Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday urged traditional rulers to work towards ensuring peace and security and as well be at the forefront of correcting anti-social behaviors in their communities, saying peaceful atmosphere remains the necessary ingredient for development.
The Governor, who spoke at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, while inaugurating the newly constituted Lagos State Council of Obas and Chiefs, said traditional rulers also have a pivotal role to perform in promoting the State’s tourism campaign being the custodians of culture and tradition of the people.
He said the new Council was coming at a time of momentous changes in evolution of the State, especially with the development by his administration to ensure that government presence is felt by every community.
“Our government has immense regard for our Royal Fathers and Traditional Rulers and we always welcome advice from our royal fathers in order to maintain social harmony and ensure peaceful coexistence in our State.
“I, therefore, use this opportunity to call on our Royal Fathers and Chiefs and the new leadership of the Council of Obas and Chiefs to continue to address anti-social behavior in their communities. The most important ingredient for development in the State is peace and security and you all have an important role to play in this.
“As custodians of the culture and tradition of our people, our royal fathers should also be at the forefront of the State’s tourism campaign. A significant aspect of tourism is our culture and historical sites which fall under your jurisdiction,” the Governor said.
He said the tourism potentials of the State and the resources being channeled by the State Government to environmental regeneration and creation of tourist hubs must be showcased to the world, adding that such required the support and cooperation of royal fathers.
He said regardless of the advent of modernism, the importance of traditional institution of kingship in the society could not be downplayed, noting that it remained a rallying point for the generality of the people.
The Governor, therefore, urged members of the re-constituted Council to justify the confidence reposed in them by using their wealth of experience to support his administration in the task of deepening democracy and bringing development to every part of the State, just as he restated commitment to the welfare and activities of royal fathers in the State.
Besides, Governor Ambode commended members of the dissolved Council for serving the State with a high sense of patriotism during their five-year tenure, and urged the new Council to advise government rightly on matters relating to customary laws, cultural affairs, inter-communal relations and maintenance of public order in the State.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Mr Muslim Folami said the re-constitution of the Council became imperative following the expiration of the tenure of the former Council after serving for five years in line with the law.
He said the new Council is made up of one Permanent Chairman in person of Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu; three Vice Chairmen, one Acting Vice Chairman and 77 members totaling 82 members.
“The composition of the new members is made to reflect the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas, thereby allotting 15 members each to four divisions of the State and 21 members to Lagos Division due to its peculiarity,” Folami said.
The Vice Chairmen are Akran of Badagry, De Wheno Aholu Menu-Toyi I; Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Kabir Shotobi; Alara of Ilara, Oba A.O Adesanya; and Onigando of Igando, Oba Lasisi Gbadamosi.
Responding on behalf of the Council, Oba Akiolu thanked Governor Ambode for the opportunity given to them to serve the State, and urged traditional rulers to team up with government by coming up with useful ideas to assist in area of security, welfare, environmental sanitation and revenue generation.