By Ifeanyi Olannye
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has advocated for constitutional roles for traditional rulers in the country due to their contribution towards peace building.
The governor made the call when members of South-South traditional rulers forum paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Asaba on Thursday.
“There is need for us to provide some form of constitutional roles for our traditional fathers.
“This is because, if to a large extend, they have been recognised in their various states, realising the roles they play in engendering peace, it is important that a place is actually provided for them in the constitution of this country.
“So, we will continue to support all such moves and hope that in the next amendment of the constitution, we are able to do something to ensure that a constitutional role is created for them,” he said.
He said that traditional rulers as the bridge between the government and the people, should be strongly united and should continue to speak with one voice on issues bordering on the South-South.
The governor said that stakeholders in the region must continuously speak about the high level of injustice that was going on in the region.
“As a result of the failure of transparency, what the region gets in terms of derivation was far less than 13 per cent,” he said.
He called on the stakeholders in the region to shun divisive tendencies, adding that they should be united to be able to change the narrative.
“We should be united to change the narrative to enable us get a fair share of what is due to us as a region,” the governor said.
He added that he was glad that the royal fathers were in the state to talk to one another on issues of common interest to the generality of the people of the region.
He said that the Niger Delta deserved more in terms of project and in terms of sustainable development.
Earlier, the leader of the forum, His Royal Majesty, King Edmond Daukoru expressed appreciation to Okowa for the warm reception he accorded them ins pite of the short notice.
Daukoru said that they were happy with the outcome of the interactive meeting between stakeholders in the South-South and representatives of the Federal Government which was held in Port Harcourt.
He maintained that, as a bridge between the political leadership and the people, the forum would do follow up on the outcome of the interactive meeting.