Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo has called for constitutional roles for traditional rulers across the country, especially in the area of security.
He made the call during separate visits to the Olu of Warri Kingdom, Ogiame Atuwatse 111 and the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, HRM Dr Emmanuel Sideso on Saturday, March 5, 2022 at their palaces in Warri and Uvwie local government areas of Delta State respectively.
Speaking at the palace of the Olu of Warri in the company of Deputy Governor Kingsley Otuaro of Delta, Prof Osinbajo said the time had come for traditional rulers to play a critical role in tackling the security challenges confronting the nation.
According to him, he and the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, in synergy, crisis cross the riverine communities to ensure peace in the state noting that the royal fathers were at the front and centre of the efforts that returned peace to the state.
“About three or four years ago, I and the Deputy Governor of Delta State, have been working assiduously in bringing down the insecurity we faced in the past.
“We were able to achieve results just because the traditional rulership threw it upon themselves to be at the front and centre of mediating the issue.
“I think the time we are in also calls for that kind of intervention. I respectfully urge you, your royal majesty to take this on too as a major task because, just as it has been mentioned, our country depends a great deal on oil production,” he pleaded.
Osinbajo averred that the nation’s desire was to see that security challenges in Delta State were brought to an end in most of the oil-producing communities.
“We recognize, especially with security that very few administrations had been confronted with this plethora of security challenges that we have been confronted with.
“When you look at the share number and range of those security challenges, it’s evident that it is necessary to have a leader such as Muhammadu Buhari to be able to take on those challenges, but the role of traditional rulership is critical, absolutely critical now,” he added.
At the palace of the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, Osinbajo lauded the monarch for his role in sustaining the peace in Uvwie kingdom.
He reiterated that in view of the fact that traditional rulers were more in touch with the grassroots, there was the need for the National Assembly to incorporate and apportion them constitutional roles.
He prayed that with the level of politics gathering momentum, the National Assembly would be able to finish its constitutional duty and amend the constitution as expected.
According to him, the President also wants some constitutional roles for traditional rulers, commending the Uvwie monarch for sustaining the peace in his kingdom, given past youths restiveness.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom had expressed surprise that despite their presentations to the National Assembly, the Committee on Constitutional Review paid no attention to the need for a constitutional role for traditional rulers.
He appealed to the executive to intervene and commended the Federal Government for the continuous support for the traditional institutions.
Also responding in his palace earlier, the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse 111 commended the Federal Government for all its efforts in repositioning the country.
He pledged the support of the traditional institutions in supporting the government towards returning peace to the country.
The royal father particularly commended the Vice President for the supportive roles to the President adding ” thank you for the good works you have been doing, supporting Mr. President and putting Nigeria first.”
Also speaking, the Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who was represented by his deputy, Otuaro, harped on the need for a constitutional role for traditional rulers.
He assured that the state administration would leave good legacies behind at the expiration of the tenure in 2023, just as he commended the Olu of Warri for his fatherly support to the administration in the state.
The Vice President was in Delta State for the Thanksgiving ceremony of late Chief Patrick Ideh, aged 95, a nationalist lawyer since 1961.