The Emir of Lafia, Retired Justice, Sidi Bage has been Inaugurated as the chairman of the Arewa Consultative Committee on the role of Traditional rulers in the governance architecture of Nigeria.
The executive government of Plateau state, Simon Lalong urged the committee to remain committed in the discharge of the responsibility bestowed on them.
Bako stated this while inaugurating the committee at the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, the Chairman of the Northern governors forum explained that the setting up of the committee was the aftermath of the nationwide protest named Endsars protest.
Lalong appreciated traditional rulers in the region for curtailing the uprising, he however said monarchs should be given a space to play their role in nation-building.
“Traditional institution has a role to play, stating that Nasarawa and Plateau are still one just because of administrative purpose”.
The inauguration of the Consultative Committee on the Roles of Traditional Rulers in Governance Architecture of Nigeria as conceived by the Northern States Governor’s Forum. The establishment of this very important Committee is in line with the resolutions reached during the last engagement.
“you will recall that during the meeting held in Kaduna on 2nd November 2020, Northern Governors interfaced with Chairmen of the Northern States Traditional Rulers”.
“We appreciated the roles played by the Traditional Rulers particularly in containing the menace of the ENDSARS protests in the North. Like in other circumstances, their prompt intervention ensured that the hijack of the protests did spread to the whole region thereby saving us the agony of destruction and vandalism that we witnessed in some States.
In this regard, the meeting again revisited the issue of the role of Traditional Rulers in governance where we collectively agreed that our Royal Fathers ought to be given formal roles in the governance architecture of the Country. Although this has been on the table for a long time, the Forum saw the necessity of putting in place this committee to accelerate action”.
They also appreciate other members of this Committee for their willingness to carry out the onerous task, there is no doubt that the traditional institution plays a very significant role in the governance of the nation despite not having a formal role within the constitution.
“Despite that, we know what traditional rulers are doing in maintaining security, mobilizing the people and ensuring peaceful co-existence within their domains”.
Traditional Rulers still command a high degree of legitimacy in the eyes of the people. As such, there remains the need to integrate the institution into the country’s contemporary governance system, adding that, that is why the Northern Governors forum believes that political and economic development would be more successful when rooted in widely shared institutional and cultural values which traditional authorities represent.
“That is why assigning constitutional roles to the traditional institutions will not only be because they are the closest to the grassroots, but also because they are a permanent feature of Nigeria’s body polity. They can therefore contribute more robustly to the development of the society beyond the advisory roles they perform at the moment”.
The Chairman said the forum is conscious of the fact that giving the traditional rulers more roles in governance will require constitutional amendments, hence the setting up of the committee to look into the matter and advise the Northern Governors Forum on how best to pursue the desire.
The specific terms of reference for the committee are as follows:
1.To review available reports earlier submitted by previous committees, panels, and commissions on roles of Traditional Rulers in Governance Architecture and advise the Northern States Governors’ Forum appropriately.
2.To propose defined roles for the Traditional rulers particularly in the Governance Architecture of the Northern States and Nigeria.