Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo

The Kuteb Yatso of Nigeria (KYN) an umbrella body of Kuteb tribe in Nigeria has accused the Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku of plans to stir up crisis in Takum over his proposal to make the Ukwe Takum stool rotational among among Kuteb, Chamba and Kpanzo ethnic groups.

Mr. Emmanuel Ukwen, the President of the association told newsmen at a Press conference in Jalingo that the stool of Ukwe Takum, which is over 100 years has been an exclusive preserve for the Kuteb ruling houses of Likam and Akenten and that the selection process has been handled by only Kuteb kingmakers based purely on Kuteb peoples’ native laws and customs.

Ukwen said that the stool which was upgraded to 3rd class status under the British colonial regime had Ukwe Ahmadu Gbankwe from the Likam ruling house who ruled from 1912 to 1926, followed by Ukwe Hassan Gbankwe 1926 to 1929 and were succeeded in that order till Ukwe Ali Ibrahim Kufang II from Akenten ruling house who ruled from 1963 to 1996.

He lamented that rather than maintain the status quo, the Taraba State government under Darius Ishaku openly indicates her interest to make the stool rotational among Kuteb, Chamba and Kpanzo.

“The Governor had during a meeting at Government House on January 30, 2023 informed the delegates including Kuteb of his decision to make the stool rotational among the ethnic groups in Takum. Kuteb delegates at the meeting objected to the move.

“Out of anger, the Governor threatened to invoke his executive power to enable him implement the policy and appoint anybody even an Igbo man to be the Chief of Takum if he so wishes.

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“He also threatened to draft security in large numbers in Takum to takeover the streets of Takum and shoot anybody that stands on his way if the Kuteb people prove stubborn.

“The recent attacks on Kuteb in Takum and Ussa and the action of the Governor regarding the Chieftaincy manipulation has a political undertone, aimed at achieving an individual’s interest and we want to appeal that innocent blood should not be spilled because of an individual’s ambition.”

Ukwen said that just like the Kuteb natives in Wukari or Donga local government areas can not go and ask that the stool of the Aku Uka of Wukari or Gara of Donga should become rotational making them as beneficiaries, it makes no sense that the governor is desperately trying to usurp the stool and hand it over to his kinsmen.

The group called on security agencies, the National Security Adviser, Human Rights commission and other relevant agencies and spirited individuals to pay attention to the happenings in Takum and prevent anybody from steering up another round of blood shade in the area.

In his reaction, Special Adviser to the the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Bala Dan-Abu said that the Governor as a father of the State cannot do anything that will jeopardize the peace he has worked for over the years.

“I am not aware that the governor threatened anybody. You know the stool in question has been vacant for a long time and people have been agitating for the vacant stool to be filled. If the Governor had said the stool should be rotational in the interest of peace, I don’t think it’s a bad idea.

“All those showing interest or laying claims to the stool should show some level of maturity and relax their hardline position on the issue in the interest of peace,” he said.