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The need to restore Wawa Emirate

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The need to restore Wawa Emirate

By Abubakar Yahaya

We the people of Wawa wish to extend our warm regards to His Excellency, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State. We salute you most reverently in the name and spirit of our common experience and shared humanity. We write with the highest sense of humility and respect for your exalted and prestigious office. We are constrained to make open to the public, the surreptitious moves to demean and throw Wawa Dynasty into oblivion. We deem it highly imperative to write this piece because of our strong believe in the government of the day in dispensing social justice and harmony.

One major issue that bothers us as a people which we would like Your Excellency to look into is the non-restoration of our Emirate status since 1991 following the merger of Bogu and Agwara from the Old Kwara State upon the creation of Niger State in which we now belong.

It is worthy of note that while our contemporaries in Kwara State are enjoying First Class status, we are still existing as districts in Niger State after many centuries of existence of the Wawa Dynasty.

There have been a lot of conspiracies to stop us from getting our staff of office as a First Class Emirate which are source of worries to us.

Many additional districts were carved out of Wawa district, thus making us of equal status with such new districts.

Sir, we believe this administration is clearly conversant with the depth of historical antecedents of Wawa kingdom. Hence, you have shown perfect understanding on the need to change the narration of the oppressed in the face of justice. However, we have made it a point of duty to pursue legitimately our highly earned reputation to the logical conclusion, without fear of molestation and intimidation.

Conversely, in the span of the aging self-induced dominance and its accompanied trauma, the people of Wawa Kingdom are becoming more resolute in following the conventional path of seeking redress to the historical onslaught to an emirate that was in retrospect, an independent kingdom. However, it is our belief that there is no criteria at all that is required by law that the people of Wawa community and indeed its ruling class have not fulfilled. Consequently, we have always argued, we stand to be corrected if otherwise that, in the history of traditional institutions in the northern Nigeria, Wawa dynasty is the top most evidently cheated, ridiculed and relegated.

In a remarkable historical perspective, the Wawa dynasty was established in 1715 with Abdullahi Toga as the first king and Dr Mahmud Ahmed Aliyu as the 16th king of Wawa. The city of Wawa has been reliably quoted by many indigenous and foreign historians to be one of the most ancient dynasties in the Empire of Borgu. This history was admitted by Master Dwyer in 1907, when he said: “Wawa is of very old standing as one of the district founding the Borgu country”. However, the consistent organized ruling dynasty progressed up to the 19th century. Amazed and overwhelmed by the well ruled town of Wawa, Clapperton and Lander in 1826 could not hide their satisfaction of the ruling style of the then Wawa king and hence, they called the Wawa king “a governor”. Wawa’s incredible leadership espoused her from any interference from the rulership of Bussa, Kaiama and Nikki and because of the impeccable governing criteria, Wawa ruling dynasty has for three hundred and five (305) years steered her people to prosperity.

Without prejudice to any established Emirate in Borgu Empire, we wish to emphatically state that we are being robbed, deceived and relegated by the successive government of Niger State. The government failed to consider the cultural peculiarities, hierarchy and mutual understanding that have for a long time bound us together.

Sir, it is worthy of note that we would deploy all peaceful available mechanisms to restore our lost glory. The labour of our heroes past shall not go in vain. We sought for this option to toe in line with the global best practices of airing grievances. By antecedence, the people of Wawa community are peaceful, law abiding and friendly. It’s a home of warm hospitality, tourism and recess.

The trajectory of ordeal we as a community are facing has reached the climax. Our patience is drastically diminishing; the people’s frustration has reached a crescendo and we believe the government has all it takes to write its name in golden history of making the people happy and fulfilled. It is our conviction that the remedy of the said problem is within the purview of the state government to do the needful to subdue the already ignited crises from flaming to insurrection.

Facts about Wawa dynasty

· Wawa dynasty was established in 1715. Bussa, Wawa and Kaiama were upgraded to third class staff of office at the same time. However, Wawa staff of office was later retrieved in 1903 due to illness and old age. The compendiums below are some of the throes that have inundated the Wawa dynasty in recent history:

· In 1983, it was re-instated along Babanna and Saragi.

· In 1991, upon hearing the approval of second class staff of office to Wawa by the then Governor of Kwara State Col. Alwali Zaugil Kasir, Borgu and Agwara Local Government were merged to Niger State.

· Records of assets and liabilities have shown that Borgu Local Government came with Wawa’s second class staff of office to the government of Niger State.

It is worthy of note that former Governor Alwali Zaugil Kasir is still alive.

· In 1994, Col. C.K. Emeh approved the staff of office and was aired by Kaduna Radio. Thereafter, it was subverted.

· In 1999, the fifth assembly of Niger State House of Assembly read liabilities of Borgu and Agwara on the floor of the house to be gazetted and Wawa second class staff of office was read for first and second reading which later was removed on the directive of some bigwigs.

Regalia and other symbols of authority in Wawa include:

305-year-old handwritten Quran; a spear, traditional drums, Tambari, city walls traditional gun, umbrella, trumpets and Fullan Albarkada.

It is in compliance with the restriction order by the government occasioned by COVID-19 and strict adherence to the non-pharmaceutical safety protocol, that we shall put on hold, some of the activities planned by the community to register our displeasure.

We appeal to your loving kindness and ever-flowing mercy to wade into the matter by setting the ball rolling on restoration of Wawa Emirate. The restoration of Wawa Emirate is the one and only solution to the perennial crises.

Please accept our assurances of the highest regards.

Abubakar Yahaya writes from Borgu on behalf of Wawa youths

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Opinion

HACFO on how Aisha was forcefully abducted, converted, and married off with consent of emir

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HACFO on how Aisha was forcefully abducted, converted, and married off with consent of emir

Rafin Iyaka Sabuwar Kasa, Kafur LGA of Katsina State is a mixed community of both Christian and Muslim Hausas, but the Christians continued to live in pains and bondage perpetrated by the Muslim side that constantly enjoys the protection of the District Head of Kafur and the Emir of Katsina.

These two Islamic traditional rulers do everything possible to stop the constitutionally recognized law enforcement agencies like the Police from rightly carrying out their statutory duties. That is why any crime committed against the Christians will always be swept under the carpet.

Due to the previous experiences of the Christian community of Gidan Dandada Rafin Iyaka on the abduction and forceful conversion of their young girls which Aisha happens to be the 9th person, the Family of Aisha didn’t hesitate to report some strange moves of one Mohammed Samaila around their 15 year old daughter to their village head.

As usual, the said Mohammed Samaila and his father kept denying having anything to do with Aisha. These strange moves continue for about two years and the village head was not willing to take any action against the said Mohammed Samaila. When the family of Aisha could no longer tolerate what they were seeing, they decided to relocate Aisha from the village Gidan Dandada Rafin Iyaka, to Funtua for Aisha to be staying with her elder sister.

On 10th February, 2021, Aisha went missing from the house where she stays. When the elder sister and her husband searched everywhere possible and could not locate Aisha, they quickly reported it to the Funtua Police Station to help them find Aisha.

Two days later, on 12th February 2021, Aisha’s Parents received a call from the District Head of Kafur telling them to stop searching for Aisha because she is safe with him in his house. He claimed that one Idris Shehu brought her to his house. On hearing that, Aisha’s family went to see the District Head of Kafur at his palace in order to bring their daughter back home, but to their dismay, it was not possible. He refused releasing her on the ground that she wanted to convert to Islam. Aisha’s parents insisted but the District Head refused them access to their Daughter.

Ten days later, the District Head called Aisha’s parents to tell them that one Mohammed Sama’ila wants to marry Aisha their daughter. When Aisha’s parents went to the District Head’s palace, they rejected the issue of the marriage. They insisted their daughter be returned to them and continue with her school and if anyone wants to marry her, he should follow the due process. The District Head ignored Aisha’s parents and went ahead to arrange marriage between Aisha and Mohammed Samaila without the consent and approval of Aisha’s Family.

When Aisha’s Family did everything possible and peaceful for Aisha to be returned to them and they were ignored and humiliated, they decided to engage the services of a law firm; A. U. Ajodo & CO. Legacy Chambers to help them bring Aisha back.

The Law Firm immediately wrote a petition against the District Head ( Alh. Abdulrahman Rabe and Mohammed Sama’ila to the Katsina State Commissioner of Police through the Malumfashi Area Command demanding the immediate arrest, investigation and prosecution of these two suspects and the immediate release of Aisha back to her Family.

Unfortunately, the Police did not arrest these two culprits or do anything to ensure the return of Aisha. They only summoned the District Head of Kafur without the said Mohammed Samaila. The Area Commander told the District Head not to go ahead with the marriage plans between Aisha and Mohammed Samaila, but the district head ignored the police directive.

They later agreed for the girl to be brought to the police station and be returned to her family but the District Head refused to comply. Instead, he decided to take the girl to the Emir of Katsina at Katsina on that same day he was to bring the girl to the police station. On reaching there, the Emir of Katsina joined Aisha and Mohammed in marriage without the consent of her parents.

As it is now, the Katsina state police command are not willing to carry out their statutory duties as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and ensure justice is done.

It is very important to note that this is not the first time such a thing is happening. The said District Head of Kafur is known for such … acts right …. .

The village of Gidan Dandada Rafin Iyaka, Sabuwar Kasa, Kafur LGA, Katsina State has suffered such unjust treatments from the District Head of Kafur who is also backed by the Emir of Katsina. Till date a total of nine Hausa Christian Girls have been abducted, forcefully converted to Islam and forced into early marriage.

The following are the names of the girls that were abducted, forcefully converted to Islam and forced into marriage from this village by the same District Head:
1) Jamima Solomon
2) Christiana Mamman
3) Deborah Habila
4) Phoebe Dankano
5) Rifkatu Markus (Rescued)
6) Saratu Isah (Returned her when she went mad after two years)
7) Dije Yakubu Nalami (Abducted as a married woman, and returned when she died)
8) Rebeccah Ado (Returned Pregnant)
9) Aisha Mani (Currently in captivity)

It is on record that any time this Christian Community agitates against the injustice done to them, the Muslim youths will violently go after them and threaten to burn down the Church and houses of the Christians.

The Hausa Christians Foundation (HACFO) is working tirelessly to ensure the safe and unconditional return of Aisha Mani and to ensure that justice is duly served.

We covet your prayers and support to ensure that Aisha is reunited with her family. Kindly pray for the Northern Christians especially the families whose daughters have been abducted, forced into Islam and marriage. Northern Nigeria is becoming hell for Christians to live in.

▪︎The Hausa Christian Foundation (HACFO) can be reached via missions@hacfo.org and admin@hacfo.org

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Opinion

Yinka Odumakin: The Exit Of A Convinced Humanist

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Yinka Odumakin: The Exit Of A Convinced Humanist

By Rauf Aregbesola

The circumstance of his demise were quite unusual. Though a picture he took with Papa Ayo Adebanjo, indicating he was not in the best shape of health had appeared on the internet not quite long ago; still, it caught us by surprise. The human mind has the incredible capacity to suppress morbid suggestions on loved ones, bordering on denial. But now, as the dust is settling and the tears are drying, we are beginning to reconcile to the fact that Yinka Odumakin is gone.

February 20, earlier this year, was the last time I had a telephone conversation with him. He was his natural self. He could be vivacious when excited and could also be dead sober, if the matter requires it. I never had any premonition it would be our last conversation.

Odumakin straddled the political spectrum, breaking into public consciousness as a students union activist at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, then practiced journalism at The Punch newspaper; was also part the struggles for military disengagement and deannulment of June 12, 1993 Presidential election won by Chief Moshood Abiola. In the post military era, Yinka retained his public presence with his participation in the politics of AD, AC, ACN, CPC and reportedly flirted with former President Goodluck Jonathan. He later consolidated his activism in Yoruba nationalism, being a highly visible spokesperson of Afenifere. He was a tenacious advocate of his convictions; never gave up on whatever he believed in, regardless of the opposition.

How did we meet? Yinka Odumakin and Bunmi Omoshehindemi walked into my office as the CGS of Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organisation office at Sunday Adigun St., Alausa Ikeja. It was in November of 1998.

Both came to declare support for the candidacy of Bola Tinubu unequivocally. This was in defiant opposition to those then opposed to any form of accommodation for democratic building process without a clear resolution of the June 12 imbroglio. This was a courageous step, then considering that their position would have been considered anathema by the movement. We had since then built a robust relationship, sometimes very smooth and at times frosty, but all the time remarkable till his translation on Friday, April 2, 2021.

I said we had a remarkable relationship because Yinka was consistent in standing up to fight for democracy, federalism, justice and rule of law. These to me are the factors for defining the dignity of man. Whoever has this commitment is an ally and a humanist.

Yinka has had to publicly criticise me a couple of times, especially when I was governor in Osun, our relationship notwithstanding. I took it in good faith, as it never affected our relationship. His criticisms were consistent with his convictions on what constitute public interest.

I am therefore proud to have known, interacted and worked with a humanist that doggedly fought for the dignity of people.

Yinka Odumakin, you will wake up to joyful activities on the other side. May the good Lord support your wife, family and friends. Ameen.

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is Minister of Interior, Federal Republic of Nigeria

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Nigeria: These Terrible Times and Lessons of Easter

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Nigeria: These Terrible Times and Lessons of Easter

Easter Message of YOWICAN President

This Easter, I want us all to think about the unconditional love that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, had for us to the extent that He gave His life for our salvation.

His resurrection by God. What a lesson for young people of Nigeria and of what sacrifice can this achieve and the benefits it can bring to mankind generally and individually!

This Easter, I call on all, whether Christian or Muslim, to emulate Christ and sacrifice something for your nation, for your families and for yourselves. The young people are the change agents, let us not ask ourselves who will change our nation for the better. You and I are the ones that will cause the desired change our nation needs. Change begins with you and I. Young people of Nigeria, look in the mirror and ask how we can change our nation for better.

As agents of change, the youth should be wise enough to know what is good and bad before the law and in the sight of God. Avoid being used by politicians for thuggery; reject being enlisted into the Army of bandits, kidnappers and Boko Haram. But accept to be enlisted into God’s Army. From all what are going on in different parts of the country, it is obvious that Nigerians have declared war against themselves.

How did the weapons find themselves into private hands? Although the government has tried, the best option is to embark on a mission to mop up all the arms and weapon in circulation. While we oppose amnesty and rehabilitation of bandits and Boko Haram insurgents, we will be wrong thinking that they will turn a new leaf. That will be encouraging blackmail and putting the lives of the defenceless citizens before firing squad.

Let us emulate Christ and have a change of heart. Turn from evil ways to good. Let this Easter be the beginning of a positive change in our nation, Africa and the world at large. I join other well-meaning Christian faithful all over the world to thank God for giving us all the grace to witness this year’s Easter celebration.

As we commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I enjoin us all to imbibe the spirit of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, perseverance and tolerance that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ taught us.

ISHIELU KILLINGS And EFFIUM/EZZA EFFIUM CRISIS

•YOWICAN condemns and frowns seriously at the intra-communal war between Ezza-Effium and Effium clans in Ohaukwu Local Government of Ebonyi State and the killing of over 16 persons aged between 18 and 56 in Obeagu community in Ishielu LGA by suspected Fulani herdsmen. We demand justice for the victims in both crises. It is surprising that brothers in Ezza-Effium and Effium clans have declared war on themselves the end of which nobody can predict.

•We also condemn the assassination attempt on Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo in which three police orderlies were killed ahead of the governorship election in Anambra State scheduled for November 6. These are not acceptable to Nigerians. All these threats to life must stop, we must live together as one Nigeria.

I extend my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi and the various families that lost their loved ones. during this heartless killing. Same for Soludo and for Governor Ortom, we are with you in prayers.

Happy Easter to you all

Sign:

Belusochukwu Enwere
Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria Youth Wing (YOWICAN)
April 4 2021

ENDS***

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