‘Po­lice ar­rest par­ents who don’t send wards to school in my do­main’

Daily Trust - - ASO CHRONICLE -

Al­haji Musa Muham­mad Ijakoro is the Emir of Bwari, in the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (FCT). In this in­ter­view with

he says he gets po­lice to ar­rest any par­ent who re­fuses to en­roll his child in school. He also speaks about how he be­came the Emir of Bwari. Ex­cerpts:

Can you re­call the cir­cum­stances that led to your ap­point­ment as the Emir of Bwari?

You know ev­ery­thing has its own time. When we were to be up­graded, I was al­ready the first chair­man of the coun­cil of tra­di­tional rulers in Abuja, when the govern­ment de­cided dur­ing Abacha’s regime, with Gen­eral Jeremiah Useni as the FCT min­is­ter, to up­grade some tra­di­tional rulers to sec­ond class chiefs.

Con­sid­er­ing my back­ground and, also with the will of God, I was up­graded to sec­ond class chief of Bwari.

Can you give us a brief his­tory of Bwari Emi­rate Coun­cil?

Be­fore now, there was no Emir. We had the vil­lage head and the district head. But with the com­ing of the FCT, govern­ment deemed it fit to have the tra­di­tional rulers op­er­ate as Emirs like in other states. There are the first class chiefs, while about four to five oth­ers in­clud­ing my­self are sec­ond class chiefs, and about six oth­ers are third class chiefs in FCT.

As a cus­to­dian of cul­tural her­itage in this do­main, what plans do you have to im­prove, as well as pro­mote the cul­ture of the peo­ple of Bwari? Okay, very good ques­tion. Cul­tur­ally, ev­ery eth­nic group has its cul­ture, Gbagyi, Fu­lani, Ebira, Igala etc, all have dif­fer­ent cul­tures. How­ever, in re­cent times, some peo­ple are leav­ing their own cul­ture and em­brac­ing the western cul­ture, like the Gbagyi, they used to have this yearly fes­ti­val they per­form, but with the com­ing of Is­lam and Chris­tian­ity, it is no longer prac­ticed again.

Sir, there is no doubt you have in­ter­est in ed­u­ca­tion, what ad­vice do you have for the peo­ple in your do­main with re­gards to the im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion?

That is my field, be­fore now, if any­one failed to take his child to school, I had the child flogged and the fa­ther of the child will be hand­cuffed by the po­lice, be­cause I want ev­ery­one in my do­main to be ed­u­cated, be­cause I went to school my­self.

And I was trained by my pre­de­ces­sors that ed­u­ca­tion is the most im­por­tant thing a par­ent can give to the child.

What im­pact have you made on the lives of the peo­ple of Bwari since 1976 till date?

First of all, we en­lighten par­ents on the im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion and why they must send their wards to school, and if they refuse to com­ply, we have them pun­ished. More so, we also en­lighten the farm­ers on how to ap­ply fer­til­iz­ers on their farms and we at times sup­ply them with free fer­til­iz­ers.

Fur­ther­more, we ed­u­cate the peo­ple on health is­sues and why they should go to the hos­pi­tal in case of any health chal­lenges; and the men are en­cour­aged to reg­is­ter their wives for anti­na­tal in the hos­pi­tal.

You are aware of the se­cu­rity chal­lenges that the coun­try is fac­ing in re­cent times. What mea­sures from the per­spec­tive of a royal fa­ther are you putting in place? Things have changed. Be­fore now, when a stranger en­tered the vil­lage, you must see the vil­lage head, but if it passes the ca­pac­ity of the vil­lage head, he will hand the stranger over to the district head or even to the lo­cal se­cu­rity around for se­cu­rity pur­poses. But now, the re­verse is the case. Peo­ple now en­ter the town any­how with no­body to ques­tion them on their mis­sion.

Your Royal High­ness how do you spend your leisure?

I spend most of my leisure time with my grand­chil­dren whom am very fond of. I love it most when we play to­gether in the palace. If am not with the kids, then I will have some quiet mo­ment to med­i­tate about happenings around me. I also love read­ing the Holy Qu­ran in my cham­bers, and my week­ends are spent play­ing golf in the court yards with ei­ther friends or with my chil­dren.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.