From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Special Adviser to the Kogi state governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Engineer Abubakar Ohere has disclosed that government embarked on appointment, grading and upgrading of traditional rulers in the state to address the wrongs of the previous administration in handing the affairs of the Monarchs. Some aggrieved traditional rulers who were left out in the exercise, had alleged that some unnamed government officials had demanded as much as N.4million to fix their elevation
But at the occasion of the issuance of appointment letters to the one hundred elevated chiefs, yesterday in Lokoja, the state capital of office, the Special Adviser also hinted that the promotion of the royal fathers in the state is borne out of the sincere desire of the present administration to yield to the age- long requests from various communities to correct the past anomalies in the appointment and elevation of traditional rulers.
The Special Adviser who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Engr. Usman Dan Victor, said the elevation was also done based on the recommendations from various levels of traditional councils, added that the exercise has become imperative in view of the compelling needs for the present administration to address cases of injustice, total neglect of some stools and more importantly to bring about the manifestation of the present administration’s policy of inclusive governance.
Ohere described the exercise as one devoid of inducement and partisan influence, saying that the upgrade and grading of stools by the present administration is a continuous exercise and asked those who are not beneficiaries in this current exercise to be patient.
Ohere disclosed that the issuance of letters to the chiefs followed due process as provided for by law No. 23 of 2006 of Kogi State Chiefs, appointment, deposition and establishment of traditional councils.
He stressed that the era of imposition of unpopular candidates on traditional stools in communities with attendant acrimony and crisis is gone as the present administration, he stated, has penchant for compliance with due process and committed to the rule of law.
The Special Adviser charged the Royal Fathers to reciprocate the gesture of their elevation by ensuring that they maintain peace in their domain, by partnering with the new direction agenda of Gov. Yahaya Bello in fighting crimes and criminalities pointing out that no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere of insecurity of lives and properties.
By their elevation, Ohere told the Royal Fathers that they automatically belong to either Kogi state council of chiefs or as the member of their traditional council as the case maybe.
Towards repositioning the traditional institutions, the Special Adviser said Gov Yahaya Bello has approved the production of customized staff of office for chiefs, an idea Engr Ohere said would lay to rest the argument that always ensue among ruling houses during ascension.