In the heart of Delta State, Nigeria, the sanctity of traditional leadership holds profound importance, not just in preserving cultural heritage but also in fostering prosperity and peace within the communities. This sanctity was underscored by the Delta State Governor, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, during the presentation of the Staff of Office to the Owhorode of Olomu Kingdom, HRM Macaulay Ovbagbedia Popo, Uhurhie-Osadjere II, at Otorere-Agbon in Ughelli South Local Government Area.
The Governor’s Call for Responsibility
Governor Oborevwori emphasized the critical role that traditional rulers play in maintaining and improving the sanctity of their offices. He highlighted the need for them to lead their people towards greater prosperity while fostering an atmosphere of peace, love, and cultural respect between the throne and the people.
He stated, “I am happy about the peace and love that prevail throughout the processes as they are hallmarks of the confidence reposed in him by the people of Olomu. And I urge you to be transparent while upholding at all times the virtue of justice, fair play, and equity in all your dealings with your subjects and in everything you do and every decision you take, I implore you to place the interest of the majority of your people and the fear of God above all considerations.”
This call for responsibility resonates not only within Olomu Kingdom but echoes the significance of traditional leadership across Africa.
The Traditional Institution as a Priceless Legacy
The traditional institution remains a priceless legacy in any African society. It serves as the custodian of culture, history, and tradition, carrying forward the values and customs of generations past. Traditional rulers are not just symbolic figures; they are the glue that binds communities together.
Moreover, in modern times, the role of traditional rulers extends beyond symbolism. They are integral to the socio-economic fabric of the state. Governor Oborevwori rightly pointed out that “the government will continue to rely on traditional rulers as a reliable medium to communicate to the people.” This reliance is not unfounded, as traditional leaders often possess an intimate understanding of their communities’ needs and challenges.
The Role of Traditional Rulers in Security Matters
One of the vital aspects of traditional leadership that Governor Oborevwori stressed is the role of traditional rulers in matters of security within their domains. In a time when security is paramount, traditional rulers can act as a bridge between the community and security agencies. By working closely with law enforcement and local government councils, they can address security concerns effectively.
The Ongoing Development Initiatives
During the presentation of the Staff of Office, Olorogun Moses Taiga, the president general of Olomu Kingdom, expressed gratitude to the Delta State government for their unwavering support and commitment to the development of their kingdom. This support is a testament to the recognition of the importance of the traditional institution in shaping the socio-economic landscape of the state.
Mr. Taiga outlined several demands and initiatives aimed at furthering the development of Olomu Kingdom. These include:
1. Vocational Academy:
The establishment of a vocational academy to equip the people in areas such as carpentry, electrical work, and tiling work. This initiative aligns with the broader goal of skill development and job creation within the community.
2. Technical Institutes:
The establishment of technical institutes within Olomu Kingdom is another crucial step towards enhancing the skills and knowledge of the youth. This initiative is essential for empowering the younger generation with the tools they need to thrive in a rapidly changing world.
3. Dredging of the Okpare River:
The dredging of the Okpare River is not just about improving transportation; it also facilitates trade and the transportation of agricultural products, goods, and services. This project could significantly boost the local economy and improve the livelihoods of the people.
The Vision for a United Kingdom
The Ohworode of Olomu, HRM Macaulay Ovbagbedia, Uhurie-Osadjere II, described the occasion as the beginning of a new era in the history of the Olomu people. He emphasized the need for collective efforts in building the United Kingdom of their dreams.
“There is much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain if only we galvanize our collective efforts towards building the United Kingdom of our dream.”
This vision encapsulates the aspirations of Olomu Kingdom, and it is a vision shared by many traditional rulers across Africa who see themselves as the guardians of tradition, progress, and unity.
In conclusion, the sanctity of traditional leadership is a cornerstone of Delta State’s cultural heritage and socio-economic development. Governor Oborevwori’s call for traditional rulers to uphold justice, fairness, and equity, while promoting peace and prosperity, sets a powerful example for other regions and nations. Traditional leaders have a unique opportunity to bridge the past and the future, ensuring that their communities thrive in the modern world while preserving the rich tapestry of their heritage.
By maintaining the sanctity of their offices, embracing development initiatives, and working closely with government authorities, traditional rulers can lead their people towards a brighter and more prosperous future. In doing so, they not only preserve tradition but also become catalysts for positive change and progress in their communities.