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Appoint technocrats as ministers now, Lagos monarch tells President Buhari

Osolo of Isolo, Oba Kabiru Agbabiaka during an Interview conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Sunday
Ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to reinforce his cabinet, a traditional ruler has urged him to appoint technocrats as ministers.

Oba Kabiru Agbabiaka of Isolo in Lagos State gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on his expectations from the government in 2018.

“There is an urgent need to move the country forward by appointing technocrats and professionals as ministers.

“The President had in 2017 hinted of the move to appoint some ministers; this time around he should appoint only technocrats.

“Without it the country cannot move forward. The technocrats should man some sensitive ministries for greater efficiency,’’ he said.

He noted that currently “only few technocrats are manning core ministries’’ and suggested that “round pegs should be put in round holes’’ in the impending cabinet reshuffle.

On security, Agbabiaka advised government at all levels to involve traditional rulers in community policing and security arrangements of their areas.

The monarch said: “Government and security agencies should stop organising stakeholders’ meeting on security, it is unnecessary; a lot of secrets are leaked to criminals through the so-called stakeholders.

“Few people should be involved in security arrangements of an area for example. Traditional rulers know their areas and can play effective role in intelligence gathering and identification of criminals in their domains.

“Strategies such as the number of vehicles and personnel deployed to an area and other operation details should not be disclosed through the media.

“It will make the criminals to go and reinforce and acquire superior arms and evolve some strategies.’’

Agbabiaka, however, lauded Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, Police Commissioner Edgal Imohimi and other members of the State Security Council for strategies evolved in fighting crime in the state.

“Recently the CP led a surprise operation to my domain in the night without prior notice and the operation was very successful as part of efforts to rid the area of criminals.’’

On politics, the monarch also canvassed for the involvement of his colleagues in governance, saying it will help to stabilise the polity and ensure that government delivers on its promise.

“We want a role in government for stability and to ensure that government at all levels particularly at the local government level deliver on their promises.

“I recall that in Oyo State under the late Gov. Bola Ige, the then Ataoja of Osogbo was appointed into the cabinet as a special adviser on culture and local government affairs.

“Government means in Yoruba parlance — `ijo awon oba’ — that is, government of traditional rulers.’’

Agbabiaka noted that in the Northern part of the country traditional rulers had been integrated into governance as they play “crucial and active roles’’ both at state and local government levels and urged governors in the south to take a cue from them.

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