The Lamido Adamawa, Alhaji Muhammad Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa, has canvassed for 100 percent resource control for the South South region, as well as 100 percent land control in Abuja and every other place where the federal government has interest. The traditional ruler who, it would be recalled, said at the National Conference that should Nigeria disintegrate he would move to Cameroon since part of his kingdom extents to the East African country, here explains to Hassan Ginsau why he thinks this is expedient. Excerpts….
How do you think 100% land control will work in Nigeria?
In the same way those advocating for 100% resource control of oil revenue think it will work. We are not cheated by this. Everything comes back to us, i.e. the land and the structures on it; it means for example that Abuja will revert to Niger State or any other state.
Therefore, anything that is in Abuja will revert to them. And even the Federal Government, if it wants to work with whatever is on this land, must pay the state or the original owners of the land a rent fee.
Are you speaking for other traditional rulers?
This is my opinion, since everybody is giving their opinion. They are saying they should be given their oil revenue, so I said let’s give them their oil revenue. For us, all of the land will be ours.
Even if there is going to be a pipeline to carry oil from their region to Nigeria, anywhere the pipeline passes through, any state the pipeline passes, they must pay rent
Based on the varying comments coming out of the conference so far, do you think Nigerians can be united?
Naturally, human beings have things they want and those they don’t, therefore, that is why the president said we should come and sit down and discuss among us, and reach an agreement on these issues.
I think now we will agree, because when we started it looked as if we would disintegrate, but now everybody takes one another as his/her brother. We sit and discuss together wholeheartedly, and therefore, I think we will come out with something that will unite Nigeria.
Is that your expectation, that conference will unite Nigerians?
I hope that the conference will bring about the unity we are seeking, for us to live together without religious or ethnic discrimination, and also to get the kind of government that will take care of the poor.
Many delegates see corruption as Nigeria’s biggest problem, what do you think?
If only they (the government) would consult with us, the traditional rulers to give advice on whom to give appointments, because that’s what used to be done during the days of Sardauna, the days you hear that work was done and everything was moving fine. They put us forward, any minister that was to be appointed, or head of department, the traditional ruler from where the candidate emanated must be asked what they think of that person, will he suit this appointment we want to give him?
If they say yes, that’s all, then they give him, because of that he will not embarrass his parents, traditional rulers or his land, he will work the way he is supposed to. They should borrow a leaf from our founding fathers, Sardauna, Awolowo, Zik that was how they worked. It was the traditional rulers the colonialists consulted concerning Awolowo, Azikiwe, Sardauna, and they did not disappoint them and Nigerians. Today anybody speaking at this conference praises them, if they didn’t work would they be praised?
Can you clarify on the issue of roles of traditional rulers as regards what you said at the National Conference?
We don’t want it to be listed out that traditional rulers must do 1,2,3,4, right now the things that I’m doing are more than 30 in number. I carry out judgements between my people, judgements concerning farmlands, houses, marriages, inheritance etc. Now, if it is not listed in the constitution, I will be separated from my people, that’s why I said nothing should be written. The way for the government to show us recognition is for it to entrench the national traditional rulers’ council of Nigeria in the constitution, if the federal or state governments need us to do anything for them, they can tell us.