Monarch’s deposition: Atiku calls for constitutional reform to protect traditional institutions

By Ismail Azeez

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has called for constitutional reform to protect traditional institutions from state government interference to ensure their continued contribution to governance and community development.

He urged the state governors to respect traditional institutions and their customs, which represent the heritage of the Nigerian people.

Atiku who stated this on Tuesday, emphasised the vital role traditional institutions play in maintaining peace, and security in their domains.

According to him, “Recent developments in the country have seen a growing tendency of state governments exerting influence in distorting the modalities of enthroning traditional stools.

“It is a reality that stares us in the face from every corner of the country.

“While it is understandable that the institutions of traditional rulership are in the exclusive purview of the state government, although through the local government authorities, it must be established that traditional institutions constitute a component of our governance structure.

“And thus, traditional institutions must be protected from the arbitrariness of state governments that threaten their stability.

“Although our constitution, in its current format, does not ascribe any recognition to traditional institutions, yet 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.

“I wish to remind you that the traditional institutions formed the governance structures before the advent of the colonialists. And they governed well. Consequently, they are institutions we must protect and preserve and not destroy.

“It is, therefore, on this basis that I lean towards 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 in view of the collective drive to stem the ugly tide of terrorism and sundry security challenges at the local levels,” Atiku added.

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