Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has advocated for constitutional roles for traditional rulers in the country in view of their contribution to peace building.
Okowa made the call while playing host to members of South-South Monarchs’ Forum who paid him a courtesy visit at the Exco Chamber, Government House, Asaba.
He noted that as a result of the roles traditional rulers play in engendering peace in their various domains, a place should be provided for them in the constitution of the country.
“There is need for us to provide some form of constitutional roles for our traditional fathers because, if to a large extend, they have been recognised in their various state, realising the roles they play in engendering peace, it is important that a place is actually provided for them in the constitution of this country.
“So, we will continue to support all such moves and hope that in the next amendment of the constitution, we are able to do something to ensure that a constitutional role is created (provided) for them, the governor said.
According to him, traditional rulers as the bridge between the government and the people, should be strongly united, adding that they should continue to speak with one voice on issues bordering on the South-south region.
He added that stakeholders in the region must continuously speak about the high level of injustice that is going on the region, pointing out that as a result of the failure of transparency, what the region gets in terms of derivation was far less than 13 per cent.
While saying that he was nothing against issues relating to accountability, the governor harped on the need for stakeholders in the region to shun divisive tendencies, adding that they should be united to be able to change the narrative.
“We should be united to change the narrative to enable us get a fair share of what is due to us as a region,” the governor said, adding that he was glad that the royal fathers were in the state to talk to one another on issues of common interest to the generality of the people in the region.
Are we getting a fair share of the 87 per cent that goes to the federal government?, Governor Okowa queried, even as he said that the Niger Delta Region deserves more in terms of project and in terms of sustainable development.
Earlier, the leader of the South-south Monarchs’ Forum, His Royal Majesty, King Edmond Daukoru expressed appreciation to Governor Okowa for the warm reception he accorded them during their working visit despite the short notice given to him (the governor).
King Daukoru disclosed that they were happy with the outcome of the interactive session between stakeholders in the South-South geopolitical zone and representatives of the federal government which was recently held in Port Harcourt.
He maintained that, as a bridge between the political leadership and the people in the region, the South-South Monarchs Forum would do follow up on the outcome of the interactive sessions whenever it (follow up) was required, even as the monarch applauded Okowa for his inspiring leadership as the Chairman of the South-South Governors’ Forum.