The Oasis Reporters
July 05, 2017
The issue of traditional rulership is a touchy topic for the indigenous tribes of southern Kaduna in Nigeria’s north west region.
Therefore when the State governor, Mr. Nasir Elrufa’i decided to tamper with the “structure of traditional institutions including the position of district heads”, they noted in a communique “that the structures arose as a result of the yearnings, desires and aspirations for those institutions as they came to be constituted”.
The communique further noted that “traditional institutions became necessary in Kaduna State, taking into account the rich diversity and plurality of the State and their critical roles in bringing peace and stability to the entire State”.
Southern Kaduna has come a long way to traditional self government as they were an unconquered people during the invading Fulani jihadists whose original homeland was in Futa Djallon mountains in Mali some two hundred years ago.
Ever since the rampaging jihadists overran all of Hausa land to impose Fulani colonial rule with an Islamic flavor, their relationship with the southern Kaduna tribes was at best, frosty. All attempts to conquer them was rebuffed by the indigenous warriors fighting from mountain tops by hauling rocks to upset the mounted Fulani horsemen .
Then by a fortuitous happenstance, the British arrived and established it’s own indirect colonial rule after humbling the Fulani in battles over a hundred years ago.
Southern Kaduna had embraced Christianity, yet by a sleigh of hand, the British put the indigenous tribes under the suzerainty of the Fulani.
The fight for their internal self governance was long and hard, including jail terms and death sentences until Governor Ahmed Makarfi granted them traditional self governance between 2000 to 2007.
Therefore it rankles the southern Kaduna tribes when about 13 years after, another governor of Fulani extraction is trying to depose the district heads, while leaving the Fulani emirs intact and undisturbed by citing “the major reason” for “sacking of the district heads as paucity of funds for their remuneration” which “was done with scant regard to the feelings of the people and without any form of consultation with the communities in Kaduna State”.
In view of all that therefore, the SOKAPU Summit resolved to “condemn the sacking of the district heads as retrogressive and not in sync with the yearnings and aspirations of the people;
Calls on the state government to reverse its decision.
Affirms the readiness of the 53 community development associations of Southern Kaduna to take over the responsibility of the payment of emoluments and remunerations of all the district heads affected.
Views negatively the directive/call on persons/individuals to apply or re-apply for the available position of district heads as divisive, autocratic, in bad faith and unfathomable”.
Therefore “Summit believes that it will be imprudent, improper and not in good taste for anyone to apply or re-apply for such positions which are and ought not to be vacant in the first place”.
To raise the funds for paying the district heads and “to strengthen the operations and implementation of all initiatives of Southern Kaduna, all bona fide Southern Kaduna people worldwide are requested to obtain the registration form of SOKAPU through their CDAs, Branches and Chapters for the purpose of registration. Persons of Southern Kaduna who have attained adult age shall not claim membership of SOKAPU unless registered and allotted membership identification number. Membership registration, it was agreed, will confer several benefits to registered members”.