Muri Munene calls for the reinstatement of Traditional Rulers into the Constitution with specified roles.

The NBA Calabar Law week has continued with great pomp! Day 3 of the event, which held on the 6th of April, 2022, featured 3 Plenary sessions and discussions were taken on the topics of these plenaries to wit:

Plenary 4Legal Innovations to unlock Nigeria’s Resources

Plenary 5Women in democracy

Plenary 6Social and Cultural Perspectives for Development.

Plenary 4 commenced with Prof. I. N. E. Worugji pointing out that unless corruption in the system is eradicated, unreasonable allocation and expenditure of public resources stopped, impunity in governance and bad governance checked, insecurity tackled and Gender inequality and discrimination against women stopped, thee can be no development.

Prof. Dada in his own submission, urged the Nigerian people, the followers, to be better followers and to hold their leaders accountable.

At the 5th Plenary Session themed “Women in Democracy” with Amb Nkoyo Esu Toyo, Mr. Tony Ojukwu Esq, Mrs. Anne Eta Esq and Ms. Dorothy Njemanze, the need to encourage more women to participate in government was discussed. Panelists also called for affirmative action for women and reminded the meeting that keeping women out of politics only serves to diminish development. They urged the meeting to support women whenever they aspire for national office. The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) called on the Bar to see to it that all legislation that will ensure that women are given their proper place in politics or which request affirmative action for women are passed so that Nigeria would be an exemplary State.

Ntufam Mba E. Ukweni, SAN empasized that women are the most potent specie God has created; however, he added that women are their own enemies as they do not support each other. Ndodeye Bassey-Obongha, one of the Panelists, noted that they are things inhibiting women’s participation in the scheme of things, and affirmative action is required. She stated that this affirmative action is not just one thing, but a collection of factors which makes it exclusive.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) commended the NBA Calabar for putting together a theme that reflects national objectives and not just her local issues.

The 6th Plenary: “Social and Cultural Perspectives for National Development”, was moderated by Ntufam Mba E. Ukweni, SAN and had 2 royal fathers as Panelists to wit:

a. HRH Okon Etim Edet, the Paramount Ruler of Bakassi and the Chairman of the CRS Traditional Rulers Council.

b. HRM Prof. Itam Hogan Itam, Nnankor 1, Muri-Munene of Efut & President/Paramount Ruler of Calabar South LGA & Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Miss Nella Andem-Ewa was also a Panelist.

HRM Prof. Itam Hogan Itam, Muri Munene admonished political office holders show empathy to their losing opponents and carry them along as their ideas could also bring development to the community, notwithstanding thay they lost to the winning team. He advised that it should not be a case of winner takes it all.

He further charged the Bar to ensure that Traditional Rulers are reintroduced into the Nigerian Constitution with clearly defined roles. He noted that they can be no development when traditional rulers are disrespected and laws are made over them. He further advised that considering the fact that traditional Rulers wield a lot of respect in their local communities, they should be regarded as No. 1 security point of their communities. 

HRM Prof. Itam also called on all stakeholders to ensure that the teaching of cultural ethics are returned to Nigerian Schools.

On his own part, the Paramount Ruler of Bakassi and Chairman, Cross River State Traditional Rulers Council, HRH Okon Etim Edet, admonished political parties to stop the practice of imposing “consensus candidates” and let candidates contest freely and fairly. He maintained that Traditional Rulers must stop paying homage to Politicians but must tell them the truth.

He informed participants that the 2023 elections would be about who is worthy to govern and not who wants the job. 

On the issue of bad governance, HRH Etim Okon Edet declared that the traditional stools were tired of the current crop of politicians. He assured citizens that they would no longer suffer the menace of bad governance as all traditional rulers in Nigeria have agreed to go ‘spiritual’ for the next elections and all candidates would be spiritually screened and once it is revealed who is the right person, the people would be informed. He added that if any politician is voted into office and begins to misbehave, the royal fathers will know what to do to check such a person as they would no longer tolerate rascality from politicians. He stressed that the days of politicians deceiving the populace are over and they must begin to govern for the good of the people as anyone who failed will have the traditional rulers to contend with. In his words he stated: “Traditional rulers say NO to rascality. The days of deceiving traditional rulers and citizens are over. From now on, we will confront politicians!” He called for support from the people for development of the communities.

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