As political activities preceding the 2023 general elections gradually pick up with the flagging off of electioneering campaigns, traditional rulers and other stakeholders in Bauchi state have been unequivocally warned to steer of partisan politics.
The warning was sounded by the Bauchi state Governor, Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir at the presentation of staff of office and coronation of the Emir of Katagum, Umar Farouk II in Azare on Saturday.
The governor repeated the warning on Sunday during the presentation of staff of office and coronation of the Emir of Misau, Ahmed Suleiman and that of Jama’are, Nuhu Muhammadu Wabi
The governor said that “Let me make it abundantly clear that traditional rulers at all levels would be held responsible for any breach of peace in their various jurisdictions.
“Besides the maintenance of law and order, traditional rulers are also to educate and enlighten their people on government policies and programmes so that the people will appreciate and support the efforts being made by the government towards the upliftment of their well-being”, he stressed.
He said that “I will like to specifically stress the need for the people to be mobilized to support programmes like increased food production, internal revenue generation and enrollment and retention of children in schools.
“By urging traditional rulers to mobilize the citizens to support the government’s policies and programmes, does not mean that they should engage in partisan politics. Traditional rulers under no circumstances are involved in partisan politics.
“They should maintain their integrity as fathers and custodians of the customs and traditions of their people because every political party is their own and none belongs to them.”
According to him, “The involvement of traditional rulers in partisan politics under any guise is not only an aberration but a desecration of our traditional institutions and that would not be taken lightly by anybody.”
He expressed worry saying, “I have been receiving reports of some traditional rulers who are involved in the unauthorized encroachment of grazing reserves, forest reserves and cattle routes by their subjects. This is in spite of the acceptance by the government of the recommendations of a committee on how to stop such nefarious activities and the directives for the implementation of the committee’s recommendations.”
He then sounded a stern warning saying, “Let me stress that any traditional ruler or official of the state and local government found involved in such malpractices will not be spared, extant laws of the land use activities are strictly adhered to and to ensure a harmonious relationship between farmers and herders.
“I will want to reiterate that irrevocable commitment of the Bauchi state government to the protection of lives and properties of the people. The state government will not fold its arms and watch some people cause confusion and disorder in any guise.
“I appeal to the good people of Bauchi state to continue to support and cooperate with the government and the traditional institutions in their efforts to provide dividends of democracy. They should continue to live harmoniously with one another irrespective of their ethnicity,” the Governor concluded.
Speaking to the Emir, the governor said that, “Today marks a new milestone in the history of Katagum Emirate Council, as a new Emir is being presented with a staff of office. With the passing away of the last Emir of Katagum, Alhaji Muhammad Umar, about five years ago, a new Emir, Dr Umar Faruk, was appointed to succeed him in accordance with the established customs and traditions of selection and appointment of Emirs in Katagum Emirate Council.
“It is a matter of joy that we are gathered here today to celebrate the peaceful transition of one Emir to another. This underscores our belief in the sanctity of the traditional institution.
“The new Emir who is being presented with the staff of the office is the 12th Emir of Katagum. We recall with nostalgia, the 33 years of the reign of the late Emir Muhammad Kabir Umar, who is the father of the new Emir.”
He added that “He exhibited exemplary leadership which earned him the respect, love and veneration of his subjects. Successive administrations in the state found him loyal and firm. He was a man of impeccable character and integrity. I urge the new emir to not only strive to emulate the enviable attitudes of his father, the late Emir, but to improve on them to move the Emirate Council forward.
He also said that “It is gratifying to note the joy that erupted among the people of Katagum following the announcement of Alhaji Umar Faruk, as the new Emir. The popularity of his choice has further been underscored by the eminence of the gathering here today to witness this installation ceremony.
“I would like to use this occasion to give the new Emir a piece of advice, you ascended the throne at a time when the traditional institution is trying to keep pace with modernity, a period in the history of our great nation when all institutions must be flexible and stay in tune with the dynamics of the society.
The governor, however, said that “Judging by your pedigree and precedence as a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, I am confident that you will be able to keep in step with the current socioeconomic and political developments in our country. As a member of the state council of chiefs, you are expected to actively participate in the activities of the council for the socioeconomic development of the state.
“The people of the entire Katagum Emirate would be looking up to you for temporal leadership. Although traditional rulers have not been given specific roles by the Nigerian Constitution, the roles you have been playing in the socioeconomic and political developments of Katagum and the nation at large must be acknowledged.
“I cherish and adore your outstanding zeal and commitment which sometimes take you out of your royal comfort to ensure that your people sleep in peace and comfort. I will, therefore, call on all traditional rulers to emulate you, Your Royal Highness, and continue to work towards peace, unity and development of their jurisdiction. They should continue to ensure the continuous maintenance of law and order in their various domains,” he added.
Bala Mohammed further said that “Our traditional rulers should activate the traditional security system whereby strangers or suspicious movements were reported to them and they would, in turn, conduct investigations to ascertain the motives of the strangers or the suspicious movements so that security could be nipped in the bud.
“I want to say without fear of contradiction, that my elder brother has been doing that and is even going beyond that because he goes out to ensure that he nips all these insecurities in the bud. The people should be sensitized to cooperate and provide useful information to security agents to curb actions capable of disrupting peaceful coexistence. Let me make it abundantly clear that traditional rulers at all levels would be held responsible for any breach of peace in their various jurisdictions.
“Besides the maintenance of law and order, traditional rulers also educate and enlighten their people on government policies and programmes so that the people will appreciate and support the efforts being made by the government towards the upliftment of their well-being.
“I will like to specifically stress the need for the people to be mobilized to support programmes like increased food production, internal revenue generation and enrollment and retention of children in schools.
“By urging traditional rulers to mobilize the citizens to support the government’s policies and programmes, does not mean that they should engage in partisan politics. Traditional rulers under no circumstances are involved in partisan politics.”
“I’ll never let you down, I will continue to listen to the poor man and protect his interest with justice.”
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