Nasarawa: Traditional, religious’ leaders faults 1979, 1999 constitution, seek redress By Faith Awa Maji Traditional and religious leaders in Nasarawa State have observed with dismay the 1979 and 1999 Nigeria’s constitution which do not recognize the role of traditional institution in surveillance and security of their community which hereto, hindering peaceful coexistence.This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a one-day community dialogue meeting with Traditional and Religious leaders in Lafia, Nasarawa State organized by Global Peace development in partnership with ActionAid Nigeria and Beacon Youth Initiative, in pursuance of the System and Structure Strengthening Approach against Radicalization to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) Project with funding from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF).The meeting aimed at to promote trust, diversity, tolerance, build social cohesion and strengthen capacities to resolve disputes and conflict, as well as promoting inter-religious and inter-ethnic interaction.”Dislodgement of traditional rulers’ role in surveillance and security by the government, recognizing the role of non- indigenous ethnic groups by ascribing them with a title aim to promote cohesion and harmony.”Low community participation in surveillance and security to respond to security challenges.Lack of budget provision to traditional leaders for security surveillance. Inadequate recognition of vigilante role by the government in contribution to peace and security. Adoption of self- centred lifestyle than communal lifestyle relationship which hindered communal cohesion to address insecurity and respond to early warning.”No evidence reports of traditional rulers participating in banditry, kidnapping or insecurity in Nasarawa State.”Politicization in the appointment of the role of traditional leaders, which are usually not given based on merit”.The communiqué also recommended that, Traditional rulers to be recognized and have clear mandate and responsibility in the constitution of Nigeria. “Traditional and Religious leaders to support awareness campaigns on peaceful co-existence among different faith groups towards creating a regular platform for religious dialogue and mutual understanding that can bring together different faiths and brainstorm on developmental strides to foster peaceful co-existence in the state.”They should be the agents of peace promotion, facilitate tolerance, and promote diversity among all ethnic and religious groups, tasked to sensitize and promote knowledge to address illiteracy and ignorance about teachings of Islam and Christianity to facilitate good moral values among the religious groups”.According to the participants, Traditional and Religious leaders should be worthy of emulation and embodiment of conduct among the populace as they are admonished to be great mediators and promoters of peace not hatred as they noted that, they would engage legislative to seek for redress.”The head of Nasarawa State traditional council to submit memo seeking the legislation of traditional rulers’ role in the constitution as regard to security”.It again said, due to inadequate security manpower in the state, government at all levels are advised to support vigilante group for surveillance and security noting that, Traditional rulers to embrace and accommodate all religious group in their community without being biased.”Device old style counter security strategy by registering incoming and outgoing strangers in their community. Traditional and Religious Leaders should come up with mechanisms as they could respond to early warning and early response”.Traditional and religious leaders both from the State and all 13 local government areas of Nasarawa State attended the event.