…We will not Recognize the Chiefdoms – Dio Maisamari
By George Makeri, Kaduna
The creation of chiefdoms in the middle belt was usually received with jubilation, because it symbolises a form of liberation from the erstwhile emirate rule imposed on the people by the British colonialists’ indirect rule.
Ironically, the announcement of the creation of two chiefdoms by the El-Rufai government on 10th November, 2022 for the Adara people of Kajuru and Kachia, did not excite any positve reaction. In certain quarters, the government announcement was long anticipated with resentments. Speaking with some Adara leaders, elders and opinion leaders, the sentiment is the same across board with some negligible exception.
“We will not Recognize the Chiefdoms.” – Awemi Dio Maisamari.
“The chiefdoms are calculated to weaken the unity of the Adara people.” – An anonymous opinion leader
“One or two persons asked for it, and they were given.” – Anonymous
“I only know one Adara Chiefdom.” – Feylom Kajuru.
Reacting to the development, a certain Adara opinion leader, whose name is withheld for fear of being persecuted by the government, expressed frustrations, though not surprise, at the newly created chiefdoms, claiming they were kept to herald a more sinister agenda of enthroning a non-adara on the chiefdoms by the El-Rufai government in tandem with the El-Rufai master plan. When asked whether that was possible given that the name “Agom” is still indigenous to Adara, she pointed out that the moniker is simply a trojan horse to allow for acceptability among the indigenous Adara people. “This is orchestrated to weaken the political, cultural and religious capacity of the Adara people”, she concluded.
A certain adara youth, Feylom Kajuru, on his Facebook wall, disowned the newly created chiefdoms, recognizing only the scrapped chiefdom and the assassinated monarch Raphael Maiwada Galadima. His statement can be found here.
Going through the Facebook message of one Makeri Danjuma Mohammed, one can easily surmise that this Mohammed is one of the persons who asked for it on 2 November 2022.
The President of the Adara Development Association, Mr. Dio Awemi Maisamari insisted that the government has so impoverished the people such that the people have no recourse but to support unpalatable government decisions against themselves. He, however maintained that those whom the government has subdued through the weaponisation of poverty and are supporting the government among the Adara people are few. Maisamari has, in many prior publications, made serious allegations against the Kaduna State Government Anti-Adara Activities.
These allegations are condensed in a facebook message written by a fierce critic of El-Rufai, Steven Kefas, who is now on a self-imposed exile in europe.
Steven Kefas, in his ‘Adara people persecuted by tyranny’ write-up, suggested that the 2018 crisis that preceded the abduction and assassination of the late Adara monarch, Raphael Maiwada Galadima, was instigated by the state government to pave way for the easy abolition of the Adara chiefdom. He also suggested that the waves of attacks against the Adara people, was calculated to weaken the people’s resolve to resist tyranny. He however urged his readers to connect the dots and do the maths, while encouraging the Adara people to keep hope alive in the eternal fight against tyranny.
A May 6, 2019 publication by Sahara Reporters lends support to Kefas’s facebook postulations in claiming that the Late Agwom Adara, Raphael Maiwada Galadima, was assassinated for resisting the balkanisation of Adara chiefdom. These claims can be said to have materialized with these recently created chiefdoms after over four years of leaving the Adara people without a chief.
To show government biases against the Adara people whose chief was assassinated and corpse dumped along Kateri road on 26 October 2018, a Daily Trust 4 October 2020 publication authored by one Lami Sadiq, quipped that while much attention was turned on who to succeed the recently deceased Emir of Zaria who died of natural causes on 20 September, nothing was said of the successor of the Agwom Adara who was assassinated about two years earlier.
Lami claimed that out of the 32 chiefs in Kaduna state, only 29 were on seat as three were not; and while much attention was focused on replacing one, the Emir of Zauzau, nothing was being said about the replacement of the other two. According to Lami, the composition of the Kaduna State Council of Chiefs had 10 first class chiefs, 13 second class chiefs and 9 third class chiefs.
Both the Emir of Zaria and the Agwom Adara were first class chiefs. While the Zaria emirate retains its nomenclature, first class status, unity and an emir almost immediately succeeding the deceased, the Adara people were forcefully given a name change, their chiefdom balkanized and stripped of its first class status.
Awemi Dio Maisamari has also been repeatedly quoted on the issue by several media houses over the years. A Vanguard publication of 23 May 2020 titled ‘Adara people in Kaduna count losses from Kajuru crisis’ and written by Ibrahim Hassan – Wuyo, Maisamari expressed shock at government support of the atrocities visited on Adara land by fulani herdsmen. The publication read in part: “We are therefore shocked that government has become brazen enough or descended so low as to justify terrorism, butchery, and savagery of monumental proportions on such flimsy and illogical grounds.”
When government takes responsibility and even apologizes for terrorist attacks on Muslim communities, why does it perpetually blame the victims of attacks in Christian communities for similar terrorist acts?
“Even if government thinks Adara people have done wrong, is it part of public policy to allow or encourage jungle(terrorist) justice as a remedy?” A 5 December 2019 publication by The Cable titled; ‘We are suffering under you’ — Adara people write el-Rufai’ and written by one Ebunoluwa Olafusi, Dio Maisamari was quoted enumerating the sincere wishes of the Adara people which the government ignored to create two chiefdoms.
These concerns “are the widespread criminality and dastardly attacks in Adara land, the suffering of IDPs and other crisis victims, the assassination of HRH Agom Adara, the scrapping of Adara Chiefdom, the partitioning of Adara community in to two, the subordination of our people in Kachia LGA under a proposed Kachia Chiefdom, the subordination of the predominantly Christian population in Kajuru LGA under a tiny minority Muslim population in Kajuru Emirate and the refusal of government to engage with or at least be sensitive to the concerns and feelings of the community in any way during this dark period,” the letter read.”
Given the above concerns, it is no surprise why the creation of these chiefdoms amidst IDP crisis and repeated raiding of Adara villages by Fulani herdsmen with overt and covert government support, met lethargy instead of jubilation.