View Full Version : The practice of giving [traditional] titles to public officials whilst in office shou

Feb 17, 2008, 09:12 PM
The practice of giving [traditional] titles to public officials whilst in office should be outlawed

Nigerians are serial title hunters and often pay handsomely to acquire them. And the titles are “sold” by traditional rulers all over the country.

Newly elected and appointed officials increase demand for titles. Consequently, new titles are created to meet rising demand, and brown envelops and promises are exchanged for such titles. But more than brown envelope, projects are promised and located to areas that make no economic sense—usually at the expense of location with much better comparative advantage.

The selling and buying of titles under the table should be outlawed, and I would propose that no politicians or public officials be allowed to receive traditional titles whilst in office and not before five years after leaving office.

The five-year lapse should test the patience of the parties in the transaction and any attempt to circumvent my proposed law. Any arrangement would be no more than a promise by one Nigerian to another in five years when the recipient is out of power. And out of power is no power to enforce any “ungentlemanly agreement.”

The effect would be to reduce the Nigerian “Big man” appetite for titles—it is vanity to long for something you cannot have. Also, our politicians and public officials frequently travel abroad to receive awards; my proposal will allow them to receive commendations but prohibit them from receiving any title abroad.

One could have exempted proper traditional rulers[to be] who are in public service, but no! Traditional rulers[to be] must keep away from public office. They must choose between service to their subjects or service to all Nigerians. A public official who wants to become a traditional ruler must first resign before accepting the calling. However, such person may be allowed to return to public office after five years starting from the date the title is conferred.

This is not a panacea; it is a proposal to close one small leak in a pipe with many leaks. And it is only about one leak and not all leaks imaginable.

The Prince
Jun 1, 2008, 11:02 AM
It is unfortuate that the traditional rulers were circumvented by the new elite back in the days just prior to independance.

After Britain abandoned her policy indirect rule, and went for rapid "Decolonisation" under pressure of the poverty of "Winning the 2nd European War" and pressure from her new creditors the U.S.A and of course from Africans.

The result was a too rapid concoction of a Nation State, these New "Educated" Elite, some titled members themselves saw fit to distance themselves from the Traditional Rulers that had collaborated with the former Colonial Adminstrators.

With the centrifugal force of "Democracy" harnessed in the Norths favour, the locus of Power moved from Traditional rulers to Rule by Popular Demand. Unlike Traditional Leadership, which was not subject to Time Limits of a mere 5 years, The new form of Power was not as objective as it's former colonial master whose interests were not Nigerian based per se but lay in the U.K.

In a New Nation, it was too weak to have opporsition in the early stages, so Military Dictatorship was a natural progression unfortunately.

If Britain has of taken it's time to draft a consitution where the traditional rulers had political power ( say like in the U.K Hereditary Peers) then the status of Traditional titles would mean something without out getting entangled with day to day politics.

By side lining Traditional Rulers, and being fostered with Foreign forms of Political systems what we see is the result of a badly fitted suit.

For a bettter understanding for the background of todays practice read up on the following:

Margery Perham's:
"The Colonial Reckoning"
"Ten Africans"
"Lugard: The Years of Adventure"
"Ludgard; The Years of Authority"

AHM Kirk-Greene's:
"The Principles of Native Adminstration in Nigeria"

"Symbol of Authority"

No Smoking
Jun 1, 2008, 02:03 PM
@The Prince
Let me be the 1st to thank you and welcome you to the NVS.

However, I disagree with your point on the Traditional Rulers. They were not kicked out of reckoning in the Independence Constitution. The British left Nigeria with a Bi-cameral legislature, similar to what you admired in the UK system. Nigeria had the House of Representatives and a Senate at the Federal level, plus a House of Assembly and a House of Chiefs at the regional level. That was the way things were, until the military incursion in 1966.

Nigerian politicians already had a taste of being in the opposition, at least at LG level, prior to the departure of the Brits

No Smoking
Jun 1, 2008, 02:09 PM
You have only argued against the titles. No problem with the donation of women? :rolleyes:

I remember Shehu Shagari got offered a wife from a riverine state. SoTD, over!! :)

The Prince
Jun 9, 2008, 12:56 AM
Thank you for your correction. I was a little bit patchy in this Area but your pointed fact of the Militarys intervention is illuminating and explains a lot.

Aug 22, 2009, 07:17 PM
It is not every trivial and domestic issue that the Nigeria State need to submit/make a bill for. The pschological make-up of a typical Naija especially these our potbelly, illiterate and money miss road politicians is very mean compared to an average obodo yinbo person. Despite that some do not believe in God, they display the "Fruits of the Spirit" namely humility, charity, mercy, self-control, discipline etc than us with our hundreds of churches per street. Our Fruit of the Spirit is speaking unknown language, stage managing unverifiable miracles, especting and chanting of unseen prosperity, pouring down holy ghost fire on our enemies etc.
My Point is: the failed government and spiritual institution should be re-awaken to re-orientate our people so they could naturally/selflessly lead a humane, charitable, merciful, peaceful and tolerable life. This long term and sustainable plan will reduce the Lust of the Flesh and the vanities of ergo for chieftancy titles, amounting of blood money, selfishness etc that is rampant amongst or people.

No Smoking
Aug 22, 2009, 08:51 PM
An interesting old thread, though undersubscribed first time around. I even forgot that I was involved, until I saw my name.. :lol:

Prince never posted on NVS after his 2nd post above. Hope all is well?