By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe has urged Federal Government to create a constitutional backed National Council of Traditional Rulers at the federal level.
Igwe Achebe made the call in Ibadan while delivering the third national public service lecture titled: “Change and the Nigerian Traditional Institution” of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association held at the Trenchard Hall.
The Obi of Onitsha pointed out that there is the need for traditional institution in the country to be appropriately reflected in the constitution considering the growing impact of the traditional institutions in the ordinary life of the country, and the participation of the crisis section of the communities in communal life.
Igwe Achebe lamented that past administrations in the country were unable to give legal backing through constitutional recognition of traditional institution, saying, “the contemporary traditional institution has a clear and growing relevance in the contemporary Nigerian life”.
According to him, “this is due to a combination of factors, namely, the counter-reaction to globalisation, the declining confidence in our modern political institution, and the rising calibre and leadership abilities of the emerging traditional rulers”.
Igwe Achebe maintained that at least there ought to be the recognition by the constitution of the role of the traditional institution in communal life, like mobilising the community for enlightenment, education, economic empowerment, peace building, safety and security; among others.
“Positive internal reforms of the traditional institution are increasingly being driven by a broad coalition of the thought leaders in the communities, such as the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), rather than a small clique of the aristocracy. It would also be necessary for the constitutional guarantee of funding for community development activities over the existing provision of five per cent of the statutory allocation to the local governments, which is not guaranteed and is haphazardly implemented.”
Speaking further, the Obi of Onitsha advocated for the preservation of indigenous languages and restoration of the study of history in the school curricula in Nigeria, saying the country should endeavour to train students that will speak three languages instead of two, asking why Nigeria should not be producing tri-lingua students as it is currently the trend in Europe.
Igwe Achebe then charged traditional rulers in Nigeria to continue to stay abreast of change in digital world, and jealously guard and protect the core social values, customs and traditions that distinguish “our respective people.”
Obi of Onitsha to FG: Give constitutional backing to National Council of Traditional Rulers now
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.