The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar lll, has urged the political class to see the traditional institution as an agent of economic development.
The Sultan, who is also the President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, spoke yesterday at the Traditional Rulers’ Day programme in Port Harcourt as part of the activities marking Golden Jubilee of the Rivers State.
Abubakar said many traditional rulers double as the spiritual leaders of their communities. “When you speak nobody dares to challenge you. So, use that power to develop your locality,” he urged.
The Sultan thanked Governor Nyesom Wike for creating the Traditional Rulers’ Day to mark the state’s jubilee occasion.
“This is not a seminar, but an epoch making event that brings together all traditional rulers from the North, South, East, and West. It is symbolic event; that, its significance must not lose at the end of the programme,” the Sultan said.
Chairman of the occasion, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja ll, said “We should not live everything for government to do; we should see them as partners. We should not see them as competitors. We all have our roles to play.”
Speaking, Governor Wike charged the traditional rulers in the country to maintain their constitutional rights as custodians of peace in their respective kingdoms, noting the sacredness of traditional institution in the country.
“As we all know, Rivers State was not created by accident, it was a product of years of conscious struggle and determination by our fore-fathers. Before then, our people suffered retrogression and disregard from majority of ethnic groups,” Wike said.
He, however, called for continuous support and prayer from the traditional rulers to enable the government overcome the challenges of nation building.
Earlier, the Sultan laid the foundation for the construction of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers Complex.