Senate president seeks constitutional role for traditional leaders

Senate President Ahmad Lawan

President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan on Monday advocated for a constitutional role for traditional rulers in the fight against insurgency and other security challenges.

Isa Mohammed, his Special Assistant on Media in a statement, indicated that Lawan made the call when a delegation of traditional and political leaders from Taraba State paid him a visit in his office.

The delegation was at the National Assembly to participate in a public hearing on a bill to establish Federal College of Education, Mutum Biyu, Taraba.

The Senate president said: “there is no way we can succeed in the fight against insurgency or any insecurity without the support and cooperation of traditional rulers.

“One thing is obvious when traditional rulers had the mandate and official responsibility to administer their places before the local government reforms of 1976.

“I think our security situation was better because our security architecture included them.

“That is not the situation today, and when we face such very profound security situation that we have today, it is time to look at giving traditional rulers more formal responsibilities in the administration of our country.”

The Senate president raiding the present security challenges made it more auspicious for the Senate to look at the possibility of giving constitutional responsibilities to traditional rulers during the forthcoming constitution review exercise.

“We need to do that so that we do not need to run to them only when we have issues, they should always be there to support any administration that is in power to administer the country,” he said.

Lawan said the Senate was working hard to come up with far-reaching resolutions on how to address the security challenges facing the country.

He said the Senate had set up an ad-hoc committee under the Chairmanship of the Senate Leader, noting that the report of the committee would be debated hopefully this week and come up with solutions and views on how to end the insecurity.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation and Taraba Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Mr Edward Bararaya, thanked the Senate President for his support for the bill.

Bararaya said Taraba lacks higher institutions particularly, those of training teachers, saying that the College of Education if established, would improve access to education for the people of the state.