By Abba – Eku Onyeka, Abuja
Traditional rulers were last Sunday called to order in performance of their traditional duties.
Rev. Fr Mass Dile, who celebrated mass at St Matthew’s Catholic Parish, Karmo last Sunday has charged traditional rulers to imbibe habit of being just, truthful and having fear of God in them while discharging their traditional duties.
Charging them to that effect shortly after a thanksgiving in the church to mark the beginning of New Yam Festival organised by Igbo trditional ruler in Karmo, HRH John Ossai and members of Igbo community the area, Rev Fr Mass Dile said: “The best quality expected of a royal father is to be fair, truthful, just, honest, rule his people without partiality and make them have confidence in him, because king’s respect goes with massive support from subjects. So the worst thing to happen to a traditional ruler is to lose the support of his people. Every ruler must try to maintain that dignity by being just, truthful, right, fair to everybody. By doing that, his power and reign will be recognized by the community.”
On the relationship between the church and the tradition, he said: “Starting the New Yam Festival with thanksgiving to God is a very good thing and it shows that all powers belong to God and everything we do in life, we must always begin with God. So tradition is recognised by God. Therefore what he has done now has shown how tradition and the church go hand in hand, for the good of the people and the glory of God.”
In a message to the followers, he charged thus: “What is expected from followers is to respect the person they are following, otherwise, they are not good followers. The followership must always look up to the ruler, so that he should do the true leadership, that is why he is a King (Eze); that is why he is a leader. So the followers must always be respectful and obedient to the Eze,” he advised.
The traditional ruler hailed the the priest for the advice and however said he has strictly been keeping to the rules before the priest came up with the advice, even as he added that the advice would go a long way to call the erring traditional rulers to order.
Treating with a wave of hand that the traditional New Yam Festival is another way of promoting idolatry Igwe John Ossai said: “New Yam Festival has nothing to do with idol- worshipping, because we do it to thank God for bountiful harvest. That is why we started it with thanking to God in the church. We also use it to rekindle our age long custom and culture. So it has nothing to do with idolatry.”
Quoting the King Solomon’s request for wisdom with which to go about rulership from God, as well as requesting same from the supreme being, John Ossai urged those within and outside his domain to go about everything they do with the fear of God, which is done, according to him will go a long way.