Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. KadriObafemiHamzat has stressed the importance of traditional rulers in the promotion of peaceful co-existence among communities to bring about national development and growth.
Speaking today at a Symposium organized to commemorate the 20th Coronation Anniversary of the Oloja of Epe, Oba KamorudeenIsholaAnimashaun, Dr. Hamzat averred that the traditional rulers play useful roles in brokering peace between the people and the state, enhancing national identity, resolving minor conflicts and providing institutional safety.
Saying “traditional rulers are the embodiment our cultural ethos and values. They seek the wellbeing of residents and set the rule of engagement”, the Deputy Governor urged all tiers of government in the country to work with traditional leaders in order to achieve peace, stability and economic development.
While noting that traditional rulers today are still highly respected in many communities and have considerable political and economic influence, Dr. Hamzat stated that they must therefore form a partnership that allows government see the desire of the people.
He added that traditional rulers must ensure law and order is maintained in their communities, as they possess the moral standards and authority that mitigates violence and danger. As such, they can hold communities together’.
He further noted that tradition should be held in esteem high by everyone, caring for one another involves all the citizens in the community. The deputy governor charged all to seek good of the community where we live saying “together we must evolve a common identity”.
While noting that the Yoruba language is no longer spoken by many children, the Deputy Governor urged parents to improve on their children learning and speaking of the language so that the moral values contained can be imbibed.
In a lecture titled “The role of Obas in National and Local Economic Development”, Professor Oladele Caleb Orimogunje stated that the development of every community in all aspects was paramount to the traditional rulers in yorubaland.
Stressing the importance of traditional rulers, the Professor said they can help in advancing economy in their domains by promoting tourism that generate revenue,adding that the “different festivals can be utilized for the growth of economy at the local and national levels”.
Using Osun festival in Osogbo and Argungu festivals as examples, he noted that if these annual festivals are carefully handled, both the local government and state levels of administrations will continuously reap economic gains from it.
In his remarks,the celebrant, Oloja of Epe, Alaiyeluwa Oba KamorudeenIsholaAnimashaunurged the people of Epelandto ensure that taxes are paid, stating that “regular tax payment will promote development and increase infrastructure such as roads, electricity, transportation”.
He averred that with the emergence of Industries in Epedivison such as the dangote refinery, automobile, Lekki/Epe free trade zone, airport and seaport will increase job opportunities and other development which will benefit the people.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Occasion and Paramount Ruler of Odo-Noforija Kingdom, Oba BabatundeOgunlaja urged Obas in the State to continue to assist the state government in administering governance and securing lives and properties in their domains, adding that governance is a collective effort especially in a democracy.
He added that for the continued growth and development of Epe Division, the citizens must fulfill their civic responsibilities to the state government.