GOODWILL MESSAGE BY HRH KING AMALATE J. TURNER, MFR, JP, MBA TO THE SOUTH SOUTH AND SOUTH EAST TRADITIONAL RULERS FORUM IN YENAGOA BAYELSA STATE ON 2ND JULY, 2013

GOODWILL MESSAGE BY HRH KING AMALATE J. TURNER, MFR, JP, MBA TO THE SOUTH SOUTH AND SOUTH EAST TRADITIONAL RULERS FORUM IN YENAGOA BAYELSA STATE ON 2ND JULY, 2013

Protocols

I am honoured by the special invitation extended to me to participate in the gathering of the most revered traditional rulers and leaders in the regions of the South-South and South-East. I am even most privileged to be given the opportunity to address this august body.

The formation of this body in my opinion is long overdue. As a historian and a traditional ruler, I am aware of the fact that in the world over, history is replete with records of influence of traditional institutions on the direction of politics and the general wellbeing of people. From England to Norway, from Iran to Saudi Arabia, from Korea to Singapore, from Brazil to Panama, and from Morocco to Lesotho, the direct or indirect influence of traditional institutions in governance are visible. In Nigeria, we cannot claim to be ignorant of collaborations of the traditional institutions in giving direction to the politics of the North and the West.

In this regard, many have therefore suggested for the formal entrenchment of roles for the traditional institutions in our Constitution. While that is yet to be done, we must not sit back and lament over our exclusion. Rather, we, as traditional rulers and leaders, must draw on the privileges of the provision of the freedom of association and unite as a body and collectively influence our environment.

We must not let our societies, communities and regions disintegrate, and become ungovernable because we have refused to exert the influence and direction that we ought to give. If we have slumbered, I am glad that we are now woken up to the fact that we must play and act our roles in sharpening and shaping the direction and destinies of our people. It is important therefore that I use this opportunity to commend the initiators and conveners of this forum.

While we ponder, strategise and busy ourselves in the next few hours and days with the preparation of the working documents and positions for the direction of this body, permit me to advance further reasons why this body ought to be formed.

Firstly, we are people and siblings of same political extraction and colonial balkanisation. It is a fact that, except for one or two, all the component States of the present South-South and South-East regions were members of the old colonial Eastern Region, sharing same political, administrative and infrastructural commonalities. Furthermore, that about 82% of our political subjects now find themselves in a common political party is also a compelling reason why we must ride on the back of this political affinity presented to us yesterday and today to be united. Others have done so, and we should also.

Secondly, the cultural and social ties of our peoples across these two regions are obvious and documentable. Except in language or dialects, our affinity is inseparable. In names, customs and occupations, we are same and one. Just as there are Obi’s and Ebele’s in Bayelsa, there are Jajas and Amadi’s in Imo, Abia, Cross River, Akwa Ibom Rivers, Delta, Ebonyi and Anambra. In our attires, similarities are presented in Edo, Delta, Abia, etc. Look at us here today; we are dressed in similar traditional regalia, differentiated only by colours and insignias. The similarities in the characteristics of our environment present us with common occupations in fishing and farming of same produce. These are compelling reasons why we must unite and act in cohesion.

In all, we are one, and we must be one in purpose and actions. This is the opportunity to be united; for it is only in unity that we can help fight current ills and prevent import of alien vices into our regions and communities. If our regions and communities have been polarised by our individual political inclinations, it may be in this kind of body that we may now jointly and severally proffer solutions to the national malaises of insecurity, insurgency, etc. A united Nigeria is possible, and that unity must start with intra or cross regional unity. This meeting may be the vessel for a purposeful and formidable cross regional unity, and we must not slack in encouraging it. In whatever little ways that we can, let us all, as traditional rulers and leaders pledge our resolve to contribute to the strengthening and stabilisation of this body.

Conclusively, let us harness our cultural, social and political affinities to direct our fortunes, be it political, social and or economic. Permit me to quote from the Holy Scriptures which says ‘creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed’ Rom 8:19. Your Majesties and Royal Highnesses, I understand and also apply this quote to mean that ‘the people of the South-South and the South-East regions wait in eager expectations for the revelation of this uniting body to give direction to their affairs’. The traditional institutions and their leaders must be the vanguard for the unity and common expressions for yearnings of our people.

This must not be like other associations or unions with plenty of talk and less action. The national, regional and communal challenges of our times are many and they all require our attention. May God empower us to accomplish our objectives!

I thank you for your attention.

His Royal Highness

King Amalate Johnnie Turner, MFR, JP, MBA

Obigbo Mikimiki 1,

Obanema of Opume Kingdom,

Ogbia LGA, Bayelsa State

Posted on July 3, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. In whatever form and whatever forum they present their case for CONSTITUTIONAL ROLE in the polity, traditional rulers must be educated frontally that by their call, they are digging their graves.
    As NATURAL RULERS, and this is what they don’t seem to understand, they remain above the fray of ordinary daily human activity. The reason is simple: if the polity is stretched beyond resonance and the polity is threatened, it is their combined effort and voice that can save the nation because they are natural rulers and above partisan pettiness . If the Obi of Onitsha, the Emir of Kano, Oba of Benin and Amayanabo of Kalabari rally their fellow natural rulers and they put their foot down on any matter that tends to put us asunder, our Constitutionally empowered leaders dire not ignore their summon or call.
    Let our traditional rulers remain as the leaders of last resort with naturally recognised authority the nation can appeal to in times of dire stress.
    All they should clamour for is space for the PURSUIT OF CAUSES. If the Mingi of Nembe teams up with others to advocate A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT, the world listen. If the SULTAN OF SOKOTO TAKES UP THE CAUSE OF POLIO ERADICATION AS JIMMY CARTER DID SUCCESSFUL WITH THE FIGHT TO ERADICATE GUINEA WORM IN NIGERIA, FUNDS WOULD POOR IN FREELY.
    THE EMERGING YOUNG KINGS ESPECIALLY THOSE FROM THE NIGER DELTA AND THE SOUTH EAST SHOULD REALISE THAT THEIR YOUTHFUL ENERGY IS NEEDED IN THE DAUNTING ARENA OF NATION BUILDING ; AND THEY CANNOT WHERE CROWNS AND ROYAL ROBES IN SUCH VOLATILE CESSPIT SETTING. THEY MUST CHOSE BETWEEN THE BARRICADE WHERE “PITCHED BATTLED ARE FOUGHT” AND THEIR COSY PALACES WHERE SUBJECTS BOW OBEDIENTLY WITH OUT QUESTION.
    JUST AS RELIGION AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS FACE MATTERS OF FAITH AND THE SPIRIT/ SOUL,LET TRADITIONAL RULERS REMAIN AT THE REAM OF CULTURE, TRADITION, VALUES, ETHICS AND ISSUES NON-PARTISAN
    THEY MUST NOT DABBLE INTO ISSUES.CONSTITUTIONAL.
    IF THEY DO, THEY WILL END UP AS PARTISANS; VERY UNBEFITTING OF THEIR STATUS AS NATURAL RULERS.

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