Having successfully celebrated yet another “Democracy Day” in office, let me join millions of your well wishers and supporters worldwide in congratulating you on this auspicious occasion in our national lives. It is with greatest respect and deepest sense of responsibility that I write this open letter to you on the current inconsistencies and illogical presentations on the chieftaincy tussle in Mbula land.
Just like doctors without borders, so are journalists. Some might ask; what is Ibrahim’s interest in the chieftaincy affairs of Mbula land and why should he write an open letter on an issue that has little or affinity to his pedigree? In this era of technology and globalization, the world is now a global village where public relations dazzles public good and contest of ideas overcomes conflict of personalities. I am a concerned citizen of Adamawa state and an interested party.
Your Excellency, under the purview of your government an abominable act that could desecrate our viable norms and values is about to happen in Mbula land. Our interest in this endeavour is to safeguard our traditional institutions from hijack by money bags that are desperate in undertaking a gradual but systematic dismantling and disintegration of our collective will and values.
With the demise of His Royal Highness, Jerome J. Fwa, Murum Mbula, some months ago, there are attempts by some people with godfathers’ to truncate the traditional lineage of succession of the revered stool of Murum Mbula. This issue is as profoundly injurious to the tenets of our traditional institutions as it is to our democratic values. Towards this, it is my submission that the whole process lacks honest, transparent and selfless approach to good conscience and natural justice.
The late Murum Mbula, J.J. Fwa, as he was fondly called, left a “big shoe” to be occupied by his successors. I remember with palpable nostalgia his brilliance that dazzled mediocrity, his legendary kindness, wise counsel, virtues of humility, infectious charm and strength of character were attributes of a powerful ruler that cannot be easily forgotten.
He was a source of inspiration that upheld the core values of tradition and culture.
In Mbula land, the line of succession falls within the brackets of two royal clans of a bigger family of royalty. Duragi and the Ndantul clans. From 1885 when HRH Mboiman ascended the throne whose rein lasted to 1894, was of the Ndantul clan where kingmakers actively participated in his natural choice as a king.
From then on, sapan1896 – 1906 of the Duragi clan. This tradition of succession based on clannish identities continued to rotate between the two clans with Usman Mboiman 1928 – 1943, Ndantul, constant Banabe 1943 – 43 – Duragi, Biyapo Usman 1943 – 63 – Ndantul, Joel Nzabusa Fwa – 1963 – 1993 – Duragi, whisky M, Usman 1994 – 95 Ndantul and JJ Fwa 1995 – 2021 – Duragi
By natural succession plan based or rotational values as enshrined in their “traditional constitution” it is now the turn of Ndantul clan to provide the next king.
But recent events are disturbing. Stephen Hasso, a retired deputy commissioner of police is of the view that there is a willful and deliberate attempt to truncate the succession network of his people in Mbula land. He opened that about four contestants from the Fwa family representing the Duragi clan are at it again. He raised objection as to why an election committee would be set up by the government as against the traditional “Kingmakers” to elect the new MurumMbula.
He said, “I have never seen or heard anywhere in the history of chieftaincy where an election committee is forwarded by the government to elect a first class chief. Has traditional institution become INEC? The tradition is all over the place as same is applicable in Lunguda, Shelleng and Bachama chiefdoms where kingmakers elect the new king.”
Your Excellency, we should not lose sight of the bigger picture of the collateral damage this action may likely cause the traditional institution in Mbula land.
Using any parameter of our cultural practices, the imposition of an “electoral committee” to elect a king is an aberration and an anathema that is repugnant to equity, natural justice and good conscience.
In view of the foregoing and in the interest of fair play and justice to which Governor Ahmadu Fintiri is noted for, we believe that no responsible and responsive government would fold its arms in the face of glaring injustice and monumental underhand dealings in the process of electing a first class king.
As a passionate and compassionate democrat of conscience who operates by the dictates of the “Books”, Governor Fintiri has history by his side for standing against injustice in this endeavour. As an exceptionally great strategic thinker whose love for humanity found its deepest and most profound expression in his commitment to social justice, we appeal to Governor Fintiri to stand his grounds against rapacious and destructive cleavages, spiraling indiscipline and deceptive impurity in Mbula chieftaincy tussle.
It is against this background that we appeal to the governor that chieftaincy stool is not a “bazaar” where any hawk can hijack the process. Tradition must play a fundamental role as the people of Mbula federation who have great respect for the Governor are expecting nothing less than a transparent process where the kingmakers would be accorded the traditional respect of choosing the right successor to the departed J.J Fwa.
Modibbo, a journalist, writes from