The Speaker of House of the Representatives, Tajudeen Abbass, said on Saturday in Zaria, Kaduna State, that the 10th National Assembly would create a constitutional role for traditional rulers in the country.
The Speaker stated this when he paid homage to the Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmed Bamali.
Abbas who was welcomed to the palace with a colourful durbar said the majority of members of the current House Representatives understood the importance of the traditional institution in the country.
He noted that members would do the needful to ensure a role was created for the traditional rulers in the constitution.
The Speaker said, “I am aware that about three years ago, there was a paper by the Traditional Rulers Council across the six geo-political zones where they clearly stated how they want the traditional institutions to function in this present dispensation. We thank God that today your son is the Speaker of the House of Representatives and in the position to revisit the position of the traditional rulers.
“I want to assure you today that my colleagues and I who are from traditional ruling houses and others who share similar sentiments will go back and look at the position paper written by the traditional leaders in order to ensure that the traditional institution has a place in this current political dispensation.
“We will work assiduously with the various state houses of assembly in order to ensure that the glory of the traditional institution is restored.
“I am here with over 70 members of the House of Representatives to receive your blessing, the blessing of other traditional rulers and Nigerians on the need to unite Nigerians for the progress and development of the country. We will from time to time seek your advice because we in government are like football players on the pitch who are bound to make mistakes.”
He expressed appreciation to the Emir, the traditional chiefs and the people of Zazzau Emirate for the warm reception accorded him on his first homecoming as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
In his remarks, the Emir of Zazzau said the request for roles for traditional rulers in the constitution was not an attempt to create another tier of government.
He said, “The Zazzau Emirate has nothing to say than thank God for the blessing He has bestowed on the Emirate. The Emirate has produced a reasonable percentage of prominent Nigerians from the Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, several Ministers, the Secretary to the Government of Federation, and now the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“The role of the traditional institution cannot be overemphasised. The traditional institution has played important roles from the first republic, the second republic, and even today. I am aware that the majority of the members here have direct or indirect relationships with the traditional institution.
“What is surprising us is that people will come to us to seek our blessing when seeking election, but when they win, they will disappear until another election, they now begin to see us as their stumbling blocks. Up till now, we are really shocked as traditional rulers why they behave like that, but what they failed to understand is that the traditional institution has come to stay whether we are alive or not. Wherever you go, you will still come back to us.
“We are aware that, the fear of most of these politicians is that, we want to create another tier of government. I speak on behalf of other traditional rulers, the Sultan of Sokoto, Shehu of Borno, and other traditional rulers. We discussed this issue of traditional rulers extensively.
“We went to Abuja, wet the former President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives. We presented our position under the chairmanship of Emir of Lafia who is a former Supreme Court Judge with experience. We drafted our position and submitted it to the former Senate President, and we were surprised that the bill was abandoned.”