The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas has visited the Emir of Zazzau, HRH Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Abbas, who holds the traditional title of Iyan Zazzau, visited the monarch and his constituency for the first time after his election as the new leader of the Green Chamber.
Speaking on Saturday during the visit, Abbas said the parliament would revisit a bill seeking to give traditional rulers constitutional roles after it failed to scale through during the Ninth Assembly.
According to the speaker, it has become necessary to give traditional rulers constitutional roles due to the critical function they play in society and their closeness to the people.
Abbas said he visited the emir to seek his royal support and prayers for a successful tenure as speaker and to seek the cooperation of the entire traditional institutions in the north and the country.
He said: “I want to make a promise to you today. I remember about three years ago when we held zonal hearings on constitutional amendment, you made submissions regarding the need for traditional rulers to have constitutional roles.
“I would like to assure you that we now have the opportunity. With me as your son being the speaker, we will look at that proposal once again so that our traditional rulers will have recognised constitutional roles.
“We are also here to seek the cooperation of the entire traditional institutions in the north and the country.
“We also want you to give us advice on how to succeed in our leadership. Where we err, you should tell us the truth. I seek the support of the Zazzau Emir and the people of the Emirate.”
In his remarks, the Emir thanked the speaker for the visit and for showing respect for the traditional institution, adding that the people of the Emirate are grateful for the visit.
Bamalli asserted that traditional institutions have made meaningful contributions to the political growth and development of the country.
He, therefore, appealed to the lawmakers to revisit the bill seeking to give traditional rulers constitutional roles.
He said: “The entire people of Zazzau are appreciative of your visit.
“The traditional institutions have made meaningful contributions to the political growth and development of our country.
“All of you seated here – the members – have a link to the traditional institution in one way or the other. Unfortunately, most politicians, once they win an election, the traditional institutions don’t see them again. The good thing is that wherever you go, you must come back to the traditional institutions.
“Politicians fear that we want to have another tier of government. But that is not the case. We have made our case and presented it at different levels.
“We met with the then chief of staff to the president. We met with the senate president and the then-speaker, yet nothing happened on the bill.
“All we want is for the bill to be passed unopposed. We hope that the legislature will look at this quickly.”