Newsie Events:- #Opinion
Following the death of the emir of zazzau and the processes that followed, leading to the appointment of a new monarch, I have always been against the idea of giving governors the powers to enthrone and dethrone traditional rulers.
We saw what transpired in Kano where the governor used his political stick to whip the then emir of kano out of the throne and rubbish the Kano emirate in the process.
Whoever has the power to appoint and sack you is your boss. To keep your job, you have to dance to his tunes and be in his good books all the time. Your allegiance is to him and not anyone else. As a result of this, traditional rulers have become puppets in the hand of big boy governors and the traditional institution has been so politicised that a big gap between traditional rulers and their people have been created.
I remember during my service year in Niger State. I observed that the town in which I was serving was ravaged by erosion and since nobody was doing anything about it, I decided to try. I came up with a plan that will need to get the people involved in order to succeed. We would reach out to the local government, we would reach out to the state government and if possible the federal government and international organizations. To do this, I need the people of that community to be actively involved. Those people did not look like they would be interested in the series of programmes I have planned. I need someone to influence them. There was only one person who I felt should have that level of influence in the community – the emir.
Sadly, I realized that the influence of the emir has waned against what it used to be. If you are familiar with northern pre-colonial political system, you would know what I am talking about. The emir could not summon his people and they will heed. Majority of them felt disconnected from the monarch and this was not unconnected to how politics had bastardized the efficiency and essence that once came with the throne. As it is in the north, so it is in the south, west, and east.
Traditional institutions should be shielded from political interference. Governors should have no business appointing and dethroning monarch, every group has laid down procedures of how monarchs come to and leave the throne. Every tradition has a beautiful system of rulership with its appropriate checks and balances. It should be left that way.
For instance, In Yoruba land, the Oyo Mesi makes the king, and to remove an underperforming Oba, an empty calabash is sent. If you know what an empty calabash means and the gravity and consequences of being sent an empty calabash, the tendency of having an irresponsible oba will be greatly mitigated.
I believe the traditional design of how these things should work is better than the new way.
We will have more responsible monarch than we do today if we eliminate such things as governors being in control of the start and endpoint of a monarch’s reign.
Caleb Onyeabor writes from Enugu and can be reached on WhatsApp via 2347032829241
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Newsie Events:- #Opinion