purposes is not in doubt and the key to the success and failure of security administration in the country due to the fact that they operate at the grass root and maintain first line contact with the ordinary people and they know who comes in and goes out of their domains. They also understand the requirement of their domains as it relates to the maintenance of law and order. Therefore, the role of traditional rulers in the security matters in this country can’t be over emphasised, the system should re-invent with the pre-colonial era method in order to succeed.
Security is a collective responsibility of all and should not be left for the three ties along. My humble advice to the National Assembly is to enact laws that will fully involve the traditional ruler in security matters and also to grant security vote for them because by so doing it will minimise the security problem across our motherland.
Bello Shehu Shuni.