The paramount ruler of Igbogbo town in Ikorodu, Lagos State, Oba Semiu Kasali, on Wednesday advocated the provision of constitutional roles to traditional rulers in the country.
Kasali, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, spoke to NAN ahead of activities to officially crown him as the paramount ruler of Ikorodu.
There had been discussions for and against granting constitutional recognition to traditional institution within the country’s democratic framework.
According to Kasali, who is also a lawyer by profession, the traditional institutions have come of age. It, therefore, should have statutory roles to fast-track desired changes in their communities.
He said: “I believe that the traditional institution should have more opportunities in the present democratic setting.
“Whatever becomes of the traditional ruler anywhere would be determined by the way and manner that person comports himself.
“As a traditional ruler you are the father of all, irrespective of your subject’s different political leaning.
“So, it is something that, yes, I will join the campaign for, the fact that we have it now.’’
On security within his domain, the monarch said that he would capitalize on Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Law to rid the community of criminal elements.
“We are going to check the proliferation of vigilante groups and arms within the community.
“No criminal will be allowed to use our territory as a safe haven. We are quite aware of the mayhem they are causing all over.
“And I have warned my subjects, that not minding the fact that I am a traditional ruler, I am also a lawyer. I will not support anyone caught in a criminal web,’’ the monarch added.
Collaboration with government and private sector
Oba Semiu, therefore, expressed readiness to collaborate with the state government and the private sector to improve the fortunes of the town.
“We want to work assiduously with the state government. This is because most of the things that we lack – roads, healthcare – are things we believe the government will lead and we would follow.
“We would also work in the area of youth empowerment with support of the private sector. How we can engage our youths positively will be topmost on our minds,” he said.
He pledged to take advantage of the town coastal location to promote tourism and the economic well-being of his subjects.
“Aside agriculture, we would also encourage industries to settle here. Before the end of first quarter of 2017, at least two commercial banks will open branches here.
“We would consult with the private sector. We would also liaise with federal and state government agencies to encourage water transportation,” he added.
Until July 2016, Igbogbo town had been without a king after the demise of the former traditional ruler, Oba Johnson Fatola, on July 2015.
Some activities lined-up for the coronation, slated for Nov. 27, include, peace walk, children’s day/symposium, musical performances, cultural display, `kegite’ night, novelty football match, as well as thanksgiving service.