By Omuboye Sukubo
Port Harcourt – President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday solicited the support of the traditional rulers in restoring peace to all part of the nation under security threat.
The President made the appeal in Port Harcourt at the opening of the 9th General Assembly of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria.
Represented by the Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, the President reaffirmed the government’s resolve to accord the traditional rulers their pride of place.
He underscored the importance of the traditional institutions to the security architecture of the country and community development.
“When you relegate the royal fathers, you have automatically failed in taking governance to the grassroots.
“With your support as traditional rulers, we are sure of restoring peace to any part of the nation that is currently under security threat,” he said.
The President urged the traditional rulers to foster friendship and harmony among their subjects to achieve national cohesion.
“You must ensure that there is partnership among your communities; this will give way for cultural interactions and national integration,” he said.
He urged the traditional rulers to come up with useful advice to end insecurity noting that their advisory role was imperative to national stability.
The president commended the traditional rulers for coming up with the theme, “Community Policing as a catalyst to Crime Prevention: The Role of Traditional Rulers”.
He stated that community policing was key to ensuring national security and nipping crime in the bud particularly at the grassroots.
The President assured that the Federal Government would do all within its powers to end the killing and destruction of property of Nigerians.
“I am saddened on the waste of lives and properties, and I have directed the Inspector General of Police that no one is spared in all the atrocities.
“The killings in Benue and other states must be brought to an end because the actions amount to declaration of war on Nigeria, its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.
Earlier, Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers said that the traditional rulers had been advancing peace and security in their communities.
He commended them for the theme of the meeting, saying, “Community policing is about incorporating the community and its leaders in the security architecture to ensure peace in the society.
“They are important in bringing about peace and social stability in our communities and the country at large.
“This is why we give due regard to the traditional rulers in Rivers and beyond’’.
Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) said that the role of traditional institution was vital to national security.
Represented by Mr Umaru Bello, a Permanent Secretary in his office, Mustapha advocated for incorporation of the traditional rulers into community policing to draw from their wealth of knowledge.
He assured the traditional rulers that the federal government would not spare efforts in ensuring that criminals get arrested and prosecuted. (NAN)