OPC, Odinkalu tackle el-Rufai for converting chiefdom to emirate

OPC, Odinkalu tackle el-Rufai for converting chiefdom to emirate

A former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission , Prof. Chidi Odinkalu , and the founder of the Odua People ’s Congress , Dr Fredrick Fasehun , have tackled Governor of Kaduna State , Malam Nasir el- Rufai, for converting some chiefdoms in the state to emirates .

In a document posted by Prof. Odinkalu and signed by the Kaduna State Ministry of Local Government Affairs in the state , the governor announced the conversion of a chiefdom in the Christian- dominated Southern Kaduna to an emirate .

In the letter dated May 30 , 2018 , with a reference number , MLG / ADM / GEN/ 470 / S . I /Vol 1 / 130 and addressed to the Chief of Kauru, Alhaji Ja ’afaru Abubakar , the governor asked the chief to henceforth refer to himself as emir.

The letter titled , ‘Review of nomenclature of chiefdoms in Kaduna State ’, “ You may wish to recall the setting up of the committee to review the existing chieftaincy system in Kaduna State . The State Executive Council at its sitting held on Monday , May 28 , 2018 , considered and approved the change of status of the traditional council from chiefdom to emirate.

“ I am directed to inform you that you are to be respectfully addressed as the Emir of Kauru Emirate Council . Kindly accept the esteemed regards of the commissioner at all times. ”

Odinkalu questioned the motive for such action in Southern Kaduna.

In a statement also , the OPC warned el-Rufai not to plunge the state into a fresh crisis with his actions.

The statement read further , “ Let us seize this opportunity to alert the nation to the opening of a battlefield in Kaduna through the governor’s belligerent , unconstitutional , ill- advised and crazy instruction that chiefdoms in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the state convert to emirates .

“ This is a follow – up in the script that features the killings in Southern Kaduna by Fulani militants. ”

Describing the move by the governor as a display of ethnic chauvinism , Fasehun said that the Nigerian Constitution and independent documents clearly recognise and preserve the rights of minorities to maintain their cultural identity and uniqueness .

He added , “El – Rufai is in clear violation of the Constitution in Section 21 ( a ). He should be cautioned immediately ; and instead of this evil descent into neo- colonialism and caliphate expansionism , the status quo should be maintained .

“ Kaduna is a multi – ethnic, multi – religious state and no Jihad or caliphate expansion programme must be allowed to take root there under any guise. ”

In his reaction , however , the governor denied allegations that there was a plan to Islamise the state .

El – Rufai said the chiefdoms that were converted to emirates applied to the state government and permission was granted .

In a series of tweets on Tuesday , the governor said although Southern Kaduna had large Christian populations, there were also Muslim – dominated communities within it .

He said , “ There are three chiefdoms in Kauru LGA : Kauru, Kumana and Tsam. Of the three, only the Chief of Kauru aspired to be classified as an emir , like the chiefs of Lere, Kagarko and Kajuru .

“ There are 32 graded chiefdoms and emirates in Kaduna State. There are three longstanding emirates : Zazzau ( 11 LGAs in northern and central zones ) Birnin – Gwari ( central ) and Jemaa ( southern); co – existing with the old chiefdoms of Jaba , Kagoro and Moro ’a .

“ The needless ethno – religious baiting will not erase the reality of diversity in Kaduna State .”

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