DELTA Governor, Sen. Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, on Tuesday charged traditional rulers in the country to be ambassadors of tourism promotion as custodians of culture and traditions of their respective communities.
He gave the charge in Asaba while inaugurating the newly-reconstituted Delta State Traditional Rulers’ Council.
The governor urged the traditional rulers to play active role in marketing Delta State’s tourism potential to the world, saying that as custodians of the culture and tradition of the people, royal fathers should be at the forefront of the state government’s tourism development campaign.
According to him, a significant aspect of tourism is our culture and history, which fall under your jurisdiction and these should be showcased to the world.
“I am pleased to welcome our highly esteemed royal fathers and eminent Deltans to the inauguration of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council.
“This inauguration is sequel to the expiration of the tenure of the past council. I commend the past council for serving the State with a high sense of commitment and patriotism during its tenure.
“Today’s event is particularly profound as we renew the machinery through which government and royal fathers cross-fertilize ideas on various issues of mutual interest for the good and well-being of both the State, its people and the country in general.
“I sincerely congratulate the Chairman and members of the Council on their well-deserved appointments.
“The traditional institution is the bedrock of our cultural mores, tradition and unity. I commend the Council for their dedication to the preservation of our culture and traditions,” the governor stated.
He congratulated the Chairman and members of the council on their appointments and urged them to continue to maintain peace in their domains to enable their communities benefit from government’s projects and programmes
“Regardless of the advent of modernity, the traditional institution remains an important rallying point for the generality of our people. It has been serving as a veritable vehicle for the dissemination of government policies, programmes and mobilisation of the populace.
“By law, the council is to advise the governor on chieftaincy matters and any other matter of public policy concerning traditional rulers or any other class of chiefs.
“It is also to advise the governor on matters relating to customary laws or cultural affairs, inter-communal relations and maintenance of public order in the state,” he added.
Okowa disclosed that his administration had immense regard for traditional rulers in the state, and assured that he would always welcome advice from them to ensure social harmony and peaceful co-existence.
“This new council is coming at a time of momentous changes in the progress and development of the State, especially with the commitment of this administration to ensure that every community felt government’s presence.
“There is no doubt that the traditional institution is the fourth tier of government owing to its responsibility at the grassroots level.
“Peace and security remain the most important ingredient for development in the state and you all have been playing important roles in this regard.
“I, therefore, charge our traditional rulers to ensure that they maintain peace and order in their respective communities as they have always done and to study the policies of the administration and key into it to enable their various communities benefit from them”
He commended the outgoing chairman for his contributions and urged his successor to always tap from the wisdom and wealth of experience of the past chairman.
“I thank the outgoing council and Deltans in general for their prayers and support to my administration. I urge the incoming chairman and members of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council to continue to serve our people with humility and patriotism.
“On behalf of myself, the government and the entire people of Delta State, I hereby formally inaugurate the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council as follows: Major-Gen Felix Mujakperuo (rtd) Orhue 1, the Orodje of Okpe as Chairman while Pere Stanley P. Luke, Kalanama V111, the Pere of Akugbene- Mein and Agbogidi, Henry A. Kikachukwu, the Obi of Ubulu-Unor will serve as 1st Vice Chairman and 2nd Vice Chairman respectively while 57 others will serve as members.” he stated.
Responding, the Chairman of the Council and Orodje of Okpe Kingdom, Orhue 1, thanked the Governor for appointing them and pledged the council’s continued support for the administration.
He lauded the governor for his strides in governance, saying that traditional rulers in the state were delighted with his show of respect and support for the traditional institution.
He frowned at appointment of traditional rulers in some communities without due regards to the Delta State Traditional Rulers Law and called on the state government to put a stop to such acts by certain persons.
“On behalf of members, I want to sincerely thank you for the opportunity given to us to serve as chairman and members of the council.
“We thank you because we know that you have high regard and respect for us as traditional rulers.
“We cannot thank you enough for the good things your administration has done and is still doing for traditional rulers.
“As members of the reconstituted Council we pledge to continue to play our roles in ensuring peace in our communities to enable overall development of our state,” the monarch stated.
The inauguration was attended by Deputy Governor of the State, Mr Kingsley Otuaro; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori; Chief Judge of the State, Justice Theresa Diai; President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Patience Elumeze, among others.