The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has presented staffs of office to 128 traditional rulers in the state, a few weeks to his bid to get re-elected for a second term.
He also restated his administration’s commitment to accord the traditional institution in the state due recognition.
The governor made this commitment on Tuesday at the presentation to the traditional rulers and chiefs at the Glass House, Lokoja.
About 314 traditional rulers have had their seats upgraded with 128 of them being presented with the staffs of office by the governor at the event.
Mr Bello emphasised the important roles which the traditional institution plays in the society affirming that his government has keyed into this understanding in the interest of the people.
He, however, reiterated the need for the royal fathers to protect the interest of all indigenes and residents in their domains irrespective of their ethnic, political or religious dispositions
The governor charged them to live up to their responsibilities of fostering peace, unity in their territories as their appointment was a call to more service.
The governor at the event expressed his appreciation to them for their supportive roles towards his administration.
He assured that the government would sustain its development efforts for the benefits of the people.
On the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state, Mr Bello promised to provide the conducive atmosphere that would ensure a hitch-free exercise. He advised all political key players to maintain decorum in the interest of peace.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Abubakar Ohere, said the ‘over politicisation’ of the affairs of the traditional rulers accounted for the large number of those that have not been upgraded.
He praised Mr Bello for creating the opportunity to recognise those presented with staffs of office.
Speaking after receiving his staff of office, the Oba of Yoruba Community in Lokoja, Alhajilo Audu-Oke, expressed gratitude to the governor for finding it necessary to present it to him.
He said the recognition was long overdue as the community had long expected the occasion following his appointment over a decade ago by former governor, late Abubakar Audu.
“The Yoruba Community is extremely grateful. This is what we have been yearning for for a long time. This occasion is one that marks a new closer working relationship between our people in all parts of Lokoja and the government of His Excellency, Yahaya Bello,” he said.
“We have no doubt that his government is out to enhance unity and closer working relationship between among all the ethnoreligious collection that make up Lokoja and the state in general.”
The monarch pledged his commitment and subjects to the policies and programmes of the present administration, adding that he had resolved to mobilise them to work for the re-election of Mr Bello.