FAB. O. ONAH1
A. U. EZEH2
Department of Public Administration and Local Government
University of Nigeria, Nsukka
This study has made an assessment of the role of traditional rulers in Nigeria, in the present political dispensation (1999 – 2004).To be able to do this, an historical survey of the role of traditional rulers was made from the pre-colonial days through the colonial, independence, post-independence to the present day many areas traditional rulers wielded more powers over their people more than they had hither to enjoyed because of the indirect rule established by the colonial administration. The spate of local government reforms both before and after independence, further reduced the role of traditional rulers. Probably for want of more role to play coupled with fear of eventual extinction of the institution traditional rulers themselves had cried to be given political role Their cries seemed to have been heard as the 1979 constitution provided for council of chiefs to advise the president, governors and local government chairmen, as the case may be, on matters relating to customs and tradition, chieftaincy matters and inter communal relations, and to maintain public peace, etc. with the National Council of chiefs as members of the National Council of State,1 wealthy and highly placed Nigerians became interested in chieftaincy stools as it became a status symbol. Still not satisfied with the advisory role the 1979 constitution concedes to traditional rulers, they continued to demand for some political role in the constitution. This, dramatically, induced various shades of opinion as to what relevance traditional rulers are if given political role in the present democratic set-up in Nigeria. While not advocating that the traditional rulership institution he politicized, the study is of the view that, it can still be relevant in the present political dispensation if it can be left to be apolitical and to perform the role of father-of all and custodian of our culture, community mobilizer, etc. We feel that meddling in politics engenders diversion of the traditional rulers’ interests from advancing the interests of their subject to advancing their selfish interests; that this consequently breeds crisis, acrimony, hatred in the community and in turn incurs disrespect and loss of prestige of the entire institution, which threatens the continued existence of the institution.
The concept of a traditional ruler has been a contentious issue. To some, a traditional ruler must be one who, by the virtue of his ancestry, is appointed according the custom and tradition of the people, to occupy the throne of the area which must have existed before the advent of the British Colonial masters Report of the Political Bureau: (1987, 147), OmoN’ObaNedu (1985), For others like Ekong (1985, 950), apart from being a descent of a recognized founding father or lineage of the community, a line of conquerors or those traditionally connected with ruling in the community, a tradition ruler should also exhibit peculiar ability and bravery, have wealth, quantified in terms of farm size, family size, and must belong to a secret society. In the recent time, the concept of a traditional ruler has no connotation of hereditary or other characteristics stipulated above. As defined by the then “Bendel State Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Laws” (1979) and the then “Anambra State Traditional Rulers Law” (No. 14 of 1981), a traditional ruler is the head of an ethnic unit or clan holding the highest authority in the community and who must have been selected and appointed in accordance with the laws of the community. In addition, the ruler must be recognized by the governor of the state.
Traditional rulers were the pivots, which rested the administration of the people during the pre-colonial era. These rulers were seen in some places as the companion of the gods and were symbol of unity and the protector of the social and political institutions of their people. Thus, he was the potentate in his territory, having an overriding legislative, executive and judicial powers. Sasime (2000, 1) describes this period of tradition rulersrule as characterized by absolutism based on doctrine of divine rulership, comprising of monarchical and republican entities whose sovereignty was unquestionable. For Abimbola(1983: l),it was “the golder age of traditional rulers in Nigeria” because, “they were all in all”. This was not so in the Eastern parts of Nigeria where traditional rulership was virtually non-existent.
With the advent of colonial rule, the status and functions of traditional rulers began to change. They were no more the supreme authority in their respective areas but had to operate within the ambit of the law established by the colonial administration. In many respects however, many traditional rulers such as the Alafin of Oyo, i the Emir of llorin (Danraole: 1985, 37) wielded more powers over their people than they had hitherto enjoyed. This was because the system of indirect Rule, which the British administration established, made use of traditional rulers in governing the country.
On, attaining independence the status and influence of traditional rulers had began to wane. The spate of local government reforms affected in no small measure the role of traditional rulers. For instance, towards independence, the role of traditional rulers had been reduced to mere being appointed presidents of local councils with no specific function but to participate in deliberations only when invited to do so (Oyebola, et al (1974); OmoN’ObaNedu 1985, IV). j In 1963, a House of chiefs was created in each Region and traditional rulers were selected to it with powers only to delay passage of money bills. With the military in government and the subsequent ireorganization of the country and the accompanying new reference points in local government structures, the role of traditional rulers was further reduced to mere ceremonial presidents of development councils. Then came the 1976 Local government Reforms, the 1979 constitution (3rd Schedule, Part 2B) and the 1999 Constitution (4th schedule, section 8, part 2) of Amendment Bill of 2001 (Vol. 1, 42) all of which apparently failed to clarify the role of traditional rulers in our government machinery. In these constitutions, the only provisions made is for the establishment of a council of chiefs on state basis, and that beyond this, the role of traditional rulers become diffused and less clearly enunciated. The Problem
Events in many communities in Enugu State and many other states in Nigeria in the recent times show that traditional rulers in these areas have interest in partisan politics. Most often, they do this by aligning themselves with the political party in power so that they register their names in the good books of the government of the day in order to remain in their thrones. Traditional ruler themselves do not pretend about their interest in partisan politics. For instance, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki (1983:16) had called on the National Assembly to re-examine the role of traditional rulers with a view to enabling them exercise political power. This admixture of partisan politics and their natural role as father-figure of all the people and, as a symbol of peace and stability in their communities could be counterproductive. Incidences of land disputes among individuals and groups, political rang lings involving traditional rulers themselves, unsettled disagreements within and between families-leading to family vendettas, incessant armed robbery and hired assassinations, destruction of lives and property, etc. are commonplace events in many communities in Nigeria.
When situations such as described above exist in communities where there exist traditional rulers whose major role is to maintain peace, harmony and stability in their respective domains, one is bound to ask these questions.
- Do traditional rulers perform their roles appropriately on the basis of which their relevance in their respective communities can be anchored on the premise of father-figure for the people?
- Is it advantageous and proper for traditional rulers to be constitutionally allowed take part in partisan politics?
- what are the possible implications of allowing these traditional rulers take part in or barring them from taking part in partisan politics
This is why the objectives of this paper are to find out the extent to which traditional rulers perform the role for which they are known as the father of the people, the symbol of peace and stability and, the custodian of the people’s custom and tradition we shall also attempt to find out whether constitutionally allowing these traditional rulers to take part in partisan politics would be advantageous or not in autonomous communities. Enugu State will be used to highlight the possible implications of allowing traditional rulers to take part in or barring them from taking part in partisan politics.
The Relevance of the Roles of Traditional Rulers in Nigeria Many Nigerians have looked at the constitutional roles of the traditional rulers from the point of view of their relevance in the sustenance of the democratic setup in Nigeria. One point that has been raised in favour of the relevance of the roles of traditional rulers in the present democratic set up is that culture, which these traditional rulers are custodians of in their various communities, has a crucial role to play in the process of development. According to Laleye (1985: 123-141), “the institution of traditional ruler is part of the immutable African culture that can ensure harmony and stability in our society”, and since traditional rulers are the focal point of our culture, they must be acknowledged as significant determinants in the achievement of developmental goals. He buttresses his point by adding that the public disillusionment with imported social values has increasingly animated the age-old trust in traditional institutions. Supporting Laleye, Oladosu (1985: 159) asserts that by far, one of the most important functions of traditional rulers in the present day Nigeria is the custody and preservation of culture and traditional by ensuring that the Nigerian cultural heritage and traditions are not neglected or relegated to the background in the midst of social advancement. Also, Madunagu (2002: p.l) reports that the editorial of “The Pioneer” newspaper of February 25, 2002 submits a thesis that “traditional rulers are the custodians of our tradition, custom and usage as well as pillars and on-the-spot potential directors of the grass-root socio-economic development”.
Traditional rulers have been given the opportunity to play advisory roles to governments through membership of council of State, State and local government councils of traditional rulers. Those Nigerians who see this role as relevant and adequate do so on the understanding that the wisdom of elders provide useful guidance to government actions. Talking of the importance of the wisdom of the traditional rulers in the Nigerian political process, a one-time president of Nigeria. Shehu Shagari (1981:1) declared, “we want to be guided by the wisdom of our elders whom we greatly respect”, Oladosu (1985: 160) in the same vein warns that to ride rough shod over the wise advice of our traditional rulers “is to throw to the dogs the wealth of experience and accumulated wisdom which could be brought to bear on the running of the nation’s affairs especially now thathighly qualified and highly experienced wealthy people ascend be traditional rulers’ stools”. According to him, “it will be difficult and clearly inadvisable as it is contrary to and common sense to insulate them from politics”. He lends that rather than insulating them from politics, “they lid be made to co-operate with government of the day in order to (advisory) role effectively1‘. Agreeing with the assertion of are Durosimi (1981: 3), “Editorial opinion of New Nigeria newspaper (August 22, 1981) and Sound of Ogbomosho (1901: 8). Durosimi agrees that although the advice of these traditional cannot be binding on any of the potent political actors, it would be extremely unwise to ignore them. In the opinion of the “New Nigerian” editorial, traditional rulers still constitute the bastion of societal hope, security, stability and morality, hence they share a f honour with the present and former presidents, chief judges and Governors in the council of states whose decisions, though may not be binding on any person or institution external to it or even on its members, it will be foolhardy for any government to ignore its advice. For the Sound of Ogbomosho, “no government could survive without the co-operation and assistance of traditional rulers”.
Another important role of traditional rulers is to provide stability and peace in their various towns or communities. Of this role, Obasanjo and Mabogunje (1992: 67) argue that because they are o the people and are regarded as father figures, representing off in the communities, traditional rulers are best placed in administering justice, settling disputes among willing subjects and peace in times of potential crisis such as student’s unrest, and other forms of civil strikes. According to them:
in an era of instability, the traditional ruler remains the bedrock of continuity level. In almost all Nigerian communities, He remains as essential aspect of civil society.
Anchoring the relevance of traditional rulers on the premise of their father-figure role in keeping peace and stability in the nation, Oladosu (1985: 160) gives an analogy between traditional rulers and a father thus:
Indeed, he is a bad father who
Shows himself partisan in his
affection for, and dealings with his
children. True, a good father has
and, in fact, does express his
opinion in the affairs of his children
without being partisan, especially if
he must keep his family together
He adds that because of their status in the society, traditional rulers are always called upon to ensure peaceful co-existence and to promote national unity and political stability as well as help in the security of the nation by monitoring the movement of strangers in their domains
Others roles of traditional rulers the encouragement and stimulation of development projects, assisting the local governments in the collection of taxes, rates, rates and communal levies. These roles have become very relevant “because they are close to the people; they offer advice to government on what the people want and what should be the modalities for ensuring peace….” (Obasanjo and Mabogunje 1992: 67)
The view of Miller (1982:7-8) adds credence to that of Obasanjo and Mabogunje. According to Miller:
Whatever the basis, the political
survival of traditional leaders is
significant because they provide the
vital linkage between the
government and people; they
influence the success of specific
modernization schemes by serving
as translator, interpreters and
mediators of government goals.
Giving flesh to Miller’s view above, Bello-Imam (1985:192) reveals that during the collection of pools tax, traditional ruler all citizens within their domain paid their taxes; and that because of the two-way channel of communication between the traditional rulers and their subjects, defaulters were hardly seen.
This role of traditional rulers is also believed to be relevant by the “Presidential committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution [PCRC)”. This is because, according to the report traditional rulers are always handy in rendering useful services to the government and the society and are often called upon to do so especially during periods of emergency or when mass mobilization is required …” Oladosu (1985: 159) succinctly supports this view when he says that the traditional rulers’ support of government programmes is always sought as a practical means of ensuring the success or effectiveness of such programmes. The ‘Editorial Opinion1 of “new Nigeria Newspaper” (Aug. 22,1981) equally revealed that active politicians of this time have been extremely reluctant to do away with traditional rulers because, they occupy such an important place in the thinking of their subjects that any precipitate removal would result in such commotion that the political futures of those who venture would also certainly be doomed.
Peter Self (1979:281) looks at the relevance of the entire roles of traditional rulers from the point of view of the pluralist society of Nigeria, by this conception, according to him, it is necessary and, even more democratically expedient for “groups to organize so as to press their interests or views and to exercise what influence they can upon legislative and executive decisions within the bounds of the rule of the games”. Supporting the view of Self (above) Gerraint (1971: 143) adds that such groups represent those social forces and interests within a polity which are not usually counted on the political scheme of the ruling elite. Such intermediate groups, he continued, usually have a system of leadership that has local base upon which individuals can develop his interest and contributed towards matters that concern him; and that it is here that traditional rulers role are relevant as leaders and representative of such intermediate group and guarantors of political system. Findings and Discussion
- Traditional Rulers in the Present Democratic Set-up
One of the findings of this study is that traditional rulers are still relevant and important in the present democratic set up in Nigeria. Eighty (80) or ninety-five percent (95%) of our respondents indicated so. To add credence to this feeling, sixty-two (62) or seventy-four (74%) of them were of the view that the advisory role as stipulated in the constitution is enough opportunity given to them to contribute to the enhancement of democracy in Nigeria.
- Politicization of Traditional Rulership Institution
Another fact revealed by the study is that even though most traditional rulers took part in partisan politics, it is not proper for them to do so. Seventy-six (76) representing ninety percent (90%) of the respondents agreed that traditional rulers engaged in partisan politics, while fifty-eight (58) or sixty-nine percent (69%) believe that they ought not to.
The implications of the responses with respect to politicizing the institution are that the continued existence of the institution, their prestige, respect, and public participation in politics shall be threatened as well as negatively affecting their neutrality in the dealings with their subjects. The responses to our questions clearly imply the above views.
- Possible Impact and Implication of Providing no clear Constitutional Role for Traditional Rulers:
The study again shows that traditional rulers’ institution will not come to extinction if traditional rulers are barred from partisan politics and if no clear constitutional role is provided for them. Rather, this situation offers them ample time to develop the people’s culture and traditions, makes them enjoy honour and respect due to them and, to be an embodiment of peace, unity and stability in their respective domains. These facts are affirmatively attested to by all the respondents in this study.
As noted above, traditional rulers in Nigeria are relevant in the present day Nigeria only if they can stick to their proper role as father of all, custodian, preserver and promoter of the society’s culture and tradition. This is true since culture is believed to play a crucial role in the process of development. A society that has no culture is seen as not having identity, and any culture that is not preserved, the society that owns it is heading towards oblivion, since traditional rulers are the focal point of our culture, they (traditional rulers) should be acknowledged as significant in the achievement of developmental goals. As the custodian and preserver of our culture and tradition, traditional rulers see that our cultural heritage and traditions are not neglected or relegated unnecessarily in our quest for social advancement. As the promoter of our culture and tradition, they ensure that certain obnoxious cultural practices are done away with and replaced with a modern one. When traditional rulers mobilize and motivate their subjects in the execution of development projects aimed at improving their economic and social conditions, they contribute to national development. The editorial comments of “The Pioneer” newspaper (of 25′” February, 2002, page 2) see the relevance of traditional rulers in this way when it submits that traditional rulers are the custodians of our tradition, custom and usage, as well as pillars and on-the-spot potential directors of the grassroots’ socio-economic and political developments. It goes further to remind us, in case we forget, that the village, which is the constituency of these traditional rulers, is the building block for the nation; and that without the village head, there can be no village government in Nigeria, and without village government, there would be no local government, no state government and, by extension, no Federal Government.
Again, realizing the importance of peace and stability for democracy to thrive and the important role traditional rulers can play in maintaining public peace, stability and security in their communities, governments have often called upon traditional rulers to do these.
As the father of all the people, Oladosu (1985: 160) summarizes how effectively traditional would do it in his analogy thus:
The role of traditional rulers
among their people is analogous to
the role of a good father among the
members of his family. Indeed, he
is a bad father who shows himself
as partisan in his affection for, and
dealings with his children. True, a
good father has, and in fact, does
express his opinion in the affairs of
his children without being partisan,
especially if he must keep his family
together and united.
It is the meddling into partisan politics of some of our traditional rulers that has been the bane of the traditional nulership institution and, against which many have cried out for its abolition. If only they can be made to stick to their traditional roles, rather than seeking roles and positions inherently different from their mission in the society as apolitical, father-of all, and custodian of the people’s culture, traditional rulers will be the bedrock upon which democracy in Nigeria can be built.
Additionally these traditional rulers meddle in partisan politics. Indeed, it looks like these traditional rulers cannot avoid getting involved, because their being selected for the throne and eventually recognized, apart from involving some politicking, the aspirant has to show allegiance to the government of the day. This current trend is probably caused by the many alternations done in the process of political development to the principles guiding the appointment, the function, the ethics and control of traditional rulers. For instance, the shifting of emphasis or criteria for selection of traditional rulers from the basis of personal quality of the individual and his achievement for his people, to apparently bourgeois criteria of quasi election in which the person to be appointed must profess his allegiance to the government or political party in power. As it to make it work in this way, the law has given immense power to governors. The process is that a community will present a traditional ruler where there was none before to the governor for recognition. Then the governor in order to score some political point in that community, will always accord recognition to such newcomer traditional ruler. And if the person selected has double loyalty to government, the party in power will either in a subterranean manner institute crisis with a view to making the selection void, or the government will, through delay tactics, deny the selected traditional ruler any recognition. This situation may account for many traditional rulership tussles in many communities in Nigeria and the existence of many unrecognized traditional rulers. Consequently, the traditional rulership institution has come to be confused and supplanted most often by incredible, dubious wealthy capitalists, who may not know even the history, let alone the culture and tradition of the people he wants to rule. When these type of characters takeover this revered institution, they begin to exploit their subjects and seek roles and positions in the modern political system in order to develop their political base. Cases abound where in many communities; traditional rulers have transformed the land over which they have privileges into their personal private property. Again, the meddlesomeness of traditional rulers in partisan politics could also be attributed to want Sasimo (2000: 62) calls the government’s “government’s “ideological anomie”. Elaborating on this, Turu and Ninyio (1992: 4) say that the anomie has resulted in a paradox and crisis of personality as government wants:
… to modernize, democratize and
liberalize the Nigerian political
system at the same time trying to
acientize, monarchize, feudalize
and aristocratize the same system.
This paradox, according to them, has generated the current mania for chieftaincy title by members of the ruling class (military and political) ; and that this romance of the traditional rulers and the ruling class, the traditional rulers have exploited to advance their own interest; and that they have succeeded by their being incorporated into the National Council of states (NCS) via the National Council of Chiefs. This incorporation has been criticized by many Nigerians. For example, Usman (1992: 58) reports that this was done in disregard for the general will of the people as articulated by the political Bureau which warns that “it will therefore make no sense to install in the political system people whose primary qualification is ascribed to status at a time when the people are demanding a truly democratic policy”,
In this study, it is also found that the involvement in partisan politics of many of these traditional rulers has a great deal of consequences not only on the traditional rulers themselves and their roles as custodian of the people’s culture and tradition, father of all the people, maintainer of public peace, etc., it also affects the continued existence of the entire traditional rulership institution. Before traditional rulers started engaging in partisan politics, and precisely in the pre-colonial days, they were the pivots on which rested the administration of the people of Nigeria. They were seen in some areas as the companions of the gods, and were symbol of unity and peace and, the protectors of the social and political order. Because of their transparency, uprightness and representation of honesty and truth, they were respected and their wishes were usually carried out. To use the words of Nduna (B.B.C. News; 13 February, 2004: 2), “… they are the only pride we have … as a nation after colonization because we respected and obeyed them and they did the same to the people”. But with the contamination of the institution with partisan politics, came the decline in the sacred character, the accountability, and the discarding to the checks and balances of the institution, thus, resulting in the decline in its credibility. Laleye (1985: 133) sees this so when he comments that the sacred character of the institution is fast declining with credibility, and that what sustains it is mystification which rums pari pasu with the propaganda that traditional rulers are apolitical and father of all. With the decline in credibility of traditional rulers, is the reduction in value and respect of the traditional rulership institution and the individual traditional rulers. Not only has respect and value of this institution been dragged to the mud, the actions of many traditional rulers have generated a lot of crisis, acrimony and hatred in their communities as these traditional rulers rather than advancing the interest of their subjects, use their positions as government agents to advance their own interests, oppress their political opponents and exploit the poor masses.
There is therefore a bleak future for traditional rulers and the entire institution if this trend continues. The number of abolitionists of this institution seems to be out-numbering those of the apologists. The saving grace, however, could be in striking a balance between modernity and obliteration of the traditions, which our traditional rulers take custody of.
Strengthening the Role of Traditional Rulers: The Way Forward
Based on the findings of this study, the paper makes the following recommendations which, it hopes, shall go a long way in strengthening the position of traditional rulers in the present democratic set-up in Nigeria.
Firstly, traditional rulers should stick and be left to stick to their natural functions already cleanly laid down for them in their communities’ customs and traditions. These functions they must strive to perform without fear or favour, and as fathers of their people. The institution has to be totally responsive to the people’s aspiration in terms of political and administrative process and organization on the one hand, and it has to cease to be subjected to the political power on the other hand. This will help in rebuilding the legitimacy and glory of the traditional rulership institution. But like the sword of Damascus, the executive order of suspension, demotion and or dethronement hang over every traditional ruler who dares not to lick the boots of the government of the day. Instances abound where a citizen would have misunderstanding with his traditional ruler: that citizen by chance gets into political office, the first thing he seeks to do is how to depose the traditional ruler. Usually, the political office holder wins. To overcome such situations, traditional rulers should be given constitutional protection akin to that given to members of the judiciary and the Auditors-General in which the constitution does not allow them to be pushed around. When this is done, traditional rulers will have their hands full in the daily affairs of their people.
Again, rather than being made members of the “National Council of states” where they go to give only advice which may not be sought at all or hided even when sought and given, “National Council of Traditional Rulers” should take the responsibility of establishing, reviewing and developing our tradition, covering the whole range of our inherited culture and tradition. If ingenuously done and adapted to the changing environment, a balance will be struck between the modernizing of the institution of traditional rulers and the obliteration of tradition. Without such ingenuity in the modernizing process, there may be tendency to obliterate completely our cultural uniqueness, which may in turn lead to annihilation.
In addition, while not advocating for an establishment of House of Chiefs at the state level because of its monetary involvement, the present structure of state council of chiefs and local Government Council of Traditional Rulers should be upheld, but should, among other functions, should be represented where laws about customs and traditions are being proposed and deliberated upon. This is because they regulate the life of their subjects and are the appropriate authorities to advise and formulate policies on culture. Again, these traditional rulers need to be given constitutional protection to be able to perform these functions creditably.
Similarly, traditional rulers as the custodian and, in fact, the embodiment of their people’s customs and traditions, are best placed to constitute customary courts in their domains with other traditional chiefs as members. Apart from getting their hands filled up with activities so that they have no time for partisan politics, it will extricate politicians from the accusation that they set up customary courts for the oppression of their political opponents.
State governments and local politicians have been known to manipulate traditional rulers, through the salaries and other fringe benefits offered to them. As the saying goes, “he who pays the piper, dictates the tune,” these traditional rulers often times succumb to the whims and caprices of their pay masters against the wishes and interests of their subjects. Consequently, they incure the hatred of their subjects. The ideas of insulating them from partisan politics obviously is to enhance the prestige of their offices. This assumption is that traditional rulers cannot be involved in partisan politics and yet be able to act impartially on issues involving the whole community. There is therefore an urgent need to remove traditional rulers from the apron strings of state and local politicians. This could be done by instituting a unified and centrally administered grading system and scheme of service for traditional rulers throughout the country which will officer them good conditions of service, including reasonable salaries and fringe benefits paid regularly and promptly. To be able to carry out this recommendation, state and federal governments should provide special grants in addition to statutory allocations to local governments since the present local government funding seems to be inadequate to carry this responsibility; New sources of revenue could also be approved for local governments; some services of the traditional rulers (such as chieftaincy titles, consultancy services, dispute settlements, etc) can also be commercialized.
Finally, it is obvious that very little is known about our traditional institutions by the new elites who aspire for traditional rulership stools. Hence, they get into the throne and desecrate the sacred institution. There is therefore the need to rediscover the traditional rulership institution in Nigeria through research by social scientists with a view to a better understanding of the principles governing the organization, evolution and functions of the traditional institutions of the pre-colonial political system. This type of studies will avail the opportunity of knowing the nature of its representativeness, participation, communication, allocation of functions, the sacredness, checks and balances, the accountability, etc.
Traditional ruler should not be politicized. Their involvement in partisan politics shall make it lose its worth as the father figure, characterized by trust and neutrality of action. Rather a balance ought to be struck between modernizing the institution to fit into the present political set-up and the obliteration of customs and tradition. According to Laleye( 1985:138):
… for this problem to the
satisfactorily resolved, the problem
is principally at two levels: at thelevel
of the traditional rulers and
that of the government, and at the
level of traditional rulers. It is up to
them to make it clear that they
prefer to die in glory and honour
than live in disgrace for a while and
later die an unbefitting death.
In other words, if traditional rulers on their part can becourageous enough to stand firm against any government influence to act contrary to what is expected of them as embodiment of truth. This will make them gain people’s respect even though they may face government wrath and reduced government patronage.
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