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Shehu wants more power for traditional rulers

24 January 2013, 10:37

Maiduguri - Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai, the Shehu of Borno on Wednesday urged the National Assembly to give more powers to traditional rulers in its planned review of the 1999 Constitution.

Ibn Garbai made the call while receiving members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in his palace in Maiduguri.

He said that the action would help to address the current security challenges in the country.

"Traditional rulers must be given enough powers if we really want to address the problem of insecurity in the country,'' Ibn Garbai said.

He recalled that before the advent of the British colonialists, traditional rulers ran successful administration in the country.

"Even when Lord Lugard came to the North, he was impressed with the system, hence the adoption of indirect rule of administration," Ibn Garbai said.

He said that since traditional rulers had more grassroots contact, they should be given powers to control movements of people in their domain.

"District heads should have powers to open a register of residents in their areas.

"They should also have powers to investigate a visitor or a new settler before allowing him to stay," Ibn Garbai said.

He said that the system would help check the influx of foreign mercenaries, who carried out attacks in the country.

Ibn Garbai also said that the traditional rulers should be given powers to offer indigene identification letters to people in their areas, instead of local government councils.

"Traditional rulers are the custodian of the peoples’ culture and traditions.

"They should be in charge of the issuance of indigene identification letters and not the local government councils."

- NAN

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