The Ooni of Ife and Arole Oduduwa, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, CFR, Ojaja II, has charged the National Assembly to carry out legislation that will provide for the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria NCTRN with constitutional roles to enable them make more positive impacts in the security architecture of the country. Warning that failure to do so, the country may not effectively tackle emerging and contemporary security challenges bedeviling the country.

The Ooni who doubles as Co-chairman of NCTRN which is the umbrella body of all the traditional rulers in Nigeria stated this in Kaduna on Monday as Guest Speaker/Royal Father during the 2023 Exercise Haski Hiyu Lecture organised by the Armed Forces Command And Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna state, attended by senior military officers drawn from various units and formations across the country for the lecture.

In the lecture themed “Combating Internal Security Challenges Through Effective Utilisation Of Traditional Institution” the Natural Head of the entire Oduduwa race worldwide attributed the high rate of crimes and unending security challenges to the failure of government to assign specific constitutional roles to traditional rulers in the country.

“Any Nation pushing traditional rulers aside may not prosper. We are the closest to the people and we must be constitutionally empowered to work together with government so as to take our country to another level especially on security matters.

“We were more relevant during pre independence struggle and post independence constitutional democracy up till the end of the first Republic in 1966.

“When the colonial people came, they practiced indirect rule in some parts of this country and they could only rule over the citizens through their traditional rulers. In fact The First Governor of African origin was Ooni Adesoji Aderemi who simultaneously reigned as the King of Ile-Ife and same time governed the old Western Region alongside Late Obafemi Awolowo as the Premier. This was when traditional rulers had constitutional powers.

“Palace is the focal point. Whenever there is a breakdown of law and order in town, people rush to the palace. To you the Nigerian gatekeepers, how do you want to do your jobs successfully without traditional instructions? Impossible!” Ooni said.

The Ooni who only few days ago returned to Nigeria from a 2 week Pan-African trip to Brazil where he met with President Luiz Inácio LULA da Silva in Brasilia Brazil on Tuesday 21st before flying to Kenya where he was hosted by President William Ruto at the State House in Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday 25th March, insisted that the traditional institution has a vital role to play in the fight against insurgency, banditry and other related crimes in the society due to their closeness to the people, and therefore expresses the need to enshrine roles of traditional rulers in the constitution.

In his speech, Commandant of the Armed Forces Command And Staff College, JAJI Kaduna state, Air Vice Marshal Emmanuel Wunoh thanked the monarch for honouring their invitation and expressed satisfaction with the Ooni’s speech to the officers of the Nigerian military who were present at the lecture which is an annual exercise organised by the military training institution to cross-fertilize ideas and strengthen inter-agency collaboration between civil-military and paramilitary organisations to tackle emerging and contemporary security threats within their domains.

The Commandant said he is in total agreement with the request of constitutional roles for Nigerian Traditional Rulers to effectively complement efforts of the security agencies made by the Ife monarch.

The Ooni alongside his amiable queen, Olori Tobiloba Ogunwusi had on his arrival at the Kaduna International Airport on Sunday proceeded straight to the ancient city of Zaria on a courtesy visit to the Emir of Zauzau HRH Mallam Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, CFR as a mark of territorial honour. He was also joined by Yoruba indigenes residing in Zaria who had trooped out to welcome the number one king in Yorubaland.

Otunba Moses Olafare,
Director, Media & Public Affairs,
Ooni’s Palace.

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