By Femi Ogunshola
The Council of Traditional Rulers in Nigeria on Wednesday submitted a memo to the House of Representatives Committee on the Review of 1999 constitution.
Etsu Nupe, Dr Abubakar Yahaya, who led the delegation of the council said that traditional rulers must be given constitutional role in the country.
He said that traditional rulers were better place in handling communal clashes in view of security challenges facing the country.
He added that there was need to accommodate traditional rulers by giving them the needed constitutional backing, adding that such would help to maintain the requisite peace in the country.
He said that the traditional rulers hoped that those in charge of the review of the 1999 constitution would acknowledge their roles and give them constitutional recognition.
“The council of traditional rulers had deliberated in so many sittings and came out with a prescribe status that should be allocated to its members.
“We are advocating membership at the council of state as well as local government councils.
“We want to establish a national council of traditional rulers of Nigeria to be embedded in our constitution,” he said.
Mr Ahmed Wase, chairman of the committee on the review of 1999 constitution and the Deputy Speaker of the House, however, quarried the absence of representatives of South West traditional rulers.
He said that the memo presented showed that Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, Oba Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebu Ode and others did not sign the memo.
Wase pleaded with the traditional rulers to work with harmony so that those who had not signed would sign.
Wase assured that the committee was conscious of their role as traditional rulers, adding that he believed the traditional rulers had a role to play in stabilising the polity.
“I belief that you have a role to play in keeping us united as a country and in keeping the government functioning and providing adequate security in your domain,” he said. (NAN)