The Federal Government has been called upon to assign specific constitutional roles to traditional rulers in the country so as to contribute their own quota to the national growth and development.
The call was made by Yoruba traditional rulers, under the aegis of Yoruba Obas’ Forum (YOF).
The monarchs converged for their annual general meeting, in Ibadan, Oyo State capital on Monday.
A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting was read to newsmen by the Elerinmo of Erinmo-Ijesha in Osun, Oba Michael Ajayi.
Ajayi said that the Forum, which he described as a formidable cultural force and custodians of peoples’ heritage, would contribute immensely to good governance, if granted specific constitutional roles.
The royal fathers also urged the Federal Government to expedite action on granting of financial autonomy to local governments so as to be better equipped to serve rural communities, improve development and curb rural-urban migration.
They demanded for creation of a special intervention fund for security which, they said, should be administered by traditional rulers as a way of addressing the security challenge currently confronting the country.
The Forum, which noted that most crimes were local, called for involvement of local security arrangements to nip criminality in the bud.
“Involvement of local security arrangements will go a long way to gather intelligence to support the security agencies and a special fund will be required for that,” they stated.
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The Obas also recommended the use of mother tongue in the nation’s educational institutions, particularly at both the primary and secondary school levels as well as government facilities in Yorubaland.
The Forum said: “We also recommend the use of traditional local fabrics to promote local industries and our culture.
“This is to ensure that out of the five working days, either two or three days are left for people to adorn our simple traditional fabrics as a way of boosting our textile and local industries.
“We call on the government to critically look into the suggestions proffered during the constitutional conference and take steps in ensuring that Nigerian polity is on a better tripod as against the way it is now, which is a bit fragile.
“We suggest that the local government authorities and traditional rulers as well as the states to have a better control of resources within their domain”.
The traditional rulers further urged the government to diversify the economy from over-reliance on oil and give attention to farmers at the rural level with intervention funds.
They also recommended that the government should strengthen conflict resolutions and arbitrations at the traditional level, with the re-introduction and certification of customary court under the traditional rulers.
This, according to the obas, will go a long way in reducing the stress on the judiciary by tackling local issues at the traditional level before getting to the court.
The traditional rulers commended the efforts of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration so far, urging it to look into the current inflation rate, rising cost of living and insecurity in the country.
The traditional rulers also urged everyone to support the federal government to turn around the situation of the country through its various reforms.
Chairman of the meeting, Oba Munirudeen Lawal, noted that the formation of the Forum would enhance the development of the Yoruba nation.
Oba Lawal, who is the Timi of Ede, described traditional rulers as custodians of culture in their respective domains, urging them to uphold the rich Yoruba culture.
President of the Forum, Oba Samuel Adeoye, the Molokun of Atipere kingdom, said that the Forum would begin to lobby all the lawmakers in their respective domains on the need to press their demands before the state and national assemblies.
Traditional rulers from Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti Kwara and Kogi states attended the meeting.