Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has approved a new welfare package for the royal fathers in the state.
He also inaugurated the apex traditional stool in the state.
The governor did these following an amendment to the Traditional Rulers Law 2020 by the state House of Assembly which provides for the traditional council to be headed by a President-General in place of the previous office of chairman state Council of Chiefs.
The governor while administering the oaths of allegiance on the new paramount ruler of Nsit-Ubium Local government, the Oku Ibom Ibibio Ntenyin (Dr.) Solomon Etuk as the President-General of the state Traditional Rulers Council, approved new welfare package for all categories of royal fathers in the state.
Emmanuel explained that the review in the traditional rulers’ laws was driven by the need for continuous improvement in the reformation of institutional structures and enhancement of leadership in line with global best practices.
The event held at the ultra- modern Traditional Rulers Council Chambers, Uyo, also witnessed the swearing-in of Edidem Offong Effiong, Matthew Unanaowo and Edidem Etim Nnana Itang as Paramount Rulers for Urue Offong-Oruko and Ikono Local Government Areas respectively.
He said, “Laws are not amended because of a particular person in office. Laws are amended to suit best practices all over the world.
“Sometime ago we had to move the tenure of Chairmanship of our Council of Chiefs from one to two years.
“Today we have seen that we can also go further and make those two years renewable at the discretion of the governor so I really want to thank our paramount rulers first for their understanding, cooperation and support to make sure we keep improving.
“We are trying to make this institution a little more revered. It was extremely difficult for a chairman of just two years to be able to effect impactful policies or whatever he may have to do.
“So we have to put in practice things that are being done elsewhere to make things work well, so I’m happy that this is being done while consultations continue on other areas.
“The upward review of welfare packages for traditional rulers in the state became necessary given the current economic realities in the country.”
He congratulated Ntenyin Solomon Etuk and the new paramount rulers on their elevation to the exalted offices, saying that their elevation places on them the responsibility of piloting affairs of the traditional institutions in the state.
In his acceptance speech, the newly sworn in President-General of the state Traditional Rulers Council, Ntenyin Solomon Etuk expressed appreciation to Governor Emmanuel for finding him worthy to lead the traditional rulers in the state and assured of continued support to the state administration.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Frank Archibong, lauded Governor Emmanuel’s commitment to boosting the traditional institution by giving premium to its affairs, thereby ensuring that peace reign in all the domains.
He pointed out that the respect and honour accorded the royal fathers comes with huge responsibility and urged members of the institution to live up to the call.