The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen (PhD) has said that Nigeria could not be a better place without the contributions of traditional rulers, who should be encouraged to have clearly defined roles in the constitution.
The Speaker stated this on Monday at the National Assembly when he received in audience a delegation of eminent royal fathers under the aegis of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN), who paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
In a statement signed by Musa Abdullahi Krishi, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, House of Representatives,speaker Abbas assured the traditional rulers that the 10th House would work towards keeping its promise of granting a constitutional role for traditional institutions, describing them as “fountain of knowledge and wisdom.”
He, therefore, expressed gratitude to the royal fathers for finding time to visit him, adding that what they sought to promote and preserve is an institution that gave birth to many of the members in the House, including himself.
He said: “Thank you our royal fathers, we are very proud of you, we appreciate your support. We will not forget this gesture of reaching out to us – your children.
“Your royal highnesses, I’m sure all of you are aware that I’m a product of this institution, and very many of our members in the 10th Assembly are also from this background. If I begin to list the names of members from various traditional houses, I’m sure you will be more at ease with us.
“This is your house; this is where you have utmost respect. And I can assure you that what happened to the constitution amendment regarding your roles in the past will not repeat itself.
“That I can assure you because Nigeria cannot be a better place if traditional rulers are not made to take their rightful place.
“I can tell you that this is one institution where you have the best brains with knowledgeable people. I was at an event the other day in Kaduna and about 10 traditional rulers who were introduced were people who had served in various professional capacities before leaving to take up the traditional titles.”
The Speaker therefore assured the delegation that previous recommendations would be looked into in the course of altering the constitution.
“We are going to look at the Emir of Lafia’s committee that made some far-reaching recommendations. I assure you that we will look into it and do what’s right and best for this institution and for the country.”
Earlier, the leader of the delegation and
Chairman of the coordinating committee of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, His Royal Highness, the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Dr. Yahaya Abubakar, congratulated the Speaker for his landslide victory during the inauguration of the 10th House on June 13, 2023.
He stated that the delegation’s visit to the National Assembly was anchored on three objectives, which were to congratulate the Speaker on his emergence, and members on their electoral victories; to urge them on the need to pursue people oriented legislations; as well as the importance of granting constitutional roles to traditional institutions in the country.
“We are hoping that in Sha Allah, this coming constitution amendments process, we would have our roles enshrined in the constitution. We are not dragging space; ours is to compliment your roles as political leaders. We are the custodians of customs and traditions at the grassroots and ensure that our subjects adhere to them to engender peace, security and progress.
“These are roles that we play very well and we urge you to facilitate the documentation of this role in the constitution for proper recognition,” the Etsu Nupe who’s also the Chairman, Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers said.
The delegation, made up of eminent traditional rulers and Chairmen of various State Councils of Traditional Rulers, also presented a congratulatory card to the Speaker, just as it offered prayers for the protection of the Speaker and the House of Representatives in general.