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Politicians want specific roles for traditional rulers

28 January 2013, 07:35

Lagos - Some politicians in Lagos have suggested that traditional rulers be assigned specific roles in the ongoing Constitution review process.

Chief Ajibade Emi-Abatta, the Lagos State Chairman of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), noted that during the military era, traditional rulers were assigned certian roles.

"But if they make it official, the traditional rulers will now know that they have responsibilities, especially in securing their areas.

"They should be given specific roles which can be described by the government of the day and how to go about.

"They should not be given the type of role that will make them involve in politics because they have different political parties in their domains," Emi-Abatta said.

Also commenting, Alhaji Yahaya Ndu, the former National Chairman of the now defunct African Renaissance Party (ARP), also agreed that traditional rulers should be given roles in the constitution.

According to him, traditional rulers are supposed to be the custodians of the culture of their people

"It is the culture of everybody that brings about their constitution; their system of governance are born out of their culture.

"Therefore, if our traditional rulers don't have very serious roles to play in whatever new constitution that we are bringing out, then the constitution is " as good as nothing".

Ndu also argued that traditional rulers, religious leaders and security operatives should be allowed to be members of any political party of their choice.

In his remark, the former National Chairman of the African Liberation Party (ALP), Chief Emmanuel Okereke, said:
"Traditional rulers should be given opportunity in the constitution because there are some certain things they know that we don't know.

"But they should not be given any role to play in government rather they should be on their own as they already are authority on their own.

"They should be able to go home and maintain peace and order in their locality."

- NAN

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