Barring any last minutes changes, monarchs across Kaduna State would be given new responsibility in the state’s administration as the government has disclosed that it was considering enacting a new law that would clearly define their constitutional roles in areas of security, economic among others for an all-inclusive development.
The monarchs’ role, it explained, would be clearly spelt out in the new law and that such would give the monarchs operational guidelines and elevate their roles beyond traditional spheres by strengthening their contribution to the state’s development.
The state’s Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, said that his administration was considering the law in recognition of traditional rulers’ tremendous contribution toward promoting peaceful coexistence among diverse people residing in the state.
Their contribution, the governor argued, needed to be augmented through legal backing, a move he claimed, would spur them into committing their expertise and professional experience into the task of building the state in line with his administration’s focus.
Speaking on Monday during Staff of Office presentation to the 19th Emir of Zazzau, Ahmad Bamalli, held in Zaria, El-Rufai maintained that the new law would be prioritised during the 2020-2021 legislative year.
According to him, the new law will strengthen and enhance the capacity of the traditional institution by providing clearly defined roles for our monarchs in local government and community governance.
“The new traditional institution’s law will also legislate clear dynastic succession order in all emirates and chiefdoms with more than one ruling house, outline guiding principles for the recommendations of district heads, traditional council members, emirs, and chiefs, for an appointment, consider expanding the membership of councils, and clearer roles of the kingmakers.
“The life tenure of traditional rulers and the resultant enduring networks they develop offer a unique platform for collating relevant security, social and economic information at the grassroots level. Traditional rulers are also instrumental in keeping records on births and deaths, increasing school enrolment, and mobilising citizens for preventive health care initiatives like immunisation,” El-Rufai said.
While congratulating the new emir, the governor enjoined the monarch to use his wealth of experience and revered stool in helping to bring about needed development in the state.
“We have no doubt that with your pedigree and experience in fields as diverse as diplomacy, law, banking, and commerce, you will offer inspired leadership for Zazzau Emirate. Your Highness, we are proud of your unblemished career in the public and private sectors.
“Your Highness ascends the throne in a much-changed era to that of your illustrious predecessors as Emir. These are more modern times, with fresh opportunities and many old and new challenges. Ours is an incredibly young state, and so is Zazzau Emirate, with 89% of residents being younger than 35 years. We are grappling with expanding the opportunities for jobs, sound education, and decent healthcare that can help channel this youthfulness as a positive resource.
“Some of our communities are menaced by security challenges, threats to the rural economy, and persistent perils to peace and harmony in diverse communities. We need better data about who lives in the state, what they do, and what facilities exist or are required in the communities in which they reside. The traditional institution can be a vital partner in addressing these challenges,” he said.