The National Body of the Bajju Development Association (BADA), youth wing yesterday it rejects plans by the Malam Nasir e-Rufai led government to temper with its traditional institutions name.
Instead, BADA advise the government to liaise with the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) which is the umbrella body for the 53 Community Development Associations (CDAs) in Southern Kaduna for easy engagements with the people.
“While we state our resolve to reject in totality this autocratic move to tamper with our revered traditional institutions, the role of traditional rulers in the area of stabilizing the polity, peace building and uniting the people for community development cannot be over emphasized,” a statement signed by the BADA national youth leader, Comrade Habila Kayit said.
“It is necessary to state that the creation and composition of the chiefdoms were done by the Kaduna State Government under the leadership of Brigadier General Ja’afaru Isa (Rtd) in 1995 and Former Governor Ahmed Makarfi in 2000. These were done in good faith to reflect the wishes of the people which has aided in the peace building recorded in the state over the years,” the statement said.
According to the Bajju people, the government achieved the above after several months of painstaking consultations, interaction, engagement, hearings, submissions, research and evaluation with relevant stakeholders.
“The yearnings and aspirations of the people, expressed by various communities, Community Development Associations, ethnic nationalities, religious leaders and stakeholders, for rulers of those chiefdoms as eventually constituted was considered which is the most civilized way of engaging the citizens in a democracy.”
“Our attention was drawn on 28/7/2017 to two documents circulating in the social media on review of existing chieftaincy system in Kaduna State. The first is titled “Appointment of Committee to Review the Existing Chieftaincy System in the State” and the second emanated from a body called the “Committee to Review the Existing Chieftaincy System in the State Sub-Committee on the Nomenclature”. The second document which emanated from the “Sub-Committee on the Nomenclature” was addressed to paramount rulers dated 24th July, 2017 which reads in part:”
1. “Your Highness may wish to respectfully be informed that as part of the continuing effort of the present Administration to restore the esteem of the Traditional institutions in the State, it appointed and inaugurated the above named Sub-Committee to make recommendations, amongst other things, for a change of Nomenclature of your Chiefdom from the existing one that emphasizes on ethnic affiliation to the one which would be based on town/location.
2. In deciding to effect the change to reflect the town/location of the Chiefdom, Government hopes that the much needed unity and harmonious co-existence amongst your diverse communities would better be achieved.
3. The Sub-Committee would rely on your input which is expected to be guided by the historical antecedent of the Chiefdom before making its recommendation to Government. In this regards, you are kindly requested to propose a most suitable title/name.”
The Bajju youth resolved that no Community Development Association or stakeholder was invited to make a submission to either the main or subcommittee to review the chieftaincy system.
“Yet, the demand for the institution of the chiefdoms came from the people. The aforementioned documents were not placed within the public domain. The Committee never reached out to relevant stakeholders for their inputs. The letter from the Subcommittee was dated 24th July, 2017, chiefs were served with letters on 27th or 28th July and they were expected to make their input on or before Monday 31st July, 2017 on a matter of such great importance! There appears to be a pre-determined outcome for this assignment. The committees’ work is certainly, not to “restore the esteem of the traditional institutions in the State” but to further denigrate, humiliate and downgrade the traditional institution which manifestation has already started with the rationalization of the district heads.”
“The inability of government to engage stakeholders (Southern Kaduna People Union (SOKAPU), Community Development Associations, Religious bodies, Civil Society Organizations etc) further qualifies our fear of an ongoing agenda to cause disaffection among the Southern Kaduna people and to wipe away our cultural identities.”
“We the leaders of Community Development Associations are satisfied with the traditional institutions as composed. If not, we should have consulted with SOKAPU which is our mother body. Therefore, where a review of the existing chieftaincy system becomes necessary, we believe that the call for a review should come from the people. However, since Government has identified the need for a review, it is only right and exigent for them to consult with stakeholders,” the statement added.
Elanza News reports that the Bajju people said they do not know what the government intend to achieve with the review and advise that the entire exercise should be put on hold.
“It is not for the common good of our communities. For example, the Bajju people are found in three Local governments and where Agwam Bajju become Agwam Zonkwa what will become of our people in other areas? This move is deeply suspicious and not in good faith. Why is there emphasis only on ethnic affiliation? Why is there no emphasis on religious or ethnic identity? This move we believe would undoubtedly create more divisions in Kaduna State.”
“Moreover, people of different chiefdoms are not only spread across other LGs but are part of such places with strong cultural ties. i.e DIBYI BARANZAN (Grave of Baranzan our great ancestor) in Zonkwa for every Bajju son/daughter.”
“The success of all government projects will hinge on the government ability carrying all stakeholders along. We call on the state Government to immediately halt the assignment of this Committee; to restore the district heads back to their positions and rather than reviewing the traditional institutions, to grant autonomy to as many communities as desire.”
“We also advise the government to liaise with SOKAPU which is the umbrella body for the 53 Community Development Associations in Southern Kaduna for easy engagements with the people while we state our resolve to reject in totality this autocratic move to tamper with our revered traditional institutions,” the statement added.