An Ibadan-based legal practitioner, Mr Jubril Mohammed, on Monday urged the Federal Government not to grant traditional rulers any constitutional roles because it is undemocratic.
Mohammed gave the advice in Ibadan.
He was reacting to a recent request by a traditional ruler urging the federal government to grant traditional rulers some constitutional roles.
The Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, who is a delegate to the ongoing National Conference, made the request during plenary at the conference.
He argued that the current arrangement in which traditional rulers merely play advisory roles should be changed in the interest of fair play for monarchs.
“For so long, we traditional rulers had taken pains to advice the government on a number of issues around us, but our pieces of advice were always ignored or thrown away. We no longer want to play the second fiddle; we want to be given a specific role in the constitution so that the government will always accept anything we say,â€ he said.
Mohammed said he did not see the request as a necessity because they were not voted into office.
“You see, in the 1960s and 1970s, the military rulers cleverly gave the traditional rulers some advisory roles in order to make their rule acceptable to the people at the grassroots. They knew that the monarchs could advice their subjects to be lawful to military rule.
“It will even be understandable if they are given cultural responsibilities because they are seen as the custodians of our culture. Besides, many of them are not educated to be familiar with current trends of things. Constitutional roles are best taken by educated, well enlightened and elected members of the society”, he added.