Traditional Rulers In Nigeria Are Ambassadors Of Peace

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By; FUNMI ADERINTO, Kaduna

The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe, on Wednesday, said that as part of the reforms in the traditional councils, the law provides for permanent and pensionable appointments  for scribes of emirates and chiefdoms under the Local Government Service Board. 

Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe stated this at the coronation and presentation of staff of office to His Royal Highness, Revd. Dr. Habila Sa’idu, Chief of Godogodo Chiefdom, held at Sanga Local Government Area in Kaduna State.

She said the new chief ascended the throne after the demise of His Royal Highness, Iliya Ajiya Antang. 

According to her, the late chief was known as a peace-builder who ensured peaceful co-existence in his area. 

She extended condolences on behalf of the governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, the government and people of Kaduna State to His Royal Highness, the Godogodo Traditional Council and the good people of Godogodo Chiefdom for this irreparable loss.

“Also,  Your Royal Highness, from your call to God’s vineyard and when you entered ECWA Theological Seminary Kagoro in 1976 till date, you have served as a teacher of Pastors-in-training and a secular secondary school including largely pastoral duties. 

“Though raised in church administration, I believe you have also been prepared for the responsibility God has bestowed on you as the chief of Godogodo Chiefdom.

“You do not need to be reminded that your chiefdom consists of diverse people and you will therefore, need to be fair to all and sundry, irrespective of their faith and cultural inclinations. 

“We believe you can do this, that is why you are in this saddle today,  this position you are being officially ushered into today is revered and carries with it quite a number of responsibilities. 

“Traditional rulers in Nigeria are not just symbols of tradition, but ambassadors of peace, law maintainers and carriers of government policies and programmes.

“Therefore, you cannot afford to let your people  nor the government that entrusts you with this responsibility down. Nigeria is a heterogeneous society. 

“This is an important resource that we need to manage well as a country. Our rulers need to look beyond being tribal and small community leaders to bigger game players, where contributions of diverse people are harnessed for greater gains.

“All over the world, the trend is on inclusiveness. I thank God that Your Royal Highness schooled in the United States and is therefore, aware that the world has moved to where progress is determined by how many diverse people you carry along with you and never by the narrow confines of tribe or religion.

“But many leaders in Nigeria have narrowed their canvass to fields commanded by tribal warlords. 

“This perhaps reflects on some of the condemnable communal clashes we have had in Nigeria in our recent past.

“Development can only be attained when there is peace and understanding among the people. 

“Our traditional rulers of today should therefore, realize that their roles in the 21st Century are quite different from that which they played during colonial times,” she said. 

She pointed out that they should serve their people through building cohesive structures of development as opposed to the colonial service of divisiveness for the benefit of the colonial masters.

“It is in that wise that the Kaduna State Government has reviewed its colonial laws on traditional institutions to make them more responsive to the people and the needs of the communities they rule over. 

“In consultation with the traditional institutions, the state government has passed 2021 Kaduna State Traditional Institutions Law to enhance the status of our traditional rulers, recognize the diversity in our people and reflect current democratic reality.

“As part of the reforms in the traditional councils, the law provides for permanent and pensionable appointments  for scribes of emirates and chiefdoms under the Local Government Service Board. 

“It also stipulates minimum educational qualification of a National Diploma for secretaries of emirates and chiefdoms in the state. 

“We believe that it is long overdue to end the colonial Native Authority styled administration still going on in our traditional councils and improve their quality of service.

“At this juncture, Your Royal Highness, permit me to call on you and other traditional rulers in Kaduna State to take the education of children in their domains very seriously.  

“Education is the catalyst for development in the world of today. Traditional rulers are placed at the vantage position to to ensure that all children within school going age- bracket are not seen loitering the streets in their communities during learning hours.

“Remember that we have a law that will sanction parents who keep their children out of school. 

“You will therefore, be helping government and your people if recalcitrant parents are brought to book,” she tasked.

 Dr. Hadiza Balarabe extended the congratulations of the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam  Nasir el-Rufai, the government and people of the state to the Chief and people of Fadan Ayu Chiefdom. 

“May Allah continue to assist His Royal Highness in the discharge of the responsibilities of this exalted office,” she prayed.

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