Gbong Gwom: Governors Lack Power to Redefine Traditional Boundaries

Jacob Gyang

Seriki Adoniyi in Jos

Gbong Gwom of Jos, Jacob Gyang at the weekend noted that governors lacked authority to redefine traditional boundaries.

Gyang, who is also chairman, Plateau council of chiefs, said this on Friday while speaking at an annual cultural festival of the Berom ethnic group of the state.

On Thursday, the Plateau government ordered the creation of two traditional councils – Jos north and Riyom councils – from the one headed by Gyang.

In a circular, the Commissioner For Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Dayyabu Garga said the decision by the Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong was in line with section 91(1) of the 2016 local government law.
The move is coming after Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje created four emirates out the one headed by Muhammadu Sanusi, Kano emir.

However, Gyang said the state government could not redefine boundaries where there was no issue.
The monarch said, “I am not aware of any authority by a governor to redefine traditional boundaries. Government cannot redefine boundaries where there is no problem.

“There has been government pronouncement and actions to do with the traditional institution even when there was no problem. We have no problem with our neighbours and we have been in peace with one another.

“The traditional boundaries existed even before the existence of Nigeria as a country and every tribe on the Plateau has a defined territory. We want to appeal to politicians to respect these territories.”

The traditional ruler also appealed to the Plateau government not to take actions that would bring insecurity to the state.

“All over Nigeria, land belongs to communities, families and individuals. We want to appeal that government must not take actions that will bring security challenges to Plateau,” he said.

“Yesterday night, I had to appeal to the Berom nation and its vibrant youths to please calm down. I told them that as sensitive as the issue is perceived, it has not gone beyond the Berom traditional institution, the elders and the Berom organisations.

“We will sit with government and educate government about what it is; we hope we will have the listening ear of the governor to make amends where they have made errors. There is no human being that is perfect, we all make mistakes.”