The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan on Wednesday, attributed the rising insecurity in the north on the removal of traditional rulers from administrative structure of local councils through the 1976 local government reform as this created a vacuum in intelligence gathering at the grassroots.
The Senate President stated this when he was conferred with a traditional title, “Ganuwan Kebbi” by the Emir of Argungun, Alhaji Muhammad Mera at the National Assembly in Abuja.
He said for Nigeria to surmount its security challenges, traditional rulers should be given specific roles to enshrined in the Constitution.
“Traditional fathers have always been supportive of government. In fact, in the past, for those of us from the northern part of the country, the traditional leadership played a key stabilizing role in administration.
“Before 1976 when local governments were created, the traditional leaders brought both administration and management into focus, and we still need them.
“We need to have a proper role given to them, and more especially, in the current security situation. I’m sure that the traditional rulers can provide a lot of support for government and security agencies in fighting the challenges of insecurity that we have today,” Lawan said.
Answering questions from newsmen, the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi said the 1976 local government reforms laid the unfortunate foundation particularly in the north .
He said as far as intelligence gathering is concerned in the north, traditional rulers play a vital role.
He explained that before the reforms, rates of crime and criminalities in the north were low because of active roles played by traditional rulers then.
“Unfortunately the 1976 local government reform removed the traditional rulers from active role in governance at the grassroots and invariably created vacuum for effective intelligence gathering which has snowballed into big problem of insecurity in the entire north today as regards Boko Haram, armed banditry, herders and farmers clashes etc .
“There is need to restore their role because there can be vacuum in power if you divest a group of people of required power or responsibilities, those unexpected will rush to fill the vacuum as it is the case in the north now,” he said.