By Musa Baba Adamu
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan has appealed to Nigerians with pending issues for constitution review not to lose hope.
Lawan said the doors of the National Assembly are still open for further engagement on issues that had not passed with the last exercise.
He spoke in Abuja while receiving in audience members of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria led by the Etsu Nupe, HRH Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar.
Abubakar who is the Chairman, Coordinating Committee for the Council, said their mission was to appeal to the Senate to reconsider it’s position on the need to accord constitutional recognition for the roles of the traditional Institutions in governance.
The issue of formal recognition of the roles of traditional rulers was deliberated upon recently during the review of the Nigerian Constitution by the National Assembly but it was not passed by the Senate.
Responding to the plea by the Royal fathers, the Senate President commended them for their approach and belief in the democratic Institutions particularly the parliament.
“This occasion specifically is for our Royal fathers to come back and appeal to the National Assembly to reconsider the issue of the reinstatement of the previous status of the traditional Institution in the Nigerian constitution.
“Individually, most of us in the National Assembly believe that our traditional Institution must have some formal functional role to play in the governance system of Nigeria and the belief is, when the traditional Institution had some roles officially recognised, they performed their functions very well.
“They helped particularly in the security apparatus and architecture. And some of us believe that the removal of the traditional Institution from any formal role can also be a factor to what we experience today in our country.
“It is not enough that when something happens, something that we do not desire, then we run to our traditional Institution. Most of us believe that there must be a well defined non-executive adversory roles for our traditional Institution. I think that’s not asking for too much. That is fair,” Lawan said.
Recalling the recent constitution review exercise in the Senate, Lawan said: “The D-Day came. And the voting took place and the rest is history, as they would say. We all feel sad but then that is domocracy.
“But what you have done today is to take democracy to Nigerians because what you have done today is to show your belief in the parliament, the National Assembly, and you have given an example to the rest of Nigerians that, never lose hope because your request failed. So many things failed. Of course many more passed because we have casualties in our bills.