Stories from Sule Aliyu, Bauchi
The Bauchi State Government has said that it has no prejudice for or against any of the parties involved in the tussle for the creation of Sayawa Chiefdom, as the committee set up to review the issue is being chucked with gossips.
Governor Bala Abdulkadir Muhammad of the state explained that his administration’s concern is to broker peace among the various stakeholders and ensure peaceful co-existence among the heterogeneous ethnic and religious groups in Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Local Government Areas of the state.
He was speaking recently while receiving a report from Amb. Dada Chinade-led committee saddled with the responsibility of reviewing three committees’ reports on the creation of Sayawa Chiefdom recommended during different military and civilian governments in the state dated back to 1991 Tafawa Balewa ethno-religious crises.
Muhammad explained that the state government’s desire is to put in place a Sayawa Chiefdom that would be embraced by all stakeholders without resorting to litigation so that peace would reign at Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Local Government Areas.
Senator Muhammad therefore assured the committee and the entire people of the state that the report would be carefully studied by the state government with a view to implementing its recommendations.
This, he said, was in addition to producing a white paper committee on the report after it is being deliberated upon by the state Executive Council, and where the need arises, adding that government would consult relevant stakeholders and experts on conflict resolution for advice and guidance.
Muhammad expressed confidence that the committee has done a thorough job that would assist the government in finding solution to the problem of creating the Sayawa Chiefdom once and for all.
“It is evident that members of the committee deployed their wealth of experience and knowledge to meticulously carry out the assignment based on the terms of reference given to them.
“I want to thank and commend the chairman and members of the committee for not only a job well done, but for also doing the job in good time.
“I must say that you have justified the confidence reposed in you,” said the governor.
The committee chairman, Amb. Jibrin Dada Chinade, had, while presenting the report, said they have observed all the previous committees of Babalaki, Shehu Awak and Bala Umar, also made same recommendation to address the agitation for self-determination by the Sayawa and to bring lasting peace in the Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro axis.
The committee recommended that the proposed Sayawa Chiefdom should comprise the whole of Bogoro Local Government Area with proviso that non Sayawa within the Local Government Area would be allowed to decide whether or not they want to be part of the chiefdom through referendum to be conducted by the State Independent Electoral Commission.
It also recommended that areas in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area which are predominantly occupied by the Sayawa should form part of the Sayawa Chiefdom.
Amb. Chinade said that they also recommended how the state government would identify where the headquarters of the proposed Sayawa Chiefdom would be located, as well as the eligibility of persons to be appointed as Chief for the Chiefdom, process of selection of pioneer and subsequent chiefs, and composition of Sayawa Chiefdom Traditional Council.
The committee chairman further disclosed that appropriate recommendation has similarly been made for the resettlement of persons displaced from Tafawa Balewa town as a result of the series of crises in the town.
“It is recommended that the subsisting 2014 law on the creation of Sayawa Chiefdom (as amended) should be further amended to accommodate the committee’s recommendations.
“To this end, a bill seeking the amendment of the relevant sections of the law should be sent to the State House of Assembly for legislative action,” he concluded