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Lagos monarch seeks constitutional role for traditional rulers

The paramount ruler of Igbogbo town in Ikorodu, Lagos State, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Semiu Kasali, has advocated the provision of constitutional roles for traditional rulers in the country.

Kasali spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) ahead of activities to officially crown him as the paramount ruler of the ancient town of Ikorodu.

NAN reported that there had been discussions for and against granting constitutional recognition to traditional institution within the country’s democratic framework.

Kasali, a lawyer by profession, said the traditional institutions have come of age and should have statutory roles to fast-track desired changes in their communities.

He said: “I believe that the traditional institution should be accorded more opportunities in the present democratic setting that we have now.

“Whatever becomes of the traditional ruler anywhere would be determined by the way and manner that person comports himself in that capacity.

“As a traditional ruler, you are the father of all, irrespective of your subject’s different political leaning.

“As such, you are expected to be in a position to call the two of them together and admonish them without any of them expressing any fear of bias.

“So, it is something that, yes, I will join the campaign for, the fact that we have it now.’’

On security within his domain, the monarch said that he would capitalise on Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Law to rid the community off criminal elements.

“We are going to check the proliferation of vigilante groups and arms within the community.

“We would not allow our territory to be used as a safe haven by criminals; we are quite aware of the mayhem they are causing all over.

“And I have warned my subjects, that not minding the fact that I am a traditional ruler, I am also a lawyer; I will not support anyone caught in a criminal web.”

He, therefore, expressed readiness to collaborate with the state government and the private sector to improve the fortunes of the town.

“We want to work assiduously with the state government because most of the things that we lack such as  roads, healthcare  are things we believe the government will lead and we would follow.

“We would also work in the area of youth empowerment with support of the private sector to see how our youths can positively be engaged toward ensuring sustainability within the community,” he said.

NAN reported that until July 2016, Igbogbo town had been without a king after the demise of the former traditional ruler, Oba Johnson Fatola, in July 2015.

Some activities lined-up for the coronation, slated for November 27, include, peace walk, children’s day/symposium, musical performances, cultural display, `kegite’ night, novelty football match, among others.