Stories by Stanley Onyekwere
The Director in charge of Chieftaincy Matters and Community Relations in the FCT Area Council Service Secretariat, Mr. Jubril Shaba, has dismissed existence of any iota of illegality that surrounds the appointment of Sarkin of Bwari chiefdom.
This is against the backdrop of swelling controversies and allegations trailing the appointment of Sarkin Bwari, a second class paramount ruler, who is purportedly ‘outside the existing traditional’ stool of Etsu of Bwari.
Recall that FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello recently approved the appointment of Alhaji Awwal Musa Ijakoro as Sarkin Bwari, to succeed his late father, Alhaji Mohammed Musa Ijakoro, who died on August, 29, 2017.
However, the Director who described the alleged illegality in the enthronement of the Sarkin as false and baseless, insists that the development is normal with the pronouncement of a new traditional chief.
Shaba, revealed that the Sarkin Bwari was turbaned before the Ona of Abaji and the Sarkin is among 14 traditional rulers recognised by law by the FCT Administration.
According to him, “The claim that the late Sarkin came to settle in Bwari in 1976 is not true because he celebrated his 40th anniversary on the throne last year 2016 before his death this year. He was appointed in 1976 as the District Head of Bwari.
“He later appointed all the Secretaries that serve at the village level at that time.
“They called them Mai-Angwa. His territory extends to far areas. He rule over Dutse, Mpape, Maitama down to Kubwa. These are areas he controls at that time.”
He continued: “However, there was a committee report in 1997 headed by Mamman Nasir of blessed memory who recommended 19 graded Chiefs for FCT.
“Also recommended that the Sarkin should be upgraded to 1st Class Chief, but was later given 2nd Class Chief.
“He was the first to be turbaned on July 23, 1997 by Late Jeremiah Usani, before Ona was even turbaned.
“Later the Etsu palace was created. The Etsu was recognised as a 3rd Class Chief, but it was not gazetted. We have 14 gazetted chiefs in the FCT.”
The Director further affirmed that there have prolonged silence rivalries between the Sarkin and Etsu palace of territorial control.
He however expressed optimism that controversies will soon be over, while reassuring that the seemingly problem will be resolved amicable.
Meanwhile, a Palace chief in Etsu palace, who pleaded anonymity opined that enough of imposition of ‘settler’ on the indigenous people of Bwari by the FCT Administration, saying “we cannot have two captains in one ship.”
According to the reliable source, “It is on record that the late Sarkin came from Niger state as a tax collector to settle in Bwari.
“We the indigenous people accepted them wholeheartedly and extend hand of fellowship to them.
“However, as a result of their exposure with other ethnic nationalities, they started lording it over us.
“We have tolerated this imposition for so long and we have come to the realization that enough is enough because you cannot have two captains in one ship.”
He however threatened to take the matter to court if the FCT Administration fails to address the illegality that surrounds the appointment of Sarkin in Bwari chiefdom.