Miffed by the state of insecurity across the country, the Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) has urged President Bola Tinubu to engage the services of traditional rulers as well as address the menace of unemployment and youth restiveness.
Such a move, the National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Chief Sheriff Mulade, insisted at a press conference on Wednesday in Warri, Delta State, will foster national economic growth and stability.
“In view of the high level of insecurity in Nigeria in recent times, accentuated by the spate of killings and kidnappings across the country, I, Chief (Comrade) Mulade Sheriff, the National Coordinator of the Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, hereby call on the Government at all levels, and state apparatuses to consider the role of traditional institutions in the nation’s security architecture, in the fight against insecurity, so as to foster national economic growth and stability.
As the National Coordinator of CEPEJ, a foremost civil society organization with over 20 years of experience and an impeccable track record across the nation on peace-building and peaceful coexistence, human rights protection, effective security intelligence gathering, and environmental justice advocacy, I dare say that one of the sure means to fight and end insecurity in Nigeria is to engage the traditional rulers with the responsibility of ensuring that their respective domains are totally free from insecurity issues.
“It is important to note here that traditional rulers, as custodians of culture and traditions in their kingdoms, are more familiar and abreast of their domains and environments.
“This places them in a strategic position as leaders who can effectively take charge and control of their areas.
Therefore, they should be given the responsibility to protect lives and property in their domains in collaboration with security agencies, particularly the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
“I strongly believe that such collaboration will go a long way toward bringing the security challenges under control. It is also worthy of note that bandits, kidnappers, and other criminal elements hide in a locality/place within the domain of a traditional ruler, where they carry out their nefarious activities which have become an international embarrassment to Nigeria,” Mulade noted.
According to him, “In the fight against insecurity, traditional rulers, as stakeholders, should be given the authority to also secure their kingdoms against political violence.
“This means that security votes should be allocated to them, as they are in better positions to fight against insecurity in their kingdoms if the country’s leadership truly wants to end insecurity in the country.
“In other words, traditional institutions in the country should be strengthened if Nigeria must be insecurity-free so as to achieve a stable economy that will attract international and local investors.
The Federal Government, led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, should take proactive steps to ensure that traditional rulers are at the forefront of the fight against insecurity nationwide.
Efforts should be made to bring them on board and give them the opportunity to play their parts toward rescuing our dear country from criminals, and restoring peace in line with Mr. President’s Renewed Hope Agenda. No price is too much to pay for peace.”
Comrade Mulade, who is a traditional chief at Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, also charged all Nigerians to get involved in securing the nation by supporting the security agencies with credible intelligence.
“Besides giving traditional rulers the power to fight insecurity, if the country must progress economically, all hands must be on deck because security is a collective responsibility and everyone’s business.
“Ensuring security should not be left for only security agencies. The good thing here is that empowering the traditional rulers makes it easier to involve everybody since almost all Nigerians respect their traditional rulers.
“Our traditional institutions have long been the custodians of our cultural heritage and the guardians of community cohesion.
“Their wisdom, authority, and grassroots presence uniquely position them to play a pivotal role in addressing the multifaceted challenges confronting our nation today,” he noted.
He also urged the President Tinubu-led Federal Government to swiftly address the biting menace of unemployment and youth restiveness by looking into their demands across the country.
“Unaddressed grievances, marginalization, and a lack of avenues for meaningful engagement are fueling discontent and social unrest in various parts of the country,” the environmental activist warned.