Senate seeks role for traditional rulers in local government administration

The Senate has advocated for a return of the role of traditional rulers in the administration of local government areas

Senate president, Ahmed Lawan, who made the suggestion, when he was conferred with the title of Ganuwan Kebbi, by the Emir of Argungun, Alhaji Muhammad Mera, at the National Assembly, on Wednesday, blamed the continued insecurity across the country, particularly in the North to vacuum of intelligence gathering at the grassroots created by the 1976 local government reform.

Lawan noted that the removal of traditional rulers from the administrative structure of respective local government councils across the country through the 1976 reform created a vacuum of intelligence gathering at the grassroots, which culminated into all manner of insecurity in the country today from Boko Haram to Armed Banditry and even herdsmen/ farmers clashes.

According to the Senate President, “The traditional fathers have always been supportive of the government. We from the northern part of the country know that in the past that the traditional rulership played a very key stabilizing role in administration which is highly needed now.

“In fact, we need to have a proper formal role given a role to them and more especially with the current security situation in the country.

“I am sure that the traditional rulers can provide a lot of support for government and security agencies in fighting and winning the insecurity challenges that we have today.

In his remarks, Leader of the Senate, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, APC Kebbi North), who called for the return of traditional rulers to local government administration, regretted that the 1976 local government reforms laid the unfortunate foundation, particularly in the North

Senator Abdullahi who argued that criminal acts were very low in the North, before the 1976 local government reform because of active roles played by traditional rulers then

“Unfortunately the 1976 local government reform removed the traditional rulers from an active role in governance at the grassroots and invariably created a vacuum for effective intelligence gathering which has snowballed into the big problem of insecurity in the entire North today as regards Boko Haram, Armed banditry, herders and farmers clashes etc.

“There is need to restore their role because there can be vacuum in power if you divest a group of people of required power or responsibilities, those unexpected will rush to fill the vacuum as it is the case in the North now.

“Fortunately, the process of constitution amendment is ongoing, providing an opportunity for stakeholders in the country, to fashion out a constitutional role for traditional rulers at the local government level.”

Earlier, at the conferment, Emir of Argungu, who was represented by a delegation led by Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan, said, Lawan was considered for the title because of his quality leadership in the National Assembly and positive roles being played in the Nigerian political landscape.

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