Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
A prominent traditional ruler in Osun State, the Eburu of Iba, Oba Adekunle Okunoye Oyedeji, has made case for the involvement of traditional ruler in government, stressing that monarchs, as custodians of culture and tradition have great roles to play in government.
Oba Okunoye who hosted over 200 traditional rulers who are members of the Network of Kings (NOK), an organisation he founded, in his palace recently said the roles of the traditional rulers should not be limited to their palaces or domains, insisting that monarchs should play advisory roles in government.
The monarch, a professor of Information Communications Technology said he founded NOK to serve as a link through which rural communities will develop and get the attention of both the local, state and federal governments.
The NGO, according to him meet frequently and present the conditions of their various communities to the state government for the development of their domains and to cater for the needs of their people who he said need the presence of the government in their communities:
“We recognise as an integral part of the government and we want to be recognised and be seen as such. We have resolved to always support all the policies and programmes of the government and offer constructive criticisms when necessary. Our approach shall always be dialogue in most supportive ways.
“The NGO shall be strong advocate of the policies and programmes of government among our people and in our respective domains. We consider defense and promotion of all developmental efforts of the government as part of the ways we can support government and participate in governance. We appreciate the growing roles being given to the traditional rulers and the opportunity that the parliamentary system of government at the local level affords the rural kings.
“The traditional rulers who are members of the NGO will ensure effectiveness of community based school management and various reforms in education sector in the state and ensure decentralization of governance to the community through the creation of area councils and administrative offices and innovative parliamentary local government system.
“We are also determined to serve as a common voice for the rural kings, organize educative programmes for all the traditional rulers who are members of the group. We shall also share knowledge among ourselves for the utmost development of our communities.”
Oba Okunoye disclosed that to realise the goals of the group, members are divided into various committees and sub-committees: “To achieve these lofty objectives will not be a problem for us because we have already given ourselves various roles to play. He opined that rural communities would be developed and the presence of government would be felt.
He called on Governor Rauf Aregbesola to support the NGO by ensuring that the programmes and policies of the group are approved for the benefit of the rural communitities and in the overall interest of development across the state.