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El-Rufai endorses new emirs in Kaduna

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Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai PHOTO: TWITTER/GOVERNOR KADUNA

Kaduna State Government says it has acceded to the decision of some traditional rulers of Hausa/Fulani Muslim communities to be called emirs instead of chiefs.

A statement by the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Prof. Kabiru Mato, said the traditional rulers of Kagarko, Kajuru, Kauru and Lere chiefdoms requested for the change of nomenclature.

According to the statement, the communities are spread across four local councils and they have Muslim ruling houses.

“When chiefdoms were being created in 2000 and 2001, they were considered to be below the status of emirs. But they aspired to be emirs, made the request and got it,” the statement added.

The Ahmed Makarfi-led administration had created 17 additional chiefdoms, 170 new districts and upgraded three second class emirates and chiefdoms to first class status. In addition, the administration also elevated four third class chiefdoms to second class status.

In June last year, the government of Malam Nasir el-Rufai had reviewed the number of traditional rulers in the state following the recommendation of a committee.

Consequently, Kaduna State government recognised only 77 districts and 1,429 villages that existed before 2001.

The government had argued that the restructuring was done to reduce the burden of a bloated payroll that was imposed on the local councils.

The restructuring, which was endorsed by the State Council of Chiefs, did not affect the 32 emirs and chiefs.

However, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu and the Founder of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Dr. Frederick Fasehun, had tackled Governor El-Rufai for what they called converting some chiefdoms in the state to emirates.

Odinkalu questioned the motive for such action in Southern Kaduna while OPC in a statement also warned the not to plunge the state into a fresh crisis with his actions, describing the move by the governor as a display of ethnic chauvinism.

But El-Rufai’s government, in a swift reaction to the allegations, described Odinkalu, Fasehun and others as mischief-makers and conflict entrepreneurs.

It said: “The mischief-makers who went to town with a narrative that the Kaduna State Government wants to re-brand chiefdoms of Southern Kaduna as emirs are enemies of peace. Such conflict entrepreneurs should be ignored and condemned by all lovers of harmony.


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