Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt.Hon Yakubu Dogara, has raised the alarm over threats to the existence of traditional institutions in Nigeria and Africa.
Dogara, who spoke in Gboko, Benue at the coronation ceremony of the new Tor Tiv, His Majesty, the Begha U Tiv, Orchivirigh Professor Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, on Saturday, said it has become necessary for traditional rulers in Nigeria to reinvent or risk extinction in no distant time.
The Speaker further noted that unless and until the custodians of the institutions evolve ways of reinventing and making it conform to changing times, the institution may face extinction like others before it.
“The traditional institution in Nigeria must reinvent itself in order to meet the aspiration of our teeming populace; if it doesn’t, it will suffer the fate of so many institutions that were once prestigious but are no longer there,” he stated.
Dogara maintained that leaders are cultural architects because they create or mould the environment in which individuals thrive and flourish and that same will be a destiny of the Tiv Nation under the new monarch.
“We believe that the entire traditional system requires your kind of leadership, people who have seen it all, who have been through it all, in order to provide that reinvention that will make it modern and transform it into an instrument that meets the yearning of our people.”
“Your Royal Majesty, I went through every line of your speech and I’ve seen the picture that you painted, and for me, it reminds me of what Martin Luther King Jr, Dr. King Jr. used to say, that it is midnight.”
“You talked about despondency, you talked about moral decadence, you talked about falling standard of education, you talked about challenges relating to our citizens living in peace and going about their normal businesses. These are indeed challenges that bother all of us as leaders and I’m happy that you’re bothered by those and I appreciate the commitment that you have espoused that your reign will be devoted to tackling these challenges, and to me, truly, you speak like the leader that you are.”
The Speaker expressed optimism that the new Tor Tiv will succeed in his reign saying: “having gone through your biography, I have no doubt that you have received the training necessary for you to occupy this office and to really face these challenges and conquer them.”
While reminding the new monarch that it is not only the Tiv Nation that will look up to him for leadership, Dogara, said: “You will not be remembered for the success of this event; most of us will not remember this fanfare for long, but what we remember will be the battles you will fight against all those evils that you have enumerated, it will be the successes you will be recording that we will celebrate.”
“We will never remember you for battles you run away from, but only victories that you get, and I know that with the kind of faith you have in God, it can be taken for granted that with God, nothing is impossible and since you have faith in God, all you have listed, you will achieve and surpass them by the Grace of God”.
Turaki Adamu Hassan
Special Adviser ( Media & Public Affairs)