The National Orientation Agency has said the roles of traditional rulers in the country could not be underrated, particularly in the area of entrenching core values into the society and its citizens.
The Federal Government agency noted that any society that ignored her traditional institutions should be ready to face the consequences.
The Director-General of the NOA, Mr Lanre Issa-Onilu, stated this during a visit to the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, on Tuesday in Akure, Ondo State.
According to him, the country missed its way because it undermined the role of traditional rulers.
He said, “Any people or tribe that ignored the role of the traditional institution will find itself where Nigeria has found itself but it’s not too late to retrace our steps and go back to where we were and we are not trying to create a new Nigeria, but we want to go back to real the Nigeria.:
The DG also disclosed that the agency was trying to institute a social contract called the ‘National Life Charter’ where the citizens had certain expectations of the country and the country would in turn spell out what it wanted from Nigerians.
He explained “The country has imposed certain responsibilities on the citizens but the citizens also expect certain benefits from the country. So, it is a two-way thing and all along, all we had in the past was ‘Change Begins with Me’, but change can’t begin with you when you don’t have any expectations.
“So, the National Life Charter or National Value Charter is to institute a social contract where the citizens have certain expectations of the country and the country can now say, these are the responsibilities that we want from you as Nigerians.
“What President Bola Tinubu is saying is that we want patriotic Nigerians, good followers but at the same time, the country must play its role and this is not just going to be written in the book or constitution. It has to be well-spelt out.
“So, as we are today if you post the question to anybody that who is a Nigerian? There is no clear definition for who a Nigerian is and citizens from country to country aren’t the same. So, something must define us.”
In his remarks, the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi, opined that the traditional institutions must be given a role that would be entrenched in the constitution of the country where no governor would just wake up and remove them anyhow.
He said, ” Traditional rulers are very close to the grassroots and serve as alternate dispute resolution for the people of their communities and this (roles) needed to be well rooted and be enshrined in the Nigerian constitution so that they (traditional rulers) would be more efficient.”
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