Ibrahim Danfulani, National Coordinator of the Tukur Yusuf Humanity Care Foundation, has called for full restoration of traditional rulers role in the Nigerian
Constitution in the interest of national security and values.
Danfulani made the call in a New Year message, a statement he issued to newsmen on Sunday in Kaduna.
He called on the National Assembly to re-establish the roles of traditional rulers in matters involving religion, culture, security, justice and other ancillary matters in the Nigerian constitution.
Danfulani said it would go a long way in addressing myriad of problems facing the nation.
He noted that the current constitution had relegated the traditional institution to the background with no constitutional roles.
It is recalled that the Ironsi’s 1966 Unitary Government Decree, Gen. Gowon’s 1967 and Gen. Obasanjo’s 1976 Local Government Reform Decree, stripped traditional rulers of their powers and gave same to the Local Government Councils.
He said prior to the 1976 Local Government Reforms, which stripped traditional rulers of their powers, Nigeria was at that time progressive, peaceful, decent and full of beautiful traditions and cultures.
According to Danfulani, the contemporary influence of social media and unrestricted contents detrimental to Nigeria’s culture and tradition, has continued to subconsciously aided the continued subversion of the nation’s values.
He noted that the Grand Patron of the Foundation, Gen. Tukur Buratai, had observed that “modern Nigeria’s origin was based on the political, social and economic roots of Nigeria’s empires, kingdoms and chiefdoms firmly established before the colonial rule.
“These empires, kingdoms and chiefdoms were well administered by the Emirs, Obas and Obis.
“These traditional rulers wielded powers and authority that helped to douse conflicts and ensure criminals had no hiding places.
“Progress and developments took place in their domains,” he said.
The coodinator lamented that currently, traditional rulers did not have the constitutional or other legal backings to perform effectively, noting that they were not even mentioned in the 1999 Constitution.
“This is a great departure from all earlier constitutions that recognised and even gave them some functions to perform,” he said.
He mentioned some of the traditional rulers functions to include maintaining peace and security, which according to him, made the work of the police, military and the government officials much easier in the past.
The coordinator further said the Buratai Foundation had agreed to support the position by the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria.
Among the positions include that, traditional rulers should be accorded specific responsibilities for conflict and security management in their domains.
The involvement, to be devoid of partisanship, would enable active participation of traditional institutions in matters pertaining to the maintenance of peace and security in their communities.
“In addition, the chairmen of the States Councils of Chiefs should be recognised by the constitution as members of the Council of State as it has been in all the Nigerian constitutions, except the current 1999 Constitution,” Danfulani said.
He commended the Senate Constitution Review Committee, under the Chairmanship of Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, for the good job that had so far been done.
He called on lawmakers at the national and state assemblies to support the position of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria by ratifying the recommendations on the roles of traditional rulers by the Senate Constitution Review Committee.
He said the support by the various state governors to their parliaments, in this regard, was also fundamental.
He urged politicians and Nigerians to abide by the rules of the forthcoming general elections.
“Nigerians should be their own watchdogs on the election days.
“Any attempt to rig or scuttle the election process should be fished out and handed over to the security agencies,” Danfulani said.(NAN)