From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo

The Nyakwala community in Wukari local government area of Taraba State has petitioned the state Governor, Dr Agbu Kefas, over alleged usurpation of their community land and chieftaincy stool by Matar-Fada community, in collaboration with the Chief of Bantaje, all in Wukari Local Government Area.

In a statement issued yesterday in Jalingo and signed by Engr. Irimiya Danji Barau and Collins Umar, on behalf of the community, the group alleged that the appointment of Manu Bala Gani as the acting District Head of Matar-Fada, which led to his promotion to the third Class Chief and the boundary demarcation between Nyakwala and Bantaje was done in error.

The community called on the governor to address the issues expediently as hoodlums from Bantaje were invading their farm lands and disrupting farming activities, thereby threatening the peace and security of the community.

“As a community, we are faced with a number of challenges that tend to threaten the peace and tranquility of Nyakwala and her environs as a result of the unpopular decisions of the previous government as it affects the chieftaincy stool of Matar-Fada and the boundary demarcation between Nyakwala and Bantaje.

“His Excellency, the Governor, Dr. Agbu Kefas, may note that the appointment of Manu Bala Gani as the acting District Head of Matar-Fada, which led to his promotion to the third Class Chief was done in error after 18 years of the stool being vacant.

“This appointment was challenged in court and the court held that the stool belongs to Nyakwala and the Nyakwala ruling family.

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“We equally want to draw the attention of his Excellency to the fake and false administrative map designed through the conspiracy of the chiefs of Bantaje and Matar-Fada, claiming that, Nyakwala as a community has been carved out of Matar-Fada Chiefdom, just to discourage our quest to reclaim our stool which has been taken away from us in error.

This map they carry about does not have the approval of the government, nor does it have the seal of any government agency.

“It is worthy of mention here that this false boundary demarcation projected by the aforementioned chiefs have posed a serious security threat in our area as our traditional fish ponds have been seized from us and hoodlums entering our farms land, claiming that the entire area, which is in Nyakwala in Matar-Fada Chiefdom, have been carved out to Bantaje Chiefdom.

“In view of the above, we wish to make the following prayers to His Excellency, the Executive Governor:

That His Excellency constitutes a high powered judicial committee of inquiry to review the appointment of the Chief of Matar-Fada Manu Bala Gani. That his Excellency directs the Chief of Bantaje to steer clear of Nyakwala and her environs and investigate the source of the fake map paraded by him.

That His Excellency considers the appointment of a new district head of Matar-Fada from Nyakwala pending the review of the third class Chief status, which belongs to the people of Nyakwala,” the statement reads in parts.