Governor Nyesom Wike has warned that the Rivers State government will not hesitate to dethrone any traditional ruler that allows, tolerates or enables cult and criminal activities to take root in his domain.
The charge is consequent upon recent cult-related killings and disturbances witnessed in parts of the state, especially the state capital.
Wike made these remarks at the presentation of instruments of office to thirty-three (33) government-recognized traditional rulers in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
The Governor in recognition of the pivotal role education plays in children’s progress, also charged the traditional rulers to ensure that no child is out of school in their respective communities.
He explained that the presentation of instruments of office to 33 government-recognized traditional rulers comprising 4 third-class, 27 second-class, and two first-class stools, also demanded profound responsibilities on their part as the natural rulers of their kingdoms.
The Governor said; “The first responsibility is the maintenance of peace and security. Peace is priceless; safety is paramount. Investors or tourists will only come to places considered safe and secure. Progress can only take place in a stable environment. I advise, therefore, that you work with the Local Government Chairmen and the security agencies to maintain peace and security in your communities.
“Let me warn you that the government will not hesitate to dethrone any traditional ruler that allows, tolerates or enables cult and criminal activities to take root in his domain.”
He charged the traditional rulers to be concerned about the progress of their communities and further insisted that it is their responsibility to work with their people, the Local Government Councils and the State Government to attract development and improve the people’s living conditions.
“You should ensure no child is out of school in your communities, as education is vital to our children’s progress. Work with government health officers to ensure your community’s health centres are functional.
“We expect you to use your influence to advance and attract development to your communities. We have more than enough land to cultivate and feed our people. Encourage your subjects and the youths to be economically productive. Let your reign be remembered for the significant socio-economic improvements recorded in your communities.”
He further urged the royal fathers to always be honest, fair and accountable to their people cautioning them to shun partisan politics because of its tendency to bring them into disrepute.
“I urge that you continue to uphold and promote these values in your communities because their erosion is the root cause of moral decadence and social crisis in our societies.
“Furthermore, I urge you to stay away from partisan politics and be the father of all your subjects, irrespective of the political parties they belong to. Otherwise, you will attract disrespect to your throne and lose your people’s universal respect”, Wike stated.
The governor said the presentation of instruments of office is the second the state government has organised in the eight years of his administration adding that it may not be the last because of unending agitations from communities for the government’s recognition and elevation from community clusters.
“As with today’s exercise, I assure you that government will continue to recognize and elevate deserving ones justified by the law and historical circumstances without encouraging the unnecessary division of peoples of common origin and affinity into separate kingdoms.”
Governor Wike stated that apart from the lawful consent of the people, aspiring traditional rulers must also satisfy the conditions set out by the enabling state law and be seen to be patriotic, forthright and exemplary in character to secure the government’s consent and recognition.
He said; “Today, I confirm that you have all met and satisfied all the conditions precedent to be recognized or elevated by the Rivers State Government as traditional rulers with the residuary authority of the government to superintend over your respective domains.
“I have also exercised my power and duty under the law to perform this event to let the entire world know about your new status as the Rivers State Government-recognised traditional rulers today.”
Secretary to the Rivers State Government, SSG, Dr Tammy Danagogo, said by presenting the instruments of office to the traditional rulers, Governor Wike has once again demonstrated his commitment to match his words with action.
“This again another auspicious moment when his excellency is set to match his words with action. Just recently he approved the recognition of traditional rulers in their various classes to ensure sanity in the fold of traditional rulers in the state and to ensure peace in our communities.”
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