By Aluta News
September 28, 2020
Constitutional Amendment: CAACASVI Seeks New Powers For Traditional Rulers
As the National Assembly continues it’s process of amending the 1999 constitution, a Civil Society Organization, Citizens Awareness Against Corruption and Social Vices Initiative (CAACASVI) has called for increased responsibility for traditional rulers as a way to ensure greater checks and balances in the Nigerian polity and thus traditional institution should be adopted as the forth estate of the polity in the constitutional amendment effort.
The group said being an ancient and still popular instrument of law and order in the respective ethnic communities that constitute Nigeria, it should be effectively harnessed to strengthen the contemporary socio-political balance in the country especially in the light of persistent corruption and insecurity.
Its Executive Director, Comrade Olumuyiwa Onlede, made this known on Friday in Abuja while submitting the proposal of the group to the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution at the national Assembly.
He said, ” The relevance of traditional institution in Nigeria cannot be overemphasised. There is no argument that the traditional institution is the oldest institution in Nigeria. The institution is relevant in contemporary governance structure owing to the closeness, reachability and citizen trust for the institution.”
“During the colonial rule in Nigeria, the queen of England influences the people through the traditional institutions.Christian Missionaries that came through the southern part of Nigeria were able to penetrate the people through the traditional institutions.The propagation of Islamic religion by Shehu Usman Dan Fodio was possible through the traditional institution where the traditional leaders of various empires were coerced to direct their people to accept the faith.”
“We can continue to mention the gains of partnership or participation of the traditional institution in governance and that is why it is pertinent for our nation Nigeria to incorporate the Traditional institution as an arm of government in modern Nigeria. The Federal structure today consist of three arms of government namely;
1. The Executive
2. The Legislature
3. The Judiciary
“See sections 47, 130 and 230of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).The role and duties of these three arms of government is well spelt out in other Sub- Sections of the above named sections of the constitution. But as it stands today in Nigeria looking at the security situation, social cohesion, unity, peace and tranquillity, hence the need for another arm of government that will be closer and more reachable to the people as identified above.
Onlede noted that under the current arrangement traditional rulers hold their office at the pleasure of State Governors.
He said the recent sacking of some royal fathers who went for a visit in Abuja is one example.
“This is in addition to the unbridle insecurity and immorality amongst our populace. The inclusion of traditional institution in governance in Nigeria no doubts guarantee security, trust and improve understanding of moral obligation of citizens.”