Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said that he had a deep respect for traditional rulers because they play a critical role in the development of the state.
Wike made this remarks on Saturday during the installation of former minister of Transport, Dr Abiye Sekibo, as the Head of Achin War Canoe House of Kiniju Town and admission as member of Okrika Divisional Council of Chiefs, at National Field, Okrika.
The governor expressed regret that some politicians in the state had continued to play politics with the traditional institutions.
“I have great respect for traditional rulers because they are critical to the development of our State.
“It is regrettable that some politicians always want to play politics with the traditional institution. I am the only governor who has always declared open their quarterly meetings. It was not so in the past.”
Wike stated that he would always promote the tradition and culture of Rivers people, adding that in all his engagements with monarchs, he has always maintained that they promote their respective ethnic nationalities.
He said, “When I urge the traditional rulers to promote Rivers culture, it is not aimed at disrespecting them. We must promote our own culture. We must show we are Rivers people.
“Those playing politics with the traditional institution were the ones that balkanized the traditional institution in the state.
“What I said is, carry along with your staff of office, which distinguishes you as traditional rulers. Our traditional rulers must prove at all times that they are not second class citizens.”
The governor urged Abiye Sekibo to use his experience and contacts to add value to the Okrika Divisional Council of Chiefs.