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Charting a New Course for Zuruland

“Being a Contribution from Nathaniel Zome (Sarkin Yakin Zuru)”

by our Correspondent.

1.0       INTRODUCTION

Arising from the nature of the evolution of the administration of Zuruland as one government in the early 20th Century, it has not been easy for it (the Zuruland administration) and its people to deliberately chart and pursue a course, which should lead them to grow, attain self-fulfillment as a people, and give them ability and preparedness to respond to the challenges of emerging times to their advantage. Having reflected seriously on this said development, it has become necessary to face the challenge squarely by charting a new course for Zuruland.

2.0       COURSE OBJECTIVE

            The objectives of this new course and agenda are as follows:

  1. To harness the human, natural and material resources of Zuruland to provide leadership to and development for the area.
  2. To enhance the socio-cultural and political relevance of Zuru in Kebbi State and the large Nigerian polity.
  3. To achieve economic empowerment for the people of the area.

3.0       PLANS AND PROGRAMMES

Charting a new course for Zuruland will involve developing plans and programmes to deal with reforming the following key areas:

  1. The traditional institution;
  2. The administration of the area;
  3. A political agenda;
  4. Implementation strategies.

3.1       THE TRADITIONAL INSTITUTION

The different communities in the Zuru area before British rule operated as independent entities with their respective rulers. Because of cultural and linguistic similarities, the colonial administration reconstituted the different communities into one administration by imposing a Paramount Ruler over the five groups, in 1913, when Andi Gomo became the first ruler over the whole Zuruland.

Thereafter, he was succeeded by Gambo Gomo (1915-26), Bahago Gomo (1927), Sami Gomo I (1928-45), and Dantudu Gomo (1946-60). Between 1960 and 1964, there was an inter-regnum during which the 5 District Heads acted as Paramount Ruler in turns for six months. Cumulatively, it means that, each of the five was acting ruler for one year, and this enhanced their stakes in the desire for the coveted office.

However, Danga Gomo was confirmed as Paramount Ruler, in 1964, where he reigned until his death, in 1975. The status of the ruler was upgraded to a First-class ranking, in January, 1979, and re-titled “Emir.”

Unfortunately, the political implications of the transitional arrangements between 1960 and 1964 constituted a setback to institutional development in the area. The situation became more compounded with the fact that, the rulers had limited exposure in terms of understanding political trends and modernization.

Furthermore, although, the Zuru Emirate community is abundantly blessed with human and material resources, the elite has failed to show evidence that, they understand political development traits and make deliberate efforts to rally round the institution leadership (Emir) to make things work in the direction of the general good of the community.

3.1.1   Recommendations.

Therefore, having reviewed the Zuru past, having realized what the community has lost and is still losing, desirous to correct the inadequacies of the past, which still linger on, the following measures are recommended:

  1. By circumstances and by law, the institution of the Emir of Zuru is the ruler of Zuruland, and everyone that is in this area is his subject. All subjects – whether they are resident or transiting – must expressly show respect and obedience to this institution.
  2. This office of the Emir is the only one the Zuru community has, through which it can reach out and relate with the government at the state, regional and federal levels as well as other major communities in Nigeria. Therefore, it is a duty for all Zuru people to uphold, consolidate and maintain the institution. If we do not show respect for it, nobody else from outside will show respect for us as individuals, as a people and also our leadership.
  3. If we are to survive as a people, we must recognize and expressly show respect for our rulers, our leaders and our neighbours. Therefore;
  4. All parents must be held responsible for the enforcement of discipline in their families and be accountable for same.
  5. All community leaders must be held liable and accountable for the conduct of the people in the community they lead.
  6. All parents and community leaders must lead their families and people by example.
  7. The leadership institution shall take keen interest in developments affecting the subjects as well as subordinate institutions of the emirate.

3.2       FACILITATION OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE EMIRATE

To consolidate and strengthen the management of the affairs of the emirate there must be;

  1. Enhanced communication between the Emir’s Office and the elites of the emirate. Accordingly, timely flow of information between the two ends has to be ensured at all times. Instead of individuals taking it upon themselves to spread rumours and hearsay, communication channels between the Emir and subjects have to be institutionalized.
  2. Peaceful co-existence between the different peoples and interests that live in the emirate. This can come about only if bridges of confidence are built between them by ensuring that;
  3. They fully understand what constitutes their differences.
  4. They fully appreciate and respect their differences in the interest of their common good and that of the environment.
  5. Strengthening of coordination structures where they exist, and created where they do not exist; that is to say;
  6. The Emirate Council, which has executive powers and functions.
  7. An Elders Forum to perform purely advisory functions.
  8. Z.E.D.S. for coordinating development programmes.
  9. The three items above shall be replicated at the chiefdom and district levels with a Chiefs’ Council, Elders’ Committees and District Council.
  10. Because of the importance of these bodies in assisting the emir to coordinate affairs more effectively, he shall approve/appoint and inaugurate those of the first two-tiers (Emirate and Chiefdom) while the chiefs appoint/approve those of the third-tiers (Districts). District Heads to do the same for wards and villages.

3.3       POLITICAL AGENDA

            The objectives of the agenda arre:

  1. To understand political trends in the country generally and, particularly, in Kebbi State.
  2. To carry a SWOT analysis of the Zuru situation in the context of Kebbi State in particular, and Nigeria at large.
  3. Use our strengths and weaknesses as weapons to achieve strategic advantage.
  4. Overcome glaring and apparent threats.

SWOT ELEMENTS:

  • Distinctness from others within the Zone
  • Language
  • Culture: customs
  • Social behavior
  • Recent history

(2)      Strengths

  • Industrious
  • Highly educated
  • Language
  • Reach out ability

(3)      Strengths

  • Individuality  
  • Leadership development (lack of)
  • Community direction and focus (lack of)
  • Followership loyalty, personal security and resources (lack of)
  • Understanding the nature of politics (lack of)

(4)      Opportunities

ECONOMIC GROUGH:

  • Individual empowerment
  • Community development
  • Political relevance in the State/Nation

(5)      Threats

  • Oppression of individual, group and entire community.
  • Denial of opportunities to the people of the area.
  • By who?

Pre-colonial mentality and discrimination of the Region/Zone.

  • Why?

Desire to impose and maintain hegemony.

STRATEGIC OPTIONS

Option 1 – Avenue for bilateral and multi-lateral cooperation (structured relationships – not assumed).

  • Define areas of interest, which can be achieved through a;
  • Zuru/Yauri firm understanding (MOU?)
  • Zuru/Gwandu firm understanding (MOU?)
  • Zuru/Argungu firm understanding (MOU?)
  • Zuru/Gwandu/Yauri/Argungu firm understanding (Not Council of Chiefs).

Option 2 – Broader zonal/regional and national levels (structured relationships).

  • Explore and establish with;
  • Southern Kaduna (Kagoro)
  • Kontagora Emirate
  • Borgu Emirate
  • Kagara Emirate
  • Minna Emirate
  • Nupe Kingdom
  • Suleja Emirate
  • Ebira Kingrom
  • Egala Kingdom
  • Jos/Plateau axis
  • Bauchi axis
  • Borno Kingdom
  • Tiv Kingdom
  • Idoma Kingdom
  • Jukun Kingdom
  • Select 1 or 2 Yoruba-friendly kingdom, e.g., Ogbomoso, etc.
  • Select 1 or 2 Igbo-friendly areas.
  • Select 1 or 2 South-South areas.

In pursuing p, q and r long history of friendship and the quantity and caliber of their citizens, who live in Zuru, e.g., Amos Adamu for Ogbomoso, Igbo community, Edo community, Tiv, etc., connections, while in public service.

  • Sokoto Emirate
  • Anka Emirate
  • Gusau Emirate (Gobir)
  • Katsina Emirate
  • Daura Emirate
  • Kano Emirate
  • Zazzau Emirate
  • Benin Kingdom

Option 3 – Confidence building strategy.

KBSG

Regular courtesy calls on HE

  • Sallah I
  • Sallah II
  • New Year
  • Uhola

(Use occasion to discuss cooperation and development issues).

ARGNGU – Courtesy visit before Fishing Festival, once a year.

YAURI – One a year, at some period of significance to them.

GWANDU – Once a year, at some period of significance to them. (Use these occasions to discuss mutual cooperation issues). Also arrange to pay similar visits once a year to K/Gora, Borgu, Minna, Bida, Kagara, B/Gwari, Kagoro, Zazzau, Katsina, Gusau, Sokoto, Anka, Okene, Idah, Otukpo, Gboko, Wukari, Numan, Bauchi, Gombe, Ningi, etc.

3.4       IMPENDING POLITICAL REFORMS CONFERENCE

3.4.1   The Declared Objective through the Makarfi Committee.

(1)      Decentralization of power within the society.

(2)      Devolution of power to be done in such a way that political activities are not monopolized by a few individuals or a clique.

(3)      Ownership of political institutions such as parties must be corporate, not private.  

(4)      State power should be appropriated along functional lines to ensure balance of power among the 3 arms of government.

(5)      Power to be restructured along special lines at the national, zonal and local levels.

(6)      A liberalized political system, in order to minimize the “enormous weight of state power.”

(7)      Ensure the resolution of social peace and community harmony.

3.4.2   Makarfi Committee’s 7-points Agenda.

(1)      Constitutional

(2)      Political parties

(3)      Electoral reform

(4)      Judicial reform

(5)      Civil Society reform

(6)      Reform of structures of government

(7)      Consensus building.

3.4.3   Ethnic Nationalities to be involved, about 90.

(1)      SWZ – Yoruba basically

(2)      SEZ – Ibo basically

(3)      SSZ – Mixture of ethnic groups:

                        Ijaws

                        Itsekiris

                        Ika Ibos

                        Urhobos

                        Isokos

                        Ogonis

                        Ikweres

                        Etches Ekpeyes

                        Ogba/Egbemas

                        Ibibios

                        Ananga

                        Orons

                        Efiks

                        Biases

                        Ejagams

(4)      NEZ – Chambas        Kanakurus

                        Haggis          Fulanis

                        Lungudas       Yungurs

                        Bwatiyes        Mbueas

                        Margis            Yungurs

                        Kilbas

                        Buras

                        Falis

                        Kanuris          Hausas

                        Shawas           Gerewas

                        Gudus             Wajawas

                        Baburs            Tangales

                        Bolewas         Sayawas

                        Ngizims         Jarawas

                        Karai-karais  Chamawas

                        Ngomas          Bolawas

                        Bedes              Fa’awas

                        Wahas             Jukuns

                                                Mumuyes

                                                Balamas

                                                Kutebs

(5)      NCZ – Tivs                Kwallas

                        Idomas           Piapungs

                        Igedes             Bvijichalas

                        Etulas             Gwaris

                        Abakwas        Nupes

                        Angas             Kamukus

                        Tarahs            Kambaris

                        Geomais         Dulawas

                        Alagos            Igalas

                        Youms            Ebiras

                        Montols         Yorubas (Kabba)

                        Gwandaras    Hausas

                        Rokubo Ngili

(6)      NWZ – Hausas

                        Fulanis

                        Dakarkaris

                        Gungawas

                        Kagoros

                        Moroas

                        Katafs

                        Kajes

                        Jabas  

                        Abajis

                        Kambaris

                        Dukawas

                        Fakawas

            (About 61 groups in NWZ).

3.4.4   Proposed Membership.

a.      Total membership is 400.

b.      Membership by nomination, not by election.

c.      President to nominate 50.

d.      Automatic membership to ex-Heads of States, i.e., Gowon, Shagari, Buhari, Babangida, Shonekan and Abubakar = 6.           

e.      6 members per state by senatorial district = 6 x 36 = 216 + FCT = 222, to represent ethnic compositions.

f.       Others are:

  *      Student bodies.

  *      Civil Liberty organizations.

  *      Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

     *      Disabled, able persons, etc., that will share the remaining 122 positions, etc., etc.

     g.     Zuru Emirate shall be entitled to just one slot, except if the Presidency can give one more.

3.4.5     The Zuru Position.

     a.     Zuru seeks the following from Kebbi State and the Nigerian nation:

             i.        Protection of minority interests;

             ii.        Respect for diversities of culture and values;

  1. Fairness and equity in empowering citizens through employments, appointments and distribution/allocation of opportunities.
  2. Building of bridges of confidence among and between the ethnic nations.

              b.    Zuru forms part of the Arewa Consultative Forum influence as well as that of the Middle-Belt Forum. The implications of this should be examined and a resolution taken and pursued.

              c.     Zuru requires to monitor the thinking of Kebbi State Government regarding the conference.

3.4.6     Zuru Representation.

Zuru requires to identify a competent person to represent it at the conferences, considering the issues before the conference and the personalities to participate thereat.

3.5       IMPLEMENTATIN OF THE NEW COURSE

(a)       G8 to develop and present the new course.

(b)      Emirate Council adopts the new course.

(c)       Elders’ Forum redefined, reconstituted and inaugurated.

(d)      Elders’ Forum internalize the new course. New course permeates through the community fabric.

(e)       Each chiefdom to consolidate charge and focus over its subjects. Emirate Council to provide operational guidelines.

(f)       With a reinvigorated value system, reconstitute ZEDS, and give them marching orders.

(g)       Emirate Council receives Progress Reports from the:

                        (i         Chiefdoms;

                        (ii        ZEDS;

                        (iii       Elders’ Forum.

(h)      Formal progress review meetings to take place every 3 months at the tier levels; each level rendering reports to the next higher level.

JANUARY 25, 2005

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