From: Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has said the unity and peaceful coexistence of this country depend largely on traditional institutions because of their closeness to the people.
The monarch made the remark, when he paid a courtesy visit to the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar in Sokoto.
The monarch noted that the role of traditional institutions in building a harmonious society cannot be over emphasised, as traditional rulers are the repository and custodians of cultural and traditional values.
He posited that Nigeria is a great country and has unlimited potential for growth and development and as such Nigerians must join hands to uphold its integrity and entrench those values that would engender unity.
He noted that the country has been faced with myriad of security challenges, hence the need for traditional leaders to join hands with the Federal Government in tackling the ugly trend.
“This country has for some time now been bedeviled by unavoidable humanitarian crisis of unimaginable proportions.
“As traditional rulers, we play a stabilising and developmental roles especially at the grassroots across the country.
“It therefore behoves on us to constantly imbibe in our people the need to respect our cultural values which teach tolerance and respect for one another,” he said.
The monarch said his visit to Sokoto was to thank the Sultan for his support during his coronation ceremony last year and also to cement the warm relationship that existed between the Caliphate and the Benin Kingdom.
Speaking, the Sultan said his main agenda was the emancipation and development of the human race.
He extolled the cordial relationship that existed between the Benin Kingdom and the Sokoto Caliphate.
He pointed out that the last time the Oba of Benin visited Sokoto in 1978 and was received by his late father.
“Today history is being made, I remember as a young man in secondary school, my father was conferred with honorary degree by the University of Benin in 1972. And in 1978, the Oba of Benin visited Sokoto and now after 40 years, another Oba is visiting us,” the Sultan said.