Don’t muzzle traditional institutions, El-Rufai told

Posted by News Express | 22 May 2017 | 1,587 times

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•Governor El-Rufai.

A pro-democracy organisation, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has faulted the reported plan by the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nassir El-Rufai, to abolish some traditional institutions in the state, describing it as a sinister machination to muzzle the traditional institutions and create social dislocations.

HURIWA made the declaration against the backdrop of media reports indicating that over 3,121 district and village heads in Kaduna State would lose their titles and domains if the recommendations of a committee on restructuring of traditional institutions in the state is adopted.

The committee recommended the scrapping of the positions of 194 district heads, 2,927 village heads, as well as 643 council members and staff of the traditional institutions in the state.

The committee said the restructuring had become expedient because “most of the new districts were created based on political considerations,” and funding them has become “major constraints to infrastructural development at the grassroots level.”

In a statement jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator of the group, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said it is “of the considered opinion that the Governor of Kaduna State has become so paranoid and preoccupied with the implementation of unpopular and undemocratic policies that systematically undermine constitutional democracy and create inter-ethnic and inter-religious disharmony.”

The group asked the Kaduna State Governor to carry out those policies and programmes that will unite the divergent ethnic nationalities cohabiting in Kaduna State and not to unduly preoccupy his administration with such anti-people policies such as the plot to downgrade or outrightly void some long established traditional institutions such as District and Village Heads which in the long run may instigate social disunity and discord.

HURIWA said: “May we appeal to the Kaduna state Governor to stop running a tempestuous and discriminatory administration so full of policies designed to create social discord and mutual suspicions amongst the different peoples of the state. The creation of distinctive trado-cultural institutions such as District and Village Heads by previous administrations was one of the few state policies that promoted inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony in all parts of the state and especially in the then restive Southern Kaduna zone of that state.

“The lame and shallow excuse that the state government can’t fund these traditional institutions isn’t a sound line of reasoning because what the government could have done was simply to downsize the executive arm of government and also use greater percentage of the unbudgeted security votes to fund the activities of these community governments which are the nearest governmental structures to the rural populace. The Governor must have a rethink.”

Source: News Express

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