HomeNEWSPolitical Interference To Traditional Institutions A Bad Omen To Our Culture

Political Interference To Traditional Institutions A Bad Omen To Our Culture


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By Fasuyi Tolulope Samuel

The recent developments in Kano State serve as a glaring example of the detrimental impact political interference can have on traditional institutions. The dissolution of the Kano Emirate by former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, followed by the creation of four new emirates, was a politically motivated act designed to diminish the influence of Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II. This move not only disrupted an institution that has existed for centuries but also undermined the cultural and historical fabric of the region.

The reinstatement of Sanusi II by the current administration, while a corrective measure, highlights the instability and volatility inflicted upon traditional institutions by political machinations. The continuous reshuffling of leadership and the restructuring of these ancient institutions for political gain erodes their integrity and weakens their role in society.
This issue is not unique to Kano. We witnessed a similar scenario in Oyo State under the late Governor Abiola Ajimobi. The political interference in the affairs of the Olubadan chieftaincy system, driven by personal and political agendas, led to significant disruptions and tensions within the traditional structure. Such actions reflect a troubling trend where politicians exploit their power to manipulate traditional institutions for short-term political gains, disregarding the long-term cultural damage inflicted upon these entities.

Traditional institutions have long been the custodians of culture, history, and societal values. They provide continuity and stability, serving as pillars of identity and governance in many communities. The manipulation of these institutions for political purposes not only disrespects their historical significance but also destabilizes the communities they serve.
To safeguard our cultural heritage and ensure the stability of traditional institutions, it is imperative to enact national legislation that protects these entities from political interference. Such legislation should clearly delineate the boundaries of political authority over traditional institutions, ensuring that any change to their structure or leadership are carried out with respect for historical practices and in consultation with traditional leaders.
This proposed legislation could include provision for protection of historical boundaries (any restructuring of traditional institutions should preserve historical boundaries and respect the cultural significance of existing structures), consultative processes (before enacting any change, a consultative process involving traditional leaders, community representatives, and cultural experts should be mandatory), non-political leadership selection and judicial oversight (establish a judicial review process to oversee and arbitrate disputes involving traditional institutions, providing an impartial platform for resolving conflicts).

By implementing such measures, we can ensure that traditional institutions are preserved and protected from the whims of political actors. These institutions are more than mere symbols; they are living embodiments of our collective history and cultural identity. Their preservation is essential for maintaining the continuity and stability of our society.
It is high time we recognize the invaluable role traditional institutions play and take definitive steps to shield them from political manipulation. Protecting our heritage is not just about preserving the past; it is about securing a stable and respectful future for generations to come. Let us act now to enshrine these protections in law and honor the legacy of our traditional institutions.


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