The paramount ruler of Igbogbo town in Ikorodu, Lagos State, Oba Semiu Kasali, on Wednesday advocated the provision of constitutional roles to traditional rulers in the country.
Kasali, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) ahead of activities to officially crown him as the paramount ruler of the ancient town of Ikorodu.
NAN reports that there had been discussions for and against granting constitutional recognition to traditional institution within the country’s democratic framework.
According to Kasali, who is a lawyer by profession, the traditional institutions have come of age and should have statutory roles to fast track desired changes in their communities.
He said: “I believe that the traditional institution should be accorded more opportunities in the present democratic setting that we have now.
“Whatever becomes of the traditional ruler anywhere would be determined by the way and manner that person comports himself in that capacity.
“As a traditional ruler you are the father of all, irrespective of your subject’s different political leaning.
“As such, you are expected to be in a position to call the two of them together and admonish them without any of them expressing any fear of bias.
“So, it is something that, yes, I will join the campaign for, the fact that we have it now.’’
On security within his domain, the monarch said that he would capitalise on Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Law to rid the community of criminal elements.
“We are going to check the proliferation of vigilante groups and arms within the community.
“We would not allow our territory to be used as a safe haven by criminals; we are quite aware of the mayhem they are causing all over.
“And I have warned my subjects, that not minding the fact that I am a traditional ruler, I am also a lawyer; I will not support anyone caught in a criminal web," the monarch added.
He, therefore, expressed readiness to collaborate with the state government and the private sector to improve the fortunes of the town.
“We want to work assiduously with the state government because most of the things that we lack – roads, healthcare – are things we believe the government will lead and we would follow.
“We would also work in the area of youth empowerment with support of the private sector to see how our youths can positively be engaged toward ensuring sustainability within the community,” he said.
He pledged to take advantage of the town coastal location to promote tourism and improve the economic wellbeing of his subjects.
“Aside agriculture, we would encourage industries to settle here; and as a matter of fact, before the end of first quarter of 2017, at least two commercial banks would have opened branches here.
“We would consult with the private sector and liaise with the federal and state government agencies to encourage water transportation,” he added.
NAN reports that until July 2016, Igbogbo town had been without a king after the demise of the former traditional ruler, Oba Johnson Fatola, on July 2015.
Some activities lined-up for the coronation, slated for Nov. 27, include, peace walk, children’s day/symposium, musical performances, cultural display, 'kegite' night, novelty football match, and thanksgiving service.