18 Royal flap in Kaduna over ‘re­nam­ing of emi­rates’

Weekly Trust - - News - An­drew Agbese & Chris­tiana T. Alabi, Kaduna Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 14, 2017

The com­mit­tee set up by the Kaduna State gover­nor, Malam Nasir El-Ru­fai, to re­struc­ture the 32 emi­rates and chief­doms in the state has com­pleted its work. What is left, ac­cord­ing to govern­ment sources, is for the com­mit­tee to sub­mit its work to the gover­nor for im­ple­men­ta­tion.

How­ever, there have been con­cerns from across the state both­er­ing on the terms of ref­er­ence of the com­mit­tee.

The terms of ref­er­ence in­clude to ex­am­ine the ex­ist­ing nomen­cla­ture of the graded chiefs, which em­pha­sizes eth­nic iden­tity, and pro­pose new ones based on town/lo­ca­tion of the chief­dom tak­ing due cog­nizance of the his­tor­i­cal an­tecedents of the chief­dom; to study the cul­tural affini­ties, long-stand­ing his­tor­i­cal an­tecedents and other pe­cu­liar­i­ties of the peo­ple within a chief­dom/emi­rate and ad­vise on pos­si­ble ad­just­ments; to pro­pose al­ter­na­tive sys­tem of bound­ary de­lin­eation between emi­rates/chief­doms in the state to mit­i­gate the in­ci­dence of in­ces­sant bound­ary dis­putes.

The com­mit­tee is also to ad­vise on the pos­si­bil­ity of plac­ing the staff of the district and vil­lage ad­min­is­tra­tion un­der the con­trol and su­per­vi­sion of the Lo­cal Govern­ment Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (LGSC) to guar­an­tee their ca­reer pro­gres­sion in the ser­vice, and to ad­vise gen­er­ally on ways to im­prove the op­er­a­tions of the tra­di­tional in­sti­tu­tion in the state, to re­store its glory and es­teem amongst the peo­ple.

The 13-mem­ber com­mit­tee is chaired by the State Com­mis­sioner for Lo­cal Govern­ment Af­fairs, Ja­faru Ibrahim Sani, while the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the min­istry, Stephen Joseph, is the sec­re­tary.

Three tra­di­tional rulers are on the com­mit­tee and they are the Chief of Zan­gon Kataf, Ag­waptyap Do­minic Gambo Ya­haya; Chief of Gbagyi, Sa-Bagyi Dan­juma Barde; and Ciro­man Zaz­zau, Al­haji Sa’idu Mailafia.

The com­mit­tee also has a num­ber of aca­demics like Pro­fes­sor Ab­dul­lahi Ashafa of His­tory Depart­ment and Pro­fes­sor John La’ah, Dean of School of Sci­ence, Kaduna State Univer­sity; as well as ad­min­is­tra­tor Nuhu Ba­malli Polytech­nic, Zaria, Pro­fes­sor Shehu Dal­hat.

Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, Kaduna Geo­graphic In­for­ma­tion Ser­vice, Ibrahim Hus­saini; So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral and Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Jus­tice, Chris Umar; Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Ru­ral and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment, Ibrahim Sambo; Spe­cial Ad­viser (le­gal) to the Gover­nor, Aisha Dikko; and for­mer Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary, Auwalu Aliyu Da­mau are the govern­ment of­fi­cials serv­ing in the com­mit­tee.

Ini­tial fears ex­pressed about the com­mit­tee were that it was out to fur­ther re­duce the num­ber chief­doms and dis­tricts in the state by merg­ing some. Oth­ers were how­ever of the view that the ex­er­cise was tar­geted at a par­tic­u­lar sec­tion of the state.

A lec­turer at the Depart­ment of Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Kaduna Polytech­nic, Balarabe Sa’id, said the ac­tion is a mat­ter of re­flec­tion as far as lo­cal govern­ment au­ton­omy is con­cerned.

“I want to be­lieve the re­nam­ing is es­sen­tially the re­struc­tur­ing or dereg­u­la­tion of the tra­di­tional in­sti­tu­tions. I feel that the pol­icy is not nec­es­sary in the first in­stance be­cause the ini­tial com­po­si­tion ac­knowl­edges more au­ton­omy for the dis­tricts than what is be­ing con­tem­plated,” he stated.

Em­manuel Ado, a Kaduna based ra­dio host and syn­di­cated columnist how­ever sup­ports the idea of re­nam­ing the tra­di­tional in­sti­tu­tions in the state.

He told our cor­re­spon­dent that the tra­di­tional in­sti­tu­tion as it is needs re­form to dis­charge it func­tions.

He said, “The prob­lem is the fix­a­tion of the me­dia with just a minute as­pect of the com­mit­tee work. Even at that, the com­mu­ni­ties have the op­por­tu­nity to make in­put into the com­mit­tee’s work. Over­all I think the tra­di­tional in­sti­tu­tion needs an in­jec­tion re­form for it to dis­charge its func­tions.”

Pres­i­dent of South­ern Kaduna Peo­ples Union (SOKAPU), Dr. Solomon Musa, how­ever said re­nam­ing of dis­tricts and chief­doms is not in the in­ter­est of the com­mu­ni­ties nei­ther is it in the in­ter­est of the peo­ple.

He said it does not re­flect the yearn­ing of the peo­ple. “That is not what the peo­ple want. Govern­ment should do what the peo­ple want.”

He ad­vised the state govern­ment to con­sult fur­ther with the peo­ple. “Govern­ment should lis­ten to the peo­ple and do what they want and not what it wants. En­gage the peo­ple and not im­pose what it wants. That is the se­cret of any suc­cess­ful govern­ment,” he said.

The com­mit­tee chair­man, Ja­faru Sani, had ear­lier ex­plained what the re­struc­tur­ing was all about, say­ing it would give tra­di­tional rulers more power.

“What we are out to do is that nomen­cla­tures that re­flect eth­nic groups and tribes will be changed be­cause such sys­tem ex­cludes sig­nif­i­cant pop­u­la­tions liv­ing in their ar­eas. By that, we also hope that the set­tler/in­di­gene di­chotomy will be ab­ro­gated,” he said.

The ex­er­cise will en­able the tra­di­tional rulers to have the com­mand and re­spect of all peo­ple liv­ing in their do­main ir­re­spec­tive of their eth­nic af­fil­i­a­tions. “There is no need to change the nomen­cla­ture of any chief­dom or emi­rate bear­ing the name of a town or lo­cal govern­ment area,” the com­mis­sioner said.

“The com­mit­tee will read­just the bound­aries of some of the chief­doms and emi­rates. Cur­rently, we have 57 bound­ary dis­putes from the newly cre­ated chief­doms and emi­rates. We want to re­duce th­ese crises to the barest min­i­mum,” he said.

Chair­man of Cen­trum Ini­tia­tive for De­vel­op­ment and Fun­da­men­tal Rights Ad­vo­cacy, John Dan­fu­lani, how­ever feels it is not proper for the govern­ment to re­name the emi­rates and chief­doms now.

He said the chief­doms were cre­ated as a re­sult of a long strug­gle against what was seen as in­ter­nal slav­ery trig­gered by colo­nial con­quest.

To him, chang­ing the names will take off the eth­nic iden­tity of such chief­doms. “I be­lieve it will not be ac­cepted by the peo­ple and its im­pli­ca­tion is wip­ing out the eth­nic iden­ti­ties of such chief­doms,” he said.

Dan­fu­lani who was a for­mer lec­turer with the Kaduna State Univer­sity (KASU), said what the peo­ple need at this point in time is peace and de­vel­op­ment while he warned the state govern­ment against delv­ing into is­sues that don’t need any at­ten­tion.

But a govern­ment of­fi­cial who asked not to be named since the re­port has not been of­fi­cially sub­mit­ted said the idea of the ex­er­cise is no­ble.

He said this is be­cause it would bring all per­sons within a par­tic­u­lar ter­ri­tory un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of the tra­di­tional ruler in­stead of the cur­rent prac­tice which pre­sup­poses al­le­giance only to mem­bers of eth­nic groups.

He said there won’t be any clash as what the govern­ment has set out to do is pre­vent a sit­u­a­tion where peo­ple liv­ing in cer­tain places would not feel obliged to pay homage to the head of the district where they are liv­ing as his nomen­cla­ture does not in­clude them.

“If you have a tra­di­tional ruler whose of­fice iden­ti­fies him only as a ruler of a par­tic­u­lar eth­nic group and you have oth­ers who are not of that eth­nic group liv­ing in those places, what it means is that they are not un­der his do­main, but when the name of the town is at­tached to the of­fice, then it will be clear that who­ever lives in that ter­ri­tory is un­der his author­ity,” he said.

Our cor­re­spon­dents learnt there was a clash in a par­tic­u­lar com­mu­nity where the peo­ple of an­other eth­nic group liv­ing in a lo­cal govern­ment re­fused to sub­mit to the author­ity of the tra­di­tional ruler as they say he is head only of his eth­nic stock.

“It is this kind of pe­cu­liar sit­u­a­tion that the govern­ment is try­ing to avoid,” he stated.

A res­i­dent, Aminu Yakubu, how­ever de­scribed the move to re­name the dis­tricts and chief­dom as a wrong one, say­ing the Makarfi-led ad­min­is­tra­tion carved them out to foster peace and take gov­er­nance close to the peo­ple.

Emir of Zaz­zau’s Palace

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.