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June 25, 2024

Atiku urges governors to respect traditional institutions

Atiku urges governors to respect traditional institutions

A former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has called on state governors to respect traditional institutions in the country.

Abubakar, in a statement issued on Tuesday, also called for a constitutional reform that would recognise traditional institutions and also define the responsibilities of their offices.

He said that recent developments in the country have seen a growing tendency of state governments to exert influence by distorting the modalities of enthroning traditional stools.

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections described the trend as a reality that stared Nigerians in the face from every corner of the country.

He said it was understandable that the institutions of traditional rulers were in the exclusive purview of the state government through the local government authorities.

Atiku, however, said it must be established that traditional institutions constitute a component of the country’s governance structure.

“Traditional institutions must be protected from the arbitrariness of state governments that threatens their stability.

“When the structure of ascension of traditional rulers is unstable, it will become equally difficult to maintain peace and orderliness in communities.

“Although our constitution, in its current format, does not ascribe any recognition to traditional institutions, our experiences show clearly that they perform enormous roles in the economic life of their domains, as well as maintenance of peace and security in communities,” he said.

Atiku noted that the traditional institutions formed the governance structures before the advent of the colonialists.

“They governed well; the institutions must be protected, preserved, and not be destroyed.

“It is, therefore, on this basis that I lean toward the advocacy that calls for constitutional reform that will not just recognise traditional institutions in our body of laws, but also define the responsibilities of their offices.

“This reform is even more important given the collective drive to stem the ugly tide of terrorism and sundry security challenges at the local levels.

“I must also appeal to state governors to accord the necessary respect to the offices of traditional institutions.

“The customs that our traditional rulers represent is the totality of our heritage as a people,” Abubakar said. (NAN)