From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
KOGI State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello on Tuesday banned traditional rulers in the state from awarding chieftaincy or traditional titles to anybody without approval of the state government.
Yahaya Bello announced this on Tuesday in Lokoja during a meeting with the traditional council and local government administrators.
The governor who was represented by the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Barr. Salami Ozigi said the level of land and chieftaincy crises that arose from such titles in the state was overwhelming, and has caused serious insecurity; hence the need to stemmed the tides.
“No traditional ruler must take any step to create any chiefdom, create or crown any chief or district head either temporarily or permanently without government authority.”
He disclosed that Majority of the insecurity witnessed in the state, and 70 percent of legal matters against the state
government steamed from chieftaincy and land crises.
The governor warned that any undue appointments or creation of traditional head, both the appointed and the traditional ruler that made such
appointments will not be spared.
He said the decision or order of the state government was not to undermined the traditional institutions, “Crime and
criminality have left the local area and moved to the highways because of
government efforts, what is left in the rural areas are chieftaincy crises.”
“We are asking you to make sacrifice for peace. The state government is spending heavily to tackle insecurity. When you
create such positions and crises engulfed, then the state government will now be running around to settle it. Such money used to curb such crises would
have been used to handle other projects.”
“We have to be proactive and curb future occurrences. We are not doing this to withhold or reduce the power of traditional institutions but to prevent such crises.”
Responding, the Attah Igala, HRM Ameh Oboni (11) urged the state government to look into the land and Traditional law
operative in the state, adding that it was created without the involvement of the traditional institutions.
“The state government should look at the gazette used for traditional institutions.
There is need to amend the foundation. The structure was not good, that is why
the house is shaking.”
“Presently, the traditional rulers are finding it difficult to operate between the traditional law and modern law.There is need to review the law. All is not well with the gazette used for traditional institutions in the state.”
The Attah also took a swipe against some traditional rulers in their quest to acquired higher position, “The rush for
traditional rulers to get 1st or 2nd class is not ideal. Many 1st class rulers have no responsibility for their positions.”
“It is high time traditional rulers put into consideration the check and balances of our land. There are 1st and 2nd class rulers who have no power on land matters; they are just holding on to ‘Juju’ tittle.”