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Opinion: How Gov. Kefas Relates with Traditional Rulers.

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By Emmanuel Bello

May be it is because he is also blue blooded having deep roots in the Wukari aristocracy but Dr Agbu Kefas has a pronounced soft spot for traditional institutions. One cardinal aspect of his Moving Forward agenda is to carry our royal fathers along, to make their welfare paramount and to re-engage them for effectiveness. On a personal level, one can not help but notice the deep respect and humble courtesy Governor Kefas extends when he is around the revered rulers.

Consequently, as soon as he was sworn in governor, the traditional rulers were his port of call. He practically hit the ground running with the monarchs. In a well celebrated event, Governor Kefas engaged the royal fathers in a strategic security summits. It was the earliest signs that the Chief Executive of Taraba meant business. The summit greatly repositioned the monarchs as their unwritten roles as the natural rulers of their community was placed on the front burner.

From there, there was no looking back. Working closely with Dr Babangida of Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Governor Kefas embarked on a welfare program for the kings. According to him, he realized that some of the elderly monarchs needed to be properly taken care of medically. Approving a huge fund, Governor Kefas provided the opportunity for monarchs to go on medical trips. During the ceremony, the monarchs expressed gratitude, stressing that it was the first time any Governor was concerned about their health in such an open way.

Since then, the governor has continued to hold regular meetings with the monarchs, fine tunning strategies and revisiting efforts. The frequency of these interactions have helped in shaping a clear cut direction for the traditional institutions. Being part of governance has also assisted in cutting off any laxity or disinterest in the daily grind of administration. The kings are now part of parcel of decision making and implementations of key government projects.

Meanwhile, apart from being the voice of reason and custodians of the culture, traditional rulers in Taraba state are greatly contributing to the body of strategic inputs for security and over all development.

Bello is the Special Adviser on Media to Governor Kefas of Taraba state and wrote in from Jalingo.

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