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Traditional Rulers Seek Advisory Role In Government … As They End Retreat In Port Harcourt

The third annual retreat of the south south monarchs forum, otherwise known as the monarch forum with the theme “Democracy, National Unity and Security: The Roles of Traditional Rulers in the Maintenance of Grassroots Security,” held against the background of increasing escalation of general insecurity in the country and asundry other social vices, has ended in Port Harcourt with a recommendation that the traditional rulers play an advisory role to both the federal and the state, as well as the local government on security policies and initiatives and exercise an oversight function on local governments.
They asked for representation in the national council of state, as already being advocated by the national council of traditional rulers.
Other recommendations include, there should be recognition and enhancement of the traditional institutions capacity for neighbourhood security, advice and guide the various government initiatives that seek to rehabilitate the violent elements of the society.
Development, they stated, must involve a consultative and participatory process in which the people exercise ownership of the process and express their sovereignty by holding their leaders accountable, for inter-religious understanding and there is the need for constant physical contact and interactions and that government should give further support to the national inter-religious council (NIREC).
They said there is need for leadership by example and that traditional rulers should live above board so as to earn the respect of their people, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) which has such elements of mediation and arbitration interfaces with traditional dispute resolution mechanism and can be mutually beneficial to customs and norms of the traditional institutions.
The traditional rulers have also observed that there has been a general insecurity in the country cutting across various regions and that the roots of the crises were the general conditions of poverty underlined by unemployment.
The country is characterized by extreme poverty, hunger and related social deprivation such as iniquity, discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities, absence of universal primary education, child mortality pandemic disease and environment degradation, and that there can be no development in an atmosphere of violence as the corresponding negative international perception of the country can discourage potential foreign direct investment with a deleterious impact on the goals of development.
The role of the traditional institutes, they maintained, is largely advisory and ceremonial on cultural matters and without assignment and constitutional role, specifically the prevailing local government administrative system, undermined the role of traditional governance institutions, though most of the crises in the country may be regionally based, there has been an error of perception by not appreciating the various crises from a national perspective among others.
Traditional rulers who graced the occasion include, HRH Eze Chukwumela Nnam Obi the II and Oba of Ogba land, King Alfred Diette Spiff, the first military governor of Rivers State, HRH Chief Edmond Dakuku the national president of the traditional rulers, other traditional rulers from all part of the federation, governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State represented by the Rivers state commissioner for chieftaincy and local government affair, Hon. Charles Okeya among others.###

Emeka Jilly Ejorwhor

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