Coronet Yoruba Youth Leaders Urge Traditional Rulers to Avoid Partisan Politics
The Coronet Yoruba Youth Leaders, an organization representing Yoruba Traditional Youth Leaders Chiefs, has issued a call to traditional Yoruba rulers to steer clear of partisan politics. They implore these leaders to avoid any actions that could undermine the institution of Obaship. The group also urged these leaders to avoid religious bias, stressing the importance of their responsibility to all individuals, regardless of religious affiliations.
The Youth Leader General of the group, Chief Jimoh Olawale Taofeek, articulated these sentiments while responding to a command made by a former President to some traditional rulers in Oyo State. Chief Jimoh emphasized the need for these leaders to preserve the respect associated with their positions by maintaining distance from partisan politics and religious bigotry.
The Decline of Traditional Leadership
Chief Jimoh also voiced his concern over the way traditional leaders have been reduced to ceremonial roles. He attributed this to the actions of colonial powers during the Berlin conference of 1884/1885, which essentially stripped traditional rulers of their roles. He pointed out that since 1979, no constitutional role has been assigned to traditional rulers in Nigeria’s Constitution.
In the face of these challenges, Chief Jimoh proposed a constitutional amendment to establish a Ministry for traditional institutions. This would elevate traditional rulers to independent arms of government and include them in Federal and States Executive Councils. The inclusion of traditional rulers in these councils would enable them to contribute to policy-making and national development.
Recognizing Respect for Tradition
Chief Jimoh had words of praise for the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, whom he commended for his respect and honor towards traditional rulers. He urged other political office holders to emulate this example. He pointed out that the governor has been lenient with certain breaches of protocols and has upheld respect for the norms, customs, and values of the Obaship institution.
As Nigeria continues to grapple with the complexities of governance and societal cohesion, the role of traditional leaders remains crucial. By maintaining an impartial stance and prioritizing the welfare of their subjects over political and religious affiliations, they can help to foster unity and preserve the cultural heritage of the Yoruba people.
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