By Oki Samson
The security situation in Nigeria is one that requires the input of all and sundry – government at all levels, youth groups, women associations, royal fathers, religious leaders, et al, and Nigerians within and outside the shores of the country. This is why traditional rulers under the umbrella of World Pan-African and In-Diaspora United Royal Fathers and Elders Organization have spoken with one voice. They shared their plans with Oki Samson of Trek Africa Newspaper on their visit to Ohanaeze Ndigbo secretariat in Surulere to solicit the partnership of the sociocultural organization. The royal fathers were led by the former Inspector General of Police IGP Mike Okiro on the august visit.
The visioner/founder of World Pan-African and In-Diaspora United Royal Fathers and Elders Organization, HRM Soromnadi Nwabueze Ezebiro stated: ‘We have so many Pan-African movements that asked us to convene a conference with the theme ‘The Role of Traditional Rulers, Elders, and Religious Leaders on the Security Challenges in Nigeria’. This is because the security challenges in Nigeria are biting so hard and traditional rulers cannot be ruled out of proffering solutions. Any case that is not decided in the palace cannot be decided anywhere. There is no king that does not know the bad people in his community so we are asking the Federal Government to challenge the traditional rulers and religious leaders to maintain peace in their respective and collective kingdoms. You cannot maintain peace without love and fairness.’
‘At this crucial time, if a youth is employed and he has to work from 8am to 6pm and get to traffic to return home, will he get time to involve in crime or can a politician be able to hire him. No, because he has a source of income. If you are married, you have children, you cannot. An idle man is the devil’s workshop. And that is why we have come up with a wealth creation platform as well as Royal Networking Children’s Academy that takes care of the orphanages and Royal Networking Youth Assembly for the youths. This is possible because through our wealth creation platform, our banks get them loans to get busy and they can pay back monthly.’
On why they seek partnership of the sociocultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, HRM Ezebrio noted: ‘Ohanaeze is an Igbo institution and since the event is taking place in Lagos, there is no way we can do something in Lagos without paying a visit to Ohanaeze and the President is no. 1 Igbo in Lagos.’
On his part, the former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro said: ‘The essence of the event is to organize traditional rulers to play a role in the security of the nation. We cannot leave everything for government. We have gathered experience, knowledge, and respect over the years. You cannot deal with security with levity. Traditional rulers are a key to society. We cannot do anything without them even though Constitution has not given a specific role to them.’
‘At this stage, we are planning. The executives will meet to choose date, time, and venue. The essence of the partnership with Ohanaeze Ndigbo is to have the people and the traditional rulers together.’
On the issue of youth unemployment in Nigeria, the former IGP remarked: ‘Unemployment is not restricted to Nigeria, it is all over the world but what happens is that the unemployed are being looked after with social welfare. The problem in Nigeria is that no provision is made for the unemployed.’
The President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos, Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene who received the guests said in his remarks, ‘We have heard their ideas on security and they are in position to work with government. They are the heads of Igbos in Lagos. I will only say that we should be at peace with our host communities and make sure that their association should not be for political interest but for us to speak with one voice.’
‘We have agreed that we are going to support especially as they have named me one of the patrons. It is an honour. And I give glory to God for the opportunity to be an instrument to the success of their activities’, Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene said about the partnership.