Plateau State Governor, Barr. Simon Lalong has said that his administration’s core mandate is to give to the people of the state a sense of belonging, harmony, unity and purpose through the guarantee of peace, security and good governance, which are its five policy thrusts.
According to him, his interest in the creation of chiefdoms and recognition of traditional institutions is to give communities in the state a pride of place based on the peculiarities of their ethnic identities.
He was speaking during the installation and presentation of First Class Staff of Office to the Ujah Anaguta, His Royal Highness Pozo Joro Magaji in Jos North Local Government area of the state recently.
He described culture and tradition of a people as their unique way of life and the foundation upon which they build their orientation for sustainable community life, adding that this should not be taken lightly because what the people give to the larger society is a reflection of the value of what they have been nurtured with under strong traditional leadership.
While calling on all the people to cooperate and support the Ujah Anaguta in his effort to provide purposeful leadership and direction in his domain and the state in general, the governor said the traditional institution was more empowered to promote greater national, social, political, and economic development, saying that this is contrary to some conservative thoughts that the institution is old-fashioned.
Governor Lalong reminded the traditional rulers to know that, he was a custodian of culture, history and religious values, which are essential ingredients of building unity and harmony, urging him to jealously protect and uphold these ideals in view of the varied dialects and ethnicity in the state.
“You should play great role in mobilization of your subjects, especially the youth in education, commerce, agriculture and you should be a strategic and effective mediator in alternative disputes resolution, particularly on land and boundary issues and mutual co-existence, in concert with your council of elders,” he stated.
“You are therefore expected to be proactive in monitoring, and as much as possible, pre-empting violent attacks, communal crisis, criminal tendencies, and play a critical role in community policing, since you know your terrains and virtually every member of the community, in carrying out your tasks, you are to uphold truth and advise on different matters of interests,” he warned.
He warned that government, with the recognition and empowerment accorded to the traditional ruler, would hold him responsible for failure to exhibit duty of care to his subjects and the society in general.
According to him, the charges also apply to all and sundry in the traditional institution, expecting that the new creations, restoration and regarding across the state would bring greater confidence and assurance to the citizenry of a collective resolve to remain united and pursue common development goals.