After 58 years, Michika gets substantive royal father
The Michika ethnic group makes up 99 percent of inhabitants in Michika local government area in northern Adamawa State. The local government shares boundary with the Republic of Cameroon, and is the only local government in Adamawa with 16 wards. It is also the only local government that has produced two civilian governors— the late Saleh Michika and former Governor Boni Haruna.
Since 1960, there has been no substantive royal father presiding over the people’s affairs, but a late chief, Corporal Mohammed Mounde, who died in 2013 acted in that capacity for 53 years before his demise.
Expectedly, the official taking over of the palace last Thursday by the newly elected royal father, His Royal Highness Ngida Zakawa Kwache, was received with much joy and appreciation. The event was celebrated with pomp, as the people of the local government area, which has produced the highest number of successful businessmen in northern Nigeria, rolled out their drums and gaily dressed, trooped out in their hundreds to witness the occasion. It was a carnival of sorts, as Michika sons and daughters celebrated 58 years of being liberated from traditional captivity.
While handing over the palace to the new Royal father at the occasion, chairman of Michika local government, Mr. Vandi Fanfaza, urged the traditional ruler to use his good office, wisdom and experience as a retired teacher to unite the people of Michika, including their visitors to bring about fast development of his kingdom.
He said traditional rulers have a major role to play in maintaining peace and harmony, as well as ensuring that their subjects obey the rule of law, since they are the custodian of their people’s traditions and culture.He assured the new Royal father of government’s commitment to renovate the palace, which was vandalised by Boko Haram, when the sect took over the local government.
While thanking the council chairman and Governor Mohammed Jibrilla Bindow for playing a major role in ensuring that the people’s wishes prevailed by issuing his letter of appointment after wining the contest for the royal stool, he said his administration would not tolerate lawlessness.
Kwache, a retired Director in the state Ministry of Education, explained that he was elected in December 2013, but got his appointment letter in April 2018, though he could not move into his palace due to the destruction of the place by the insurgents.He told the guests that he is the first indigenous substantive Royal father in Michika, adding, “my uncle won the election for the contest, but because he was not married and was not paying tax, he was denied the position. So, since 1960, when that happened, an acting chief occupied the royal stool for 53 years.”
The Royal father assured his people that he would continue with the peace formula his predecessor laid down to unite the people of his kingdom and ensure that his subjects cooperate with one another to bring development to the kingdom.He asserted that peace had fully returned to Michika local government, dismissing allegations by some people that there are security problems in the area. He pointed out that those peddling the fake news should desist before they incur the wrath of Michika people who view them as enemies.
Mr. Sini Kwabe, an elder in the palace, said with the resumption of the new substantive chief in Michika, the stage was set for peaceful coexistence of Michika people and other settlers in the area, and that their will be no room again for troublemakers.He called on Governor Bindow to expedite actions on ensuring that the palace gets renovated quickly to enable the new Royal father operate in a comfortable environment.The people, old, young and children took turn to catch a glimpse of the new Royal father who was driven into the palace in a 2018 Toyota Corolla.