The traditional ruler of Ota-Awori Kingdom of Ogun State, Adeyemi Obalanlege, on Monday called for the resuscitation of the House of Chiefs to check alleged excesses of the National Assembly.
He said the House of Chiefs, constituted by traditional rulers in the regions, acted as a check on the parliament in Nigeria’s First Republic.
Mr Obalanlege, who was officially crowned the Olota of Ota on Thursday, made the call while speaking with journalists on the crisis between the Executive and the National Assembly.
He blamed the crisis for the delay in the passage of the 2018 appropriation bill six months after it was presented to the lawmakers by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Another reason he cited for his call for the resuscitation of the House of Chiefs was that the Senate and House of Representatives are always on the same page on so many issues.
He said there is the need for a third force to act as a check on the two chambers. He said since traditional rulers are the custodian of values and interest of their people, they are best placed to champion the cause of their people without bias, since they do not belong to any political party.
“The traditional rulers do a lot of work in maintaining order in our communities but you will find out that with the present way the government is structured, we have two houses of Parliament; we have the Senate and the Representatives,” Mr Obalanlege said.
“I think the Representatives are more or less doing the same job as the Senate because they represent political parties with the same ideologies and you find out that they hardly oppose each other in decision making. You find out that when the Senate says they are going right, the Representatives also would be going right,” the monarch noted.
“I think for fair representation of our people, we should constitute the House of Chiefs like we used to have in the olden days, which we had as the second legislative chamber. They don’t belong to any political party and they only represent their people. I think this will be a good check on the Senate.”
On the rate of unemployment in the country, Mr Obalanlege said he would consult with the private sector and the government towards getting unemployed youth in his community positively engaged and to take them off the streets.
“Despite Ota being an industrial hub of Nigeria, youth in Ota are yet to benefit from it. Other people come from outside Ota and get the jobs in these industries. We do not quarrel with this. I have started taking steps by talking to the chief executive officers of these companies on the need for them to employ Ota youths.
“In this type of employment I am not talking about lower cadre only, but also at management level. I am also talking to the management of the Crescent University, Abeokuta,” he said.
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