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Traditional institution is critical to overall nat’l devt– Etsu Nupe



HRH Yahaya Abubakar CFR

The Etsu Nupe and Chairman, Coordinating Committee of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, has raised concerns over growing insecurity, ethnic tensions and perceived declining national cohesion in the country.

He however sought a constitutional advisory role to improve governance and tackle the numerous challenges besetting Nigeria.

The monarch stated this at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs’ (NIIA) first Distinguished Lecture Series for 2024, titled: “Traditional Authority and National Integration in Nigeria”, held in Lagos.

He submitted that there is currently no law at the federal level or constitutional provision recognising monarchs and the roles they could play.

Etsu Yahaya Abubakar further urged the National Assembly to assign constitutional roles for traditional rulers to legally intervene in matters affecting religion, culture, security and conflict resolution, along with the debates of restructuring governance, devolution of powers, and the complex interplay between traditional institutions and the federal political system in Nigeria’s multi-ethnic democracy.

He stressed that the traditional institution is critical to the overall development of the country, highlighting its potential to resolve conflicts owing to its closeness to the people and societal reverence.

“Their (monarchs) expertise as peacemakers and socio-cultural bridge builders should be maximally exploited to bring greater value and understanding among the different people of Nigeria, thereby building a stronger and more viable nation.

“This is in addition to their established roles as custodians of cultural values like empathy, respect for elders and prioritising communal interests, values vital for re-establishing peaceful societies. Most significantly, their permanent residency and intimate familiarity with local environments, make them ideal for effective community surveillance and security management, as well as local expertise in conflict evolution, being closer to grassroots issues than government agencies”, he added.

According to him, traditional rulers are sacrosanct to the people, especially in affairs of unity, moral and religious values, hence the crucial roles they play in the search for viable and indigenous solutions to the problems of insecurity and disunity.


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