By Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
To better tackle growing insecurity in the country, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, has canvased for a greater role for traditional rulers.
Oba Adeyemi made the proposal while addressing reporters at the sidelines of his 50th coronation anniversary celebration in Oyo at the weekend.
The monarch disbursed N5.5million to 550 petty traders in the town, a gesture facilitated by one of his sons, Hon. Akeem Adeyemi, representing Oyo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
Beneficiaries were selected from the four local governments areas of Oyo, got N10,000 each.
The monarch also commissioned three solar boreholes which were also facilitated by the lawmaker at Oluewu Compound, Pakoyi, Oyo town; Baptist Secondary School, Oke-Isanmi, Ilora; and Yara Parlour in Owode, Oyo town, on the occasion.
He said the Federal Government should partner monarchs for effective security in communities across the nation.
The partnership, the monarch disclosed, would position traditional rulers to truly be formidable barricades that would reinforce peace and security of the nation, despite the enormous potentials inherent in their offices, positions and influence.
Oba Adeyemi lamented gross under-utilisation of traditional rulers for security and peace in the country, adding that they should be accorded a pride of place in the development strategies so that they could fully tap their enormous natural potentials and powers.
His said: “Obas must be seen as the symbols of the people’s past, custodian of their history and past, upholders and preservers of their culture, customs, an epitome of cultural norms and values of the society, such as truth, discipline, courage and responsibility. If the authorities adopt the traditional methods of conflict resolution as an alternative to the modern judiciary, it will go a long way in improving our current justice system, which has not only been over-stretched but also grossly abused.
“The position here is that the Oba at the centre of the traditional justice system could achieve a rapid peaceful resolution of inter-personal and communal disputes which have become a clog in the wheel of our progress and development. The Obas have been doing this at the local level. But this needs to be backed and strengthened by formal governmental authority and recognitions.
“Apart from the advisory role given to the traditional institutions in the current democratic dispensation, Obas should be seen as the coordinator of general community development as he has the natural capability to successfully act as adjudicator, mediator, intercessor and facilitator of community projects and programmes.
“As custodians of traditions and values, we are the ones who keep peace in our rural areas and in the various local governments that constitute our various states. As Nigerians, we must respect our various religious and ethnic backgrounds, because it is God that brought us together under one country. Thus, when we understand one another, the security challenges bedevilling the country will be a thing of the past.”
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