Government has been advised to involve traditional rulers in the screening of applicants for employment in law enforcement agencies, to achieve the desired peace and security in Nigeria.
The Wazirin Katsina, Dr. Sani Abubakar Lugga, who made the call in a paper he delivered at the National Conference organized by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), said the Police, the Prison service and the Judiciary, will be more effective if there are appropriate reforms and traditional rulers are incorporated in the process.
Wazirin Katsina explained that traditional rulers need to be part of the security system because their involvement in conflict management in their areas of jurisdiction would contribute positively in tackling the security challenges in rural communities and the country as a whole.
Presenting a paper titled; “An Overview of the Role of Traditional Rulers in the Maintenance of Peace and Security in Nigeria” the Wazirin said: “As custodians of the people’s culture, tradition and norms, traditional rulers would always uphold those virtues which they symbolize. In addition, the traditional rulers are by their peculiar disposition, less susceptible to bribery and corruption, a phenomenon that is characteristics of the conventional security and justice system which includes the police, judiciary and prisons.”
Bemoaning the situation, where the country had lost its credibility due to alleged corruption and perversion of justice, the visiting lecturer at the Katsina State University, said the intervention of traditional rulers could salvage the ugly situation, because they have the needed local experience and expertise to handle conflicts and resolve them most efficiently.
Reacting to the paper, the discussant, Professor Mabel Evwierhoma of the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Abuja, called on Government to realize the need to put traditional rulers to proper use at the appropriate times and not only consulting them when situations have gone out of hand.
The Chairman of the Technical session, Professor Olu Obafemi, who is the Director of Research, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), reminded the session that peace and security are recognized the world over, asserting that: “In Nigeria, Traditional Rulers and Local Government Chairmen are the closest to the people. The Traditional Rulers, in particular, are very important to their communities. They are respected with awe and are believed to be divine. Traditional rulers are ordained by God to bring peace and cohesion to their various communities.”
The theme of the conference, which took place at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua International Conference Centre, Abuja, was “Culture, Peace and National Security in Nigeria: The Role of Traditional Rulers and Local Government Chairmen.”