Elisha Digason, Kaduna 

The National Assembly has assured Traditional Rulers of constitutional role in governance stating that such role would be effected through the Nigerian Constitution amendment.

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio gave the assurance on monday 24th July, 2023, when he received a delegation of the Royal fathers from the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory.

Senator Akpabio whose assurance was in response to request made by the traditional rulers, said role of the royal fathers in governance, particularly on security matters are very important.

“Your request for constitutional role in governance is not strange to us and in particular, to me based on my background. My late grandfather was a traditional ruler and infact, one of the warrant officers used by the colonial masters for effective implementation of indirect rule.

“During that period, traditional rulers effectively tackled issues of safety and security in their various domains.

“It is my belief and the entire Senate leadership here, that if traditional rulers are constitutionally engaged in governance at the grassroots, the myriad of security challenges facing the country, would be things of the past.

“You traditional fathers are reservoirs of information highly needed at the grassroots. Your journey to us today on the request, would surely not be in vain”, he stressed.

Speaking on behalf of the Traditional rulers, the Etsu of Nupe, Dr. Yahaya Abubakar who represented the Chairman of National Traditional Council of Nigeria, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, lamented that the constitutional role of traditional rulers was expunged by framers of the 1979 Constitution.

He noted that, all efforts made by Traditional rulers across the country under the aegis of National Council of Traditional Rulers, to get back the role, had not yielded any fruit.

“The most recent of such efforts was the one made during the 9th National Assembly which didn’t scale through as a result of failure to get the required votes in the Senate for the demand despite , succeeding in the House of Representatives”. He added.

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