From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Mohammadu Buhari on Tuesday night received the Ooni of Ife, Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II at his official residence in the State House, Abuja.
The meeting which held between 8-9 pm Tuesday, was not listed on the President’s official itinerary.
In an interview he granted the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), the Ooni of Ife, called on political parties in the country not the security situation.
Speaking on the purpose of his visit, the monarch said: “Well to the glory of God, I am here particularly because of all the issues of security threat here and there and to get the blessing of Mr. President. Hopefully, it won’t turn out to be very political because political parties might probably want to hijack it and to the glory of God as the co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers, it is our responsibility and our duty to make sure that everything is right, all and sundry is in good shape.”
The Ooni of Ife, hailed President Buhari for giving the assurance that the security situation will not be politicized.
He said: “the President has assured that it is not going to be a political thing because we all know the problem all over the country, we have a lot of bad eggs that mix across the entire country and we having that issue again in the South West.
“So I am here as the co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers to get the assurance of Mr. President that either of the parties won’t turn it to be a political funfair for us to just risk the lives of our people, our innocent citizens not only in the South West but the entire country.
“I am happy he has told me that I should assure other traditional rulers that we must work with them now. It is very important for us to work very closely with the government so that we can separate the good, the bad and the ugly. It is very important for us to separate the corn from the chaff because, a lot of them are actually using the porous border that we have but to the glory of God they are doing what is called e-border now in Nigeria and it is very efficient and we all need to work with them.
“Even our governors and other political rulers in different states, Mr. President has said that they must work with the traditional rulers so that we can actually separate the good from the bad and get the right society in proper perspective. So, here the objective is politics shouldn’t be mixed with the safety and the security concerns of our people. Politics should be completely taken out of it and to the glory of God Mr. President said he is fully on board with us as traditional rulers.”
On the appointment of service chiefs, the the Ooni of Ife, said: “It’s a good refreshment, there is a new blood, a new intake, fresh ideas will come on board and we have actually given very positive encouragement to Mr. President that he should keep it up. It is a very couragous move for fresh minds. At least, there has been a lot of hue and cry of security issues in Nigeria now, we are not all safe but with what Mr. President has done and providentially I am experiencing it at the seat of power, it is a welcome development, everybody in Nigeria will be very happy about it and we expect more of refreshments within the confines of this government because it is a legacy that he is building for himself and we will continue to support that legacy for the betterment of our country. So? it is a good thing that Mr. President has done.”
On tension in South West over the seemingly misunderstanding between the natives and the herders, the monarch said it was time to separate the good eggs from the bad eggs without politics.
He said: “The best way forward that is critical is to separate the bad eggs from the good eggs and take politics out of it, we don’t want any politics to be mingled with it. We the traditional rulers, we know the good, the bad and the ugly in our domains. So it is a very clear strategy. Those bad eggs we want to fish them out, politics is different from taking out the bad eggs from the good eggs and it is the blessing of Mr. President we have come for. So any time we are sensing politics, we the traditional rulers we have to cry out, so that is the object why I am here.”
The President had on several meetings with monarch in the State House, called for more support from the traditional institutions in the fight against criminality and insecurity in the country generally.