A socio- cultural group, Danko Development Forum (DDF) has appealed to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to approve the appointment of a new Maigari of Lokoja.
The group which is a socio -cultural organisation of indigenes of Lokoja made the appeal at a press conference on Thursday in the ancient town.
The appeal was coming at exactly one year after the transition of the late Maigari of Lokoja, Alhaji (Dr) Muhammadu Kabir Usman 111 who died on September 28, 2022.
The speech of the Chairman, of
Danko Development Forum (DDF), Mr Bama Mundi, was read to newsmen by Alhaji Bala Haruna, Chairman , Project Committee of the Forum.
With him at the press conference are Alhaji Mohammed Sulaiman, Darman of Lokoja, Alhaji Zakari Shaibu, Alhaji Nda Aliyu and Alhaji Haruna Nayashi who are all members of the Danko Development Forum.
Briefing newsmen, Haruna explained that the throne of Maigari of Lokoja is the traditional authority and symbol of unity of the indigenes of the town, which should not be left unoccupied for too long.
He said a new Maigari ought to have been installed within three months of the demise of the last Maigari in line with the established customs and tradition of Lokoja.
He said for the throne to remain vacant for a whole year was a strange occurrence and negation of the culture of the people.
“As required by the custom and tradition, as well as enabling laws of the state, a new Maigari of Lokoja ought to have been pronounced and appointed by the Executive of Kogi State within three months of demise, but, unfortunately, to our greatest surprise we are still anticipating,” he said.
According to him, the decision of the state government to delay the appointment of a new Maigari of Lokoja was a contravention of Section 8 of Kogi State Chief (Appointment, Deposition and Establishment of Traditional Council Law) 2006.
Haruna explained that the section empowers the governor ” through a chieftaincy declaration, to interface with customs and norms of every traditional community, thence announce and appoint a new chief in the state.”
The Forum said the continue delay in the approval of a new Maigari is unfair, unjust and a gross disrespect for the people of Lokoja and their tradition and custom.
” Lokoja is one of the strategic ancient cities in Nigeria, the city was once an headquarter of the country and currently the capital of Kogi state, in addition playing host to confluence of rivers of Niger and Benue.
” These visible facts, among others, endeared people of varying socio-economic and cultural backgrounds to the city, and the throne Maigari of Lokoja, for several decades, remains a rallying traditional point to myriad of inhabitants in the ancient city.
” Today, on behalf of the Danko Development Forum (DDF) and the indigenous people of Lokoja, we are appealing to His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello, to pronounce and appoint the new Maigari of Lokoja.
“The Forum is a non-political organization of Lokoja extraction, with the sole objective of developing the community in the areas of science and girls education.
“The forum has made laudable achievements that include: remodeling and equipping school laboratories, including provision of educational materials and books to schools in Kabawa, New layout, Mahadi, Sarkin Noma, and Lokongoma communities across the ancient city, in addition to supporting indigent parents with the payment of school fees and other expenses relating to children’s education. Additionally, the forum renovated, provided furniture, and equipped the primary health care center buildings at Yashi and Angwan Kura communities in Lokoja.
“The late Maigari of Lokoja Alhaji Dr Mohammed Kabir Maigari 111 was a strong supporter of DDF initiatives and programs.
“He had supported and guided DDF in its developmental projects across the communities in Lokoja.
“Furthermore, the late Maigari contributed immensely to the peace, development and well-being of the inhabitants of the State capital and its environ.
“No gainsay, the state capital enjoyed relative peace and tranquility during his tenure and is still enjoying.
“The Maigari was our traditional ruler who was highly respected by the Forum and the people of Lokoja.
“We missed his leading role in mobilizing the people to support our developmental initiatives, also his role during the last Ramadan period, Eid fitr, Eid Kabir, Annual Maulud, including Christmas and Easter periods, as well as the traditional Lokoja Day Celebrations which takes place every September to showcase the culture and traditions of our people.
” The presence of Maigari during these events often add value to the events as well as unifying the collective interest of the ancient city.
“Sir, the late Maigari of Lokoja will forever remain indelible in our domain but we humbly appeal that you pronounce a new Maigari of Lokoja to promptly build on the legacies of our late Maigari, ” the Forum explained.
They stated further that it is already a public knowledge that since the demise of the last Maigari, the process to select a new Maigari of Lokoja was kick-started by ” Kingmakers in the community, which represents Lokoja custom of selecting new chief, the Kingmakers have made their submissions to appropriate authorities in the state for you to act upon.
“We wish that you give it a prompt attention in giving us a new Maigari of Lokoja.
“Your acceding to our humble request accord you an opportunity to continue to write your name on the annal books of Lokoja history, making you the first governor in recent times to pronounce and appoint a successor to the revered throne of the Maigari of Lokoja.
“Suffice to state here Your Excellency that no one can tell if the next ten (10) governors of Kogi State would be so privileged.
“Finally sir, we pray that our request and appeal will be considered in order to appoint and pronounce the new Maigari of Lokoja.
“The ancient city is in dire need of a traditional leader to continue the mantra of checking our conscience and providing guidance.
” We believe and hope that the appointment will be in the best interest of the people of Lokoja and Kogi State as a whole.
“Your Excellency, as we look forward to your kind and swift response to our noble request, we wish you a joyous and fulfilling end of tenure” the Forum stated. (vitalnewsngr.com)