By Samuel Oyadongha
President Goodluck Jonathan, Monday, tasked royal fathers in the country to stay in their kingdom even as he promised to send a bill to the National Assembly next year to strengthen the role of the traditional institution.
President Jonathan, who spoke at Otuoke, his hometown during the coronation of His Royal Highness, Lot Justin Ogiasa, Oke X, as the Obanema of Otuoke, acknowledged the significant role of the traditional institution to the growth of the country.
Accompanied by his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan, Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and their spouses, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, Senator Smart Adeyemi, Mr. Clever Ikisikpo, Nelson Belief among others, President Jonathan pleaded with the royal fathers to make peace paramount in their domains.
He frowned against a situation where royal fathers, who as the custodians of the customs and tradition of their people, rule their kingdom from exile, thereby exposing their subjects to problems which ordinarily would have been averted if they were on ground.
The President noted that if the royal fathers were on ground in their kingdom they will be in better position to maintain law and order and nip in the bud any brewing conflict.
Describing peace as a costly venture that needs sacrifice, he said in kingdoms where the kings are on ground and make sacrifice there is always peace adding that they cannot rule their kingdom from diaspora.
He promised to liaise with the National Assembly by way of sending a bill to the former next year with a view to according to the traditional institution the needed recognition.
President Jonathan also paid glowing tribute the new Obanema of Otuoke, HRH Lot Justin Ogiasa, Oke X whom he described as his role model.
He described the elevation of HRH Ogiasa as the Obanema of Otuoke as a reward for his selfless service to the people of the sleepy settlement of Otuoke.
In his remarks, Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State expressed gratitude to God for allowing the sleepy town of Otuoke to produce the President of the country.
Chief Sylva who also described the traditional institution as one of the most important tier of government reiterated his administration support for the institution being the closest to the people at the grassroot.
The governor also assured the President of the unalloyed support of the people of the state to assist him actualise his political ambition.
Earlier, in their welcome address, the people of Otuoke community thanked the federal government for siting a federal university in the area promising to assist the government with the speedy development of the institution.
Hon Elliot Osomo who spoke on behalf of the community urged all illegible Bayelsans to register in the forthcoming voters’ registration exercise so as to vote for President Goodluck Jonathan to enable him continue with his good work.
He described President Goodluck Jonathan as a symbol of unity and as such should be supported to continue in office beyond 2011.