Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday charged traditional rulers across the country to be ready to use their positions to assist the Federal Government to tackle the different security challenges facing the country.
Osinbajo gave the charge at the opening of the 10th National Development Summit of Nigerian Traditional Rulers in Abuja.
He recalled that the traditional rulers played major roles when the government was tackling bombing of oil installations by the Niger Delta militants and the secessionist agitation by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra in the South East
He, therefore, urged them not to relent, but take up greater responsibility in order to resolve the bloody conflicts being experienced in parts of the country.
He said the monarchs’ engagements were as important as those of law enforcement agencies.
Osinbajo urged them to leverage on the respect they command among their followers in tackling the challenges.
He said while law enforcement agencies were critical elements in deterring criminality and ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice, overlooking the place of non-coercive conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms would do a great disservice to Nigerians.
“You (traditional rulers) are also repositories of important intelligence that can be useful in detecting suspicious or criminal activity. The partnership between traditional authority and government is therefore crucial,” Osinbajo said.
He added, “I can say without fear of contradiction that the new vision for the Niger Delta would not have happened without the support of traditional rulers and leaders in the region.
“We have made it a priority to meet with them and carry them along, and ask for their wisdom and their support in resolving issues with stakeholders and communities.
“This was also our approach in the wake of secessionist agitation by IPOB in the South East.”