Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, North Central Nigeria, on Tuesday tasked traditional rulers in the state on the need to brace up and work toward enhancing peace and security in their respective domains.
Bello gave the charge in Lokoja during the presentation of Staff of Office to newly-appointed and upgraded traditional rulers.
He said it would be difficult for the state to attain the desired development without peace and security.
He urged the traditional rulers to discharge their functions without sentiments and also endeavor to carry their subjects along in decision making.
“It is very important to see your subjects as one irrespective of religion. Carry them along in whatever you do to foster unity among yourselves.
“Discrimination no matter how small cannot move a domain forward and I want all of you to take caution against such act,” the governor said.
He pledged to ensure that the forthcoming Nov. 16, governorship election was conducted without hitches.
He, however, called on key stakeholders in the election to abide by the rules of the game to help achieve a peaceful exercise.
The Attah Igala and President Kogi Council of Chiefs, Dr Michael Ameh-Oboni II, in his remarks, commended Bello for the fresh appointments and upgrading of existing traditional stools across the state.
He charged the newly-appointed and upgraded monarchs to be up and doing, saying “to whom much is given much is expected”.
Speaking earlier, Special Adviser to the governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Ohere, claimed that the process of appointment, grading and upgrading were politicised in the past.
According to him, genuine agitations were completely denied in the past, leading to an accumulation in the number of chiefs qualified to be graded.
19 First Class, 27 Second Class and 82 Third class chiefs were presented with staff of office at the occasion.
The governor’s aide charged the traditional rulers to be mindful of their roles and the consequences and expectations of change in their status.
“With the presentation of staff of office, you are now with the instrument of authority as a delegation from the governor of the state; you automatically belong to either Kogi State Council of Chiefs or Local Government traditional councils.
“It is therefore expedient and instructive that you actively participate in your councils, respect opinions of other members and strictly observe the traditions, norms and values of your people,” he said.