Masquerades invade Kpanti Zing’s palace, sack mourners
Ma s q u e r a d e s , numbering about 300, at the weekend invaded the palace of Kpanti Zing in Taraba State.
The invasion it was gathered was an attempt to take-over the throne of Kpanti Zing.
The late paramount ruler, Alhaji Abbas Ibrahim Sambo, died last month in the Hajj stampede at Mina, Saudi Arabia.
It was gathered that the masquerades arrived the area from various villages in the chiefdom.
Daily Trust learnt that the masquerades forced their way into the palace and sacked members of the deceased family and other mourners.
“We were receiving condolences from friends and well-wishers following the death of the chief when suddenly the Dodos (masquerades) in their hundreds forced their way into the palace. The masquerades started flogging everybody in the palace and as a result of that, all the mourners as well as the entire family of the late Kpanti vacated the place’’, a witness said.
One of the mourners and a close relation of the late chief who spoke on condition of anonymity told Daily Trust that the masquerades told members of the royal family that they would occupy the throne of the Kpanti and threatened to deal with anybody who dared them.
He said following the development, many residents of the town, especially Muslims fled to other places for safety.
Daily Trust gathered that the state government, in response to the situation, appointed the Wazirin Zing, Linus Ibrahim, as acting Kpanti Zing.
The appointment of Linus Ibrahim was announced by the Permanent Secretary, Bureau for Local and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Bello Yero.
Yero said Governor Darius approved the appointment of Mr Linus Ibrahim as acting Kpanti Zing, pending the election of the new one.
“Governor Darius has directed that normal procedure for the election of Kpanti must be followed,” Yero said.
However people of the area blamed the state government for the development.
They alleged that its delay on the government’s part to take action on the matter led to the invasion. Our correspondent reports that despite the appointment of the acting Kpanti, the masquerades refused to vacate the palace.
An elder in the chiefdom who also spoke on condition of anonymity blamed key politicians and top government officials in the area for the crisis.
‘‘It is surprising to note that despite the presence of security in the town, the masquerades sacked the entire family of the late chief including his two wives’’, he said.
When contacted, spokesperson of the Taraba Police Command, DSP Joseph Kwaji, said security had been beefed up in the town and discussion was on with a certain group of people in the palace towards resolving the matter.
He however denied knowledge of the masquerades invasion.
“Discussions are going on with some people in the palace and diplomacy is being applied. There is no issue of arrest’’, he said.
Commander of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency for Adamawa, Mr Yakubu Kibo (left), parades a suspected narcotic drugs dealer in Yola yesterday.