Nigeria will remain united – Royal Father
Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja
The Oluwo of Iwo, Osun State, Oba Abdurasheed Akanbi, has called on Nigerians to live peacefully with fellow citizens, insisting that the country would remain united despite the current security challenges.
Oba Akanbi spoke to State House correspondents on Friday after a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja.
The monarch said that he visited the vice president because of the love he has for Nigeria and the need to foster unity among the country’s ethnic nationalities.
“I am here today because of the love of this country; we are on the brink of ethnic crisis.
“People talking about division, secession; but I want us to know that unity is the best for this country.”
Constitutional Roles For Monarchs
The royal father said that the granting of constitutional powers to traditional rulers could go a long way in curbing the current insecurity in Nigeria because of their closeness to the people.
“I believe traditional rulers want to do more; we want to work, but our hands are tied because we don’t have constitutional powers.
“I believe the government should try to cede some powers, some constitutional rights to especially us, the paramount rulers, of which I am one of them.
“The federal government should think about this. Then, the National Assembly should be looking into this, recognizing the traditional institution constitutionally.”
Oba Akanbi condemned the profiling of particular ethnic groups as criminals, saying that every nationality has criminals who must be prosecuted.
“A tribe is not responsible for what their children are doing. Every tribe has bad eggs; we have criminals in every tribe.
“So, I don’t want our Yoruba people in the north for anybody to castigate them because one Yoruba did wrong.
“The same thing should happen in the south also to any Fulani or Hausa that is there. We are all in this country and we have the right to live anywhere.
“A Yourba man has the right to live in Sokoto without any problem. A Yoruba man has the right to live in Anambra without any problem and should not be castigated because of his tribe.
“And also criminals need to be prosecuted; the issue about the herdsmen and the south needs to be addressed; addressed in a way that farmers should be able to farm and the herders need to be educated in the modern way of ranching.
“I believe that the herdsmen have a good network which if we pick one each from different communities; we can take them to some schools to learn on those farms they are practising modern ranching.”
The royal father also called for better funding for the police to enable them to perform the duties effectively and check the proliferation of arms and ammunition.