The Towulade of Akinale in Ogun State, Oba Olufemi Ogunleye, has asked the Federal Government to augment what he called the pittance being paid traditional rulers by local governments.
The monarch said traditional rulers, by virtue of their positions, deserved better monthly allowances than they currently receive.
According to him, “the federal and state governments should provide enabling annual budget for traditional councils to augment the pittance of five percent direct deductions from the local government allocation to the traditional rulers.”
The monarch spoke at the May edition of the monthly business meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Ogun State Chapter, held in Abeokuta.
He charged the government at all levels to see monarchs as partners in governance and development of the nation.
He suggested that traditional rulers deserved a role in the constitution to give them their pride of place in the leadership and true democracy.
Delivering a paper titled, ‘Roles of Traditional Rulers in Strengthening Democracy’, the Oba lamented participatory democracy had been ignored in Nigeria, saying constitutional democracy practice gave little recognition to the country’s monarchical history.
Oba Ogunleye recalled that during the pre-colonial era, many African kingdoms had structured systems of government that comprised the legislative, the executive and the judiciary, saying they had a large army for defence of their territories, which he said were “later crippled by the invasion of British rule.”
“The constitutional democracy in Nigeria today has relegated Nigerian traditional rulers to the position of obscurity in issues of leadership, especially when compared to the admirable position they had during the pre-colonial era,” the Oba regretted.
Earlier, the Ogun NIPR Chairman, Mrs Oluwaseun Boye, said the input of erudite traditional rulers cannot be disregarded in nation-building and development, calling on everyone to emulate the fatherly role of the revered Kabiyesi.
Highlight of the meeting was the induction of Mr. Kunle Somorin, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State into the NIPR.is