The Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Lanre Issa-Onilu, has sought the collaboration of traditional rulers across the country to instil core values within society and its citizens.
Issa-Onilu, during his visit to the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlusi, emphasized the importance of traditional rulers in instilling core values within their domains, highlighting their closeness to the grassroots as a significant factor in this process.
The NOA Director General expressed the agency’s intention to collaborate with traditional rulers to guide the country in re-embracing its core values and identity as Nigerians, rather than aiming to forge a new identity.
According to NOA DG, any country that ignores its traditional institutions should be ready to face the consequences, saying traditional rulers play an important role in communicating government policies and programmes to members of the community, and also help in the provision of succour during crises.
He noted that the value within Nigerian society has been diminishing because the roles of traditional rulers had been undermined but said the agency is ready to establish synergy with traditional rulers across the country.
“Any people or tribe that ignored the role of traditional institution will find itself where Nigeria has found itself but it’s not not too late to retrace our steps and go back to where and we are not trying to create a new Nigeria but we want to go back to real Nigeria,
“To reclaim our nation, and produce a compacted society of people of great character and noble spirit, energy, and passion, capable of inherent ability to be self -emanating, transformational, and flourishing, it is time for the government to establish relationship with traditional rulers.
“You don’t expect nationalism where you are not there for the citizens, to ensure absolute loyalty from the people, what is ideal in governance must be provided. This is the motivation that can trigger patriotism in the citizenry.
“This is the prelude to developing innate national character and producing solid, meaningful, and patriotic citizens. Citizens who are constituted by our very sacred national ideals, values, and principles. Ideals and principles are singly motivated by the higher aspiration of our collective emancipation and attainment.
He noted that the citizene have certain expectations of the country while the leaders should not shy away from their responsibilities, and said “the country has imposed certain responsibilities on the citizens but the citizens also expect certain benefits from the country.
“So, it is a two way thing and all along, all we had in the past is ‘Change Begins with Me’, but change can’t begin with you when you don’t have any expectations.
“So, the National Life Charter or National Value Charter is to institute a social contract where the citizens have certain expectations of the country and the country can now say, this are the responsibilities that we want from you as Nigerians.
“What President Bola Tinubu is saying is that we want patriotic Nigerians, good followers but at the same time, the country must play its role and this is not just going to be written in the book or constitution. It has to be well spelt out.
“So, as we are today, if you post the question to anybody that who is a Nigerian? There is no any clear definition for who a Nigerian is and citizen from country to country aren’t the same. So, something must define us,” he said.
He disclosed that President Bola Tinubu would soon unveil the National Value system that is going to speak to those promises that the country is making no matter what political party or any government in power.
Speaking, the Deji of Akure ,Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, solicited for more roles for traditional institutions must be given constitutional roles and contribute to the development of the country.
The monarch said that traditional rulers are closer to the grassroots and serving as Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) for the people of their community and needed to be well rooted and be enshrined in the Nigerian constitution, they would be more efficient.