Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has advocated for the creation of constitutional roles for traditional rulers in the country in view of their contribution towards peace building.
The governor made the call when members of South-South Traditional Rulers Forum paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Asaba on Thursday.
“There is need for us to provide some form of constitutional roles for our traditional fathers.
“This is because, to a large extent, they have been recognised in their various states, realising the roles they play in engendering peace. It is, however, important that a place is actually provided for them in the constitution of this country.
“So, we will continue to support all such moves and we hope that in the next amendment of the constitution, we are able to do something to ensure that a constitutional role is created for them,” he said.
Okowa described traditional rulers as the bridge between the government and the people, saying that they should be united, while continuing to speak with one voice on issues bordering on the South-South region.
He stressed that stakeholders in the region must continuously speak about the high level of injustice that was going on in the region.
“As a result of the failure of transparency, what the region gets in terms of derivation was far less than 13 per cent,” he said.
He called on the stakeholders in the region to shun divisive tendencies, adding that they should be united to be able to change the narratives.
“We should be united to change the narratives to enable us to get a fair share of what is due to us as a region,” he said.
The governor said that he was glad that the royal fathers were in the state to deliberate on issues of common interest to the people of the region.
He said that the Niger Delta deserved more in terms of projects and sustainable development.
Earlier, the leader of the forum, His Royal Majesty, King Edmond Daukoru, thanked the governor for the warm reception he gave them in spite of the short notice.
Daukoru said that they were happy with the outcome of the interactive meeting between stakeholders in the South-South and Federal Government’s representatives, which took place in Port Harcourt.
He pledged that the forum, as a bridge between the political leadership and the people, would do a follow-up on the outcome of the interactive meeting.