The Attah-Igala and President, Kogi Council of Traditional Rulers, Dr. Idakwo Micheal Ameh-Oboni has reiterated the need to preserve and uphold the culture and traditions of the people at all cost to avoid their extinction.
The Attah-Igala disclosed this while receiving Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Mr. Ojobo Atuluku and the Executive Director, Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID), Mrs. Gift Omoniwa at his palace in Idah on Tuesday.
The Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) visited the monarch as part of their advocacy for promotion of the rights of women and girls as well as curtailing of harmful traditional practices against women.
The royal father held that the primary role of traditional institutions was to provide safe custody for the peoples’ culture and traditions and ensure sustained passage from one generation to another as well as promotion of peace and unity in the society.
The monarch also said that Igala as a people valued their rich cultural heritage, saying that the custom and traditions of the people were gender sensitive and quite harmless adding that no part could be abrogated or removed.
On separation rites for widows, the Attah-Igala stated the rite was performed as form of respect for the departed husband, adding that it was good to observe for the benefit of both the woman and her late husband adding that it sets the widow free.
“It is not good for a woman to mess around during the process of separation rites. Culture is religion and way of life. I have not seen any Igala woman being punished in this regard. The rites are not harmful or painful.
“Every culture has its uniqueness and peculiarities which define the people. The separation rite is just respect for departed husband. There is no reason to abrogate our traditions,” Ameh-Oboni stressed.
Earlier in his address, Atuluku said that in spite of all laws on women and girls rights in Nigeria, women were still being subjected to different forms of violence, discrimination and harmful cultural practices.