By Laleye Dipo
Some stakeholders in Niger State have called for the balkanization of Minna Emirate into five autonomous emirates.
In a petition submitted to the state House of Assembly and the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, they said that the approval granted to the Minna Emirate Council for the creation of new districts, village and ward heads in the emirate, which they alleged was skewed to favour one ruling house to the detriment of others, is unacceptable because it was devoid of any wide consultation and representation.
The petition, dated March 17, 2020 and signed by 13 of the stakeholders, some of them district heads, is titled: “Request for the creation of additional emirates in Minna emirate of Niger State.”
They alleged that it was a deliberate effort made by the Minna Emirate “to relegate, demote and eradicate others from the pages of history of the emirate”.
“It is therefore against the above background that we passionately request Mr Governor to as a matter of urgency approve the immediate creation of Kuta Emirate, Paiko Emirate, Galadimankogo Emirate, Bosso/Minna Emirate and Kafinkoro Emirate and a new emir of Bosso/Minna extraction be appointed as emir of Minna,” part of the petition before the House Committee on Public Petitions reads.
The petitioners also hinged their demand on “the failure of the Minna Emirate Council not to concede to the government directive which has dragged for too long and has caused a lot of concerns to the generality of the people of the emirate”.
“Consequently if Minna Emirate cannot sustain the marriage of convenience between five (5) component districts then separation becomes inevitable,” the petitioners further submitted.
While commending the governor for what they described as “his foresight, fairness and the need to maintain the history of the Emirate without any distortion”, the petitioners said the efforts made by some of the elders to resolve the impasse appeared not to be good enough.
This is the second time within two years that the emirate will be facing an uprising from princes and major stakeholders.
In 2018, the stakeholders vehemently raised an objection to the creation and appointments of about 250 district and village heads by the incumbent traditional ruler, Dr Umar Farouq Bahago, on the ground that the exercise was skewed in his favour to the detriment of other princes, ruling houses and stakeholders.
Governor Bello had to intervene by setting up a committee to look into the dispute before it went out of hand.
However, despite the fact that the government committee had submitted its report and a white paper issued, the governor has not constituted a “White Paper Implementation Committee”.
There has been no reaction to the petition from the emirate council Secretariat.