By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has said that his administration is poised to leaving behind a legacy of peace and bringing infrastructures and services to the door-step of the common man
To this end, he said, Bauchi state government under his leadership, has no prejudice for or against any of the parties involved in the tussle for the creation of Sayawa Chiefdom, as the committee set up to review the issue is being chucked with gossips
He was speaking Friday while receiving the report of the Ambassador Dada Chinade-led committee on reviewing three committees’ reports on the creation of Sayawa Chiefdom recommended during different military and civilian governments in the state dates back to 1991 Tafawa Balewa ethno-religious crises.
Mohammed explained that his administration’s concern is to broker peace among the various stakeholders and ensure peaceful co-existence among the heterogeneous ethnic and religious groups in Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Local Government Areas of the state.
Senator Bala Mohammed noted with concern some discordant voices on the issues of the committee’s report, saying the state government is very honest and sincere in trying to find lasting solution to the problem of Sayawa Chiefdom creation
Governor Bala Mohammed explained that the state government’s desire is to put in place a Sayawa Chiefdom that would be embraced by all stakeholders without resorting to litigation so that peace would reign at Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Local Government Areas.
He therefore assured the committee and indeed the entire people of the state that the report would be carefully studied by the state government with a view to implementing the recommendations.
According to him, the state government would produce a white paper on the committee’s report after it is being deliberated upon by the State Executive Council, and where the need arises, government would consult relevant stakeholders and experts on conflict resolution for advice and guidance.
Governor Bala expressed confidence that the committee has done a thorough job that would assist the government in finding solution to the problem of creating the Sayawa Chiefdom once and for all.
“It is evident that members of the committee deployed their wealth of experience and knowledge to meticulously carry out the assignment based on the terms of reference given to them, I want to thank and commend the chairman and members of the committee for not only a job well done, but for also doing the job in good time. I must say that you have justified the confidence reposed in you”.
The committee chairman, Ambassador Jibrin Dada Chinade had earlier said they have observed all the previous committees of Babalaki, Shehu Awak and Bala Umar, also made same recommendation to address the agitation for self-determination by the Sayawa and to bring lasting peace in the Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro axis.
“We recommended that the proposed Sayawa Chiefdom should comprised the whole of Bogoro Local Government Area with proviso that non sayawa within the Local Government Area would be allowed to decide whether or not they want to be part of the chiefdom through referendum to be conducted by the State Independent Electoral Commission”.
“It also recommended that areas in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area which are predominantly occupied by the Sayawa should form part of the Sayawa Chiefdom. However, a referendum be conducted in other areas of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area who are not predominantly Sayawa to decide whether or not they want to be part of the Sayawa Chiefdom”.
Chinade said that the committee also recommended how the state government would identify where the headquarters of the proposed Sayawa Chiefdom would be located, as well as the eligibility of persons to be appointed as Chief for the Chiefdom, process of selection subsequent chiefs, and composition of Sayawa Chiefdom Traditional Council.
Ambassador Jibrin Chinade further disclosed that appropriate recommendation has similarly been made for the resettlement of persons displaced from Tafawa Balewa town as a result of the series of crises in the town.
“It is recommended that the subsisting 2014 law on the creation of Sayawa Chiefdom (as amended) should be further amended to accommodate the committee’s recommendations. To this end, a bill seeking for the amendment of the relevant sections of the law should be sent to the State House of Assembly for legislative action”, he concluded.