The Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has said that Traditional Rulers in the country should be given constitutional roles to enable them discharge their duties effectively.

Ayakoroma said this on Saturday, April 28, 2012, don Bush House Nigeria, a live interview programme on the network service of Radio Nigeria, maintaining that although traditional rulers know “who is who” within their jurisdiction, they still lack the constitutional powers to bring criminals to book, as a way of sanitizing our society.

The ES, who was of the view that giving our Royal Fathers constitutional roles was imperative, stressed that under such a situations, whatever actions they take within their domains will be backed by constitutional powers, regretting that most Traditional Rulers no longer earn the respect of their subjects because government has not conferred that status on them, and he therefore maintained that if they do not have such powers as Traditional Rulers, they will be less enthusiastic about such things.

Meanwhile, NICO is having the support of Nigerians on the call for constitutional backing for Traditional Rulers, as one Mr. Gabriel Akpabio, phoning in from Uyo, Akwa State, during the interactive phone-in, expressed his support, saying that NICO should propose the constitutional amendment to allow Traditional Rulers to be chief security officers in their domains.

Speaking in a related manner, the Director of Orientation and Cultural Affairs of NICO, Mr. Festus Ihenetu, said it is about time Government enacted a law to ensure that every part of our developmental process has a cultural dimension, noting that, “It is about time we started considering our buildings, teachings and even a National Assembly dress code and perhaps language to be indigenous. There should be a period when we say every proceeding in the National Assembly should be translated into certain languages; English should be our second language and not our first language.”

Ihenetu, who featured with the ES on the programme, further maintained that since culture is the totality of the way of life of a people, in terms of dressing and language, prominent amongst which is language, there is hope that Nigeria can return to her cultural values.

The ES had earlier mentioned that it is the identity you create around yourself that matters, and that “When we talk of Nigerian culture, we are talking of ways of life that are peculiar to Nigeria. I agree that once there is culture contact, certain aspects of life that are not strong will give way to the stronger ones; so, if you are not proud of your own language, there is the likelihood that you will not be proud to speak it, thereby reducing the impact of speaking the language and before you know it, it will die out.”

Caleb Nor
Corporate Affairs