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Traditional Rulers Exhorted To Ensure Peace 

By Nformi Sonde Kinsai — Traditional rulers have been called to ensure that public peace and tranquility prevail amongst their subjects in the various communities under their jurisdiction. 
The call was made over the weekend by the National President of the Council of Traditional Rulers of Cameroon, Lamido Garga Alim Hayatou.

Hayatou, the Lamido of Garoua, who is also the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Public Health, was speaking during the third executive bureau meeting of the Council, which took place at the Yaounde Conference Centre on January 11.

He praised the traditional rulers for what he termed their active participation in the national life of the country, including politics as justified by their election or appointment into the National Assembly and the Senate. He talked of President Biya’s recognition of traditional rulers as auxiliary of the administration and his decision placing traditional rulers on a monthly allowance.

It should be recalled that in September 2013, Biya signed a decree awarding FCFA 200,000 to First Class Chiefs, FCFA 150,000 to Second Class Chiefs and FCFA 50,000 to Third Class Chiefs as monthly allowances. According to Hayatou, there are some 10,000 to 15,000 Third Class Chiefs in the country, who if paid the allowance, would go a long way to improve on the economy.

Hayatou maintained that for society to function in cohesion, peace must reign. According to him, their greatest support to the Head of State would be to instill peace in the community. He reminded the members that the Council promotes peace, initiates projects and activities for the benefit of the population. On the importance of traditional rulers in the administrative chain, Hayatou cited public health campaigns such as vaccination campaigns and the fight against epidemics.

He also mentioned the role traditional rulers could play in stemming early marriages in some communities. Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the Council, Fon Isaac Chafah XI, said their biggest ambition now is to build a befitting secretariat for the Council in Yaounde. Going by him, since the creation of the Council in 2010, traditional rulers championed the recent debate on land reforms.

“To preserve our cultural patrimony, we signed a convention with the Ministry of Arts and Culture and the project would get to its execution phase this year. It is not a mistake when you hear that the Head of State has signed a decree allocating allowances to traditional rulers. It is because we worked towards that. When you have traditional rulers represented at the Senate, it is as a result of the work of the National Council,” he said.

The Vice Prime Minister at the Presidency in charge of the National Assembly and the Senate, Amadou Ali, used the occasion to present a paper on the bi-cameral nature of the Assembly.
He traced the evolution Cameroon’s National Assembly from the colonial period right to the present Upper and Lower Houses.

First published in The Post print edition no 01496

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