By Akilani Abdullah,
The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, has indicated that traditional rulers would continue to be relevant in national development and nation building due to their roles in promotion of peaceful co-existence among communities, just as their contributions towards fostering peace and ensuring community growth cannot be overemphasized.
Hamzat described communities as cells that made up society and that growth and success of each community effects on overall growth and success of the nation.
He explained that the monarchs use their positions of authority to broker peace among the people of their localities and the state in general, adding that, they played useful roles in enhancing national identity, ensuring security of their subjects and resolving minor conflicts.
Speaking at a symposium organized to commemorate 20th Coronation Anniversary of Epe community tradition ruler, Kamorudeen Animashaun, the deputy governor noting that Epe kingdom had witnessed peace and prosperity during his reign and the monarch was symbol to traditional rulers in the state, on ideals of peace, prosperity and growth, which were to be upheld so as to achieve peace and national development.
He explained that traditional rulers were embodiment cultural ethos and values and that they seek for wellbeing of residents and set the rule of engagement.
He also advised traditional rulers to work hand in hand with all levels of government, and to ensure a smooth relationship among all leadership levels, thus forming a partnership which would serve as an avenue that allows government to see the desire and aspiration of the people.
He added that traditional rulers must ensure law and order is upheld in their communities, and reiterated that the status enjoyed by monarchs, as well as moral standards and authority that they possess, should be used to better society and mitigate violence and danger among their people.
While delivering the anniversary lecture, titled “The role of Obas in National and Local Economic Development”, Professor Oladele Orimogunje, explained that tradition rulers were saddled with the primary responsibilities of developing their immediate communities in Yorubaland, and suggested that modern ways of facilitating development should be sought out by Lagos traditional rulers.
Orimogunje enumerated that tourism promotion could generate revenue, and build a robust economy in their localities, and said that existing festivals and traditional rites could be utilized for growth of economy at local and national levels.
“We have several traditional rites and festivals, which, if properly managed will become great sources of tourism, and revenue generation. Once Government, all levels, can partner with traditional leaders, all these resources will be properly managed and overall growth in every sector of society, will be recorded”.