Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan has tasked traditional rulers to ensure peace in their domains.
Jonathan gave the advice during the official presentation of Staff of Office to the monarch of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Oboro Gbaraun 11 Aketekpe, Agadagba, Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom.
The ceremony was performed in Oporoza, the administrative headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom.
The king, who is the 26th Pere of Gbaramatu kingdom, ascended the Royal Stool on 15 March, 2016.
The former president said no meaningful development could be achieved in an atmosphere of rancour.
”There cannot be development without peace so it is the duty of the traditional rulers to ensure that peace reigns in their communities,” he said.
Jonathan said he was quite impressed with the level of peace in Gbaramatu despite the perception outside that the kingdom is volatile and unsafe.
”Today we are all happy, the way we hear of Niger Delta and indeed Gbaramatu. You may think that people cannot gather together here peacefully,” Jonathan added.
He urged the people to support the new monarch to enable him have a successful reign.
Also speaking the Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said there was no alternative to peace.
He expressed joy at the different ethnic nationalities present at the ceremony, saying his government is committed to entrenching unity among the diverse ethnic groups.
The governor also urged the people to only agitate in a constructive manner by way of embracing dialogue.
”It is time to start embracing peace. We need to stay together to move forward as a state and as a people.
”We need to start showing our presence in the creek and the only way we can do that is for people to create the right atmosphere to generate resources.
”If after two years you do not begin to see changes, you can hold us responsible,” he said.
The monarch Oboro Gbaraun 11 said he would build bridges of understanding with all the neighbouring ethnic nationalities to engender oneness.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of staff of office to the king as well as a boat regatta by various Ijaw communities in the kingdom.
Deputy Governor of Delta state Kingsley Otuaro, Speaker of the state House of Assembly Monday Igbuya attended the ceremony.
Others were the traditional rulers from Urhobo, Itsekiri, Ijaw nations; members of the National and Delta House of Assembly, Commissioners; Clergymen and representatives of US Consulate among others.