Our traditional institutions are the institutions built on the basis of the historical culture, norms, values as well as religious beliefs of the said community often led by an Emir, an Igwe, an Oba, etc. depending on the case.
Like almost all societies, Nigeria is also not left out as it witnesses the times when traditional rulers effectively agitated the activities of their various communities, especially before the arrival of colonial masters.
Although they have no formal power, our traditional institutions are well equipped and standard, which allowed the colonial masters to have effective indirect power, especially in northern Nigeria and partially effective in the west. of Nigeria, as well as totally ineffective in the east. This is due to the strength and effectiveness of our traditional institutions.
Institutions went through a serious downgrade, especially after independence, as political office holders were placed far above our traditional rulers who mingle and co-exist, know the needs of the community and the solutions to its enormous problems in most cases more than those elective politicians.
The impact of these institutions cannot be overstated as they play a vital role in mediating, resolving minor conflicts, enhancing mutual identity, guardians of culture and tradition, among other impacts.
The opinions and commandments of these traditional rulers are held, regarded and respected by members of their various communities in high regard as they are considered sacred in some communities.
They also promote peace, promote unity and cohesion, and also promote harmonious relations as one of the goals of government, especially between their various communities, which brings rapid development.
Joseph I. also asserted that “traditional rulers are bridge builders that could be used by the government to cement existing relationships between different ethnic groups in Nigeria”.
The main factor pushing back our traditional institutions is the lack of clear factors or roles for these institutions in the 1999 constitution of this great country also since 1979.
These institutions have a major role to play in maintaining peace, security and the rule of law as well as development objectives in the country, hence the need to revive them as they are closer to the people. .
The government should urgently enact legislation that will give these institutions recognition in the constitution as well as support. This will allow them to effectively discharge their obligations.
The government should also partner with these institutions in terms of policy implementation such that when they come up with a resolution, the government should look at it critically and see the possibility of implementing them if they fit. to our contemporary society.
They must also be encouraged in terms of the security of their respective domains.
As grassroots leaders closer to the people, they may have some knowledge of community related security issues, when handled with the utmost importance and secrecy, this will certainly help reduce the threat of insecurity that plagues our country as security-related issues will be managed by both government and traditional institutions.
In conclusion, these institutions, when they are revived and carried constitutionally, have a great impact not only on questions relating to the development of their various communities, but also on that of security. Back to the previous society where even a guest is the best known of the leaders of the community from his arrival until his departure.
As grassroots leaders, people have great respect for them. Their words are considered, respected and held in high esteem by their followers as guardians of culture and traditions. These institutions are in a perfect position to provide lasting solutions to the problems that set our country back if they are taken away.
Usman Muhammad Salihu is an HND student, Department of Mass Communication, Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Bauchi State.
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