The Sultan of Sokoto, the Ooni of Ife, the Obi of Onitsha and other notable traditional rulers across the country have stormed the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, demanding specific roles in the constitution for the purpose of stamping out all forms of criminalities in Nigeria.
The traditional rulers, under the canopy of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, met with President Muhammadu Buhari today, March 11, and asked the President to assign definite roles, particularly on peace and security, within the ambit of the Constitution to them in addition to regular engagements with the National Assembly on multiple fronts.
Speaking separately as President Muhammadu Buhari challenged them to monitor everybody coming into their domains for proper security accountability, the traditional rulers stressed the urgent need to stem the insecurity that has been claiming lives across the country
Among the rulers who visited the President are the Sultan of Sokoto, the Ooni of Ife, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, the Etsu Nupe, Alh. (Dr.) Yahaya Abubakar, King Jaja of Opobo, Dr. Dandeson Douglas Jaja, Emir of Bauchi, Dr Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammad Iliyasu and the Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi.
The Council is co-chaired by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi.
Meanwhile, President Buhari had solicited the greater cooperation of the royal fathers in the attempts at controlling the plethora of insecurity in various parts of the country.
The President apprised the traditional rulers with efforts by to stem the plethora of insecurity across Nigeria.
‘‘But what surprises is what is happening now in the North West where the same people, with the same culture are killing each other, taking their livestock and burning properties.
‘‘As a result of that, we had a four-hour meeting of the National Security Council attended by the Ministers of Internal Affairs, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Service Chiefs, Chief of Defence Staff, the Inspector-General of Police and others and we gave clear instructions.
‘‘One thing that got to the press which I read myself was that anyone with an AK-47 will be shot.
‘‘This is because AK-47 is supposed to be registered and it is only given to security officials.
‘‘We closed the borders for some years but the intelligence report I’m getting on a daily basis is that those who are conducting the abductions, the killings and so on are still not short of arms and ammunition,’’ he said.
The President expressed dismay on the attacks on police stations and killings of security personnel by criminals, warning that no investor will invest in a country that is unsafe.President Buhari also stressed the need for traditional rulers to use their roles and positions as bridge builders in each of their communities to complement government efforts at ensuring peace and security.
He appealed to the traditional leaders to deploy their reach and influence in the best interest of assisting the Government to root out those whose sole objective remains to cause trouble and destruction of livelihoods and families across the nation. The President, who listened to various interventions from representatives of the traditional rulers from each of the six- geo-political zones in the country, pledged that his administration would continue to support and work collaboratively with them to ensure peace and stability.
Restating his marching orders to the newly appointed Service Chiefs to bring the security situation under control, the President noted that closer control can only be achieved with the cooperation and collaboration of traditional rulers and authorities, who occupy a critical role in our society. ‘‘By your role and positions with history dating back hundred years, the people trust you implicitly and in return you provide them with comfort and guidance in accordance with our cultural heritage and traditions.
‘‘You are the bridge builders in each of your communities. No one is better placed with your strength of moral authority to ensure that people who visit your communities for either business, leisure or any honest and credible reason are protected and made to feel at home.”