A popular South-South traditional ruler, His Royal Majesty, King Dr Edmund Daukoru, has expressed concern over the high level of corruption in the Nigerian local government system.
King Daukoru bemoaned this while speaking during his appreciation remarks to the guests who graced a book launch event, organized as part of the activities marking his 80th birthday anniversary, in Abuja on Thursday, October 12, 2023.
According to the traditional ruler of Nembe, in Nembe Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, the LGAs have become drains on the nation’s resources.
“Nigeria has 774 LGAs, which are recognized in the Constitution, and are part of the budgeting process of the States. Their functionality and economic well-being are the prime responsibility of the States.
“But since the past two decades, if not three, they have become a drain on national resources instead of being development centres and the foundation of national economic production.
“Thus, after all is said and done, it is these empty shells of the economic dream of the mid-seventies that the kings in the present time have to oversee in some form or other,” he said.
The Amanyanabo of Nembe Kingdom however pledged to work for the well-being of Nigeria as a whole.
Rallying support for development in his kingdom, the Royal Father said, “launching of the next phase of development of my kingdom, which will encompass a gas-turbine, integrated farming and fish culture; land reclamation and large-scale reticulated water system; among others – just pushing my goodwill some more.”
King Daukoru however praised former President Olusegun Obasanjo and “the two pillars of the Traditional institution at present, the great uniter and friend of all, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, and His Imperial Majesty the Ooni of Ife, a great mixer and listener. I say I deeply appreciate you for your individual qualities, and your leadership of our institution.
“Be assured that the South-South will continue to work with you, at least for the duration of my leadership, to achieve all that is best for our nation, Nigeria, and the royal institution.”
He expressed hope that the diversity of the gathering would be the face “of the united Nigeria of tomorrow, regardless of differences in tribe or tongue.”
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi led an array of traditional rulers from across the country to the event.
In their separate remarks, the Sultan and the Ooni, who applauded the celebrant’s contributions to the growth and development of the country, said the calibre of traditional rulers at the event spoke volumes.
“It demonstrates that the unity of the traditional institutions is real; we are not politicians.”
The Ooni also added that: politicians will come and go but traditional rulers will remain in the seat of our forebears.
“We do not have any other country; this is our country. So, traditional rulers should use platforms like this and send messages that in unity we stand.
“Different tribes, different cultures, coming together for the unity of our country,” he said.