From VICTOR NZE
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that governments at all levels must partner with traditional rulers for the development of the country, as he also called for greater involvement of the monarchs in governance.
Speaking when he granted audience to members of the Coordinating Committee of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, Monday, at the Government House Port Harcourt, Wike opined that the country would have made more progress if traditional rulers were allowed to partner with government.
The Coordinating Committee of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria was in Rivers State for its General Assembly.
“Everybody has one traditional ruler or the other. Therefore, we must respect traditional rulers who can summon anyone, irrespective of his/her status,” said Wike.
In his welcome remarks, Wike thanked the traditional rulers for choosing the state for their meeting, just as he noted that in modern times, ‘it is unwise to attempt to restrict traditional rulers to traditional matters.’
The governor stated that Rivers people remain committed to the unity of the country.
“For us as a people, the unity of Nigeria is very imperative. It is important we promote unity because we cannot toy with it”, Wike said.
Co-Chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, said the unity of the country should be the watchword at this crucial time of the nation’s history.
He said that all Nigerians must work hard to ensure that the unity of the country is preserved, even as he further noted that since the traditional rulers are closer to the people, they should be incorporated in the governance process, especially the process of development.
According to him, traditional rulers have key roles to play in the future of the country, especially reducing tension.
Also speaking, Chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar thanked the Rivers State Government for hosting traditional rulers from the 36 states of the Federation.