By Ndahi Marama
MAIDUGURIâ€”THE Borno State House of Assembly, accused of being a rubberstamp of the Executive, has rejected an Executive Bill for the creation of more Emirates and Chiefdoms in the state.
Debating the Bill on the floor of the House, Mr. UmarÂ Abatcha Modu, represen-ting the Maiduguri Metropo-litan Council, MMC, stated that the creation of Emirates is a sensitive issue and advised members to tread carefully over the matter, considering the security and political situation in the state.
Mr. Ibrahim Audu Miringa, from Biu Constituency, stated that anything that will alter the customs and traditions of the people should be avoided by the House, especially now that the country is passing through series of crises.
In his own contribution, Mr. Ayemu Lawan Gwasha, from Damboa Constituency, cautioned his colleagues on the exercise and advised that they should go to their constituencies to find out the views of the electorate.
The Majority Leader, Mr Idrissa Jidda from Ngala Constituency, which is the state governorâ€™s constituen-cy, however, urged members to support the Bill in view of the increase in the stateâ€™s population, stressing that the creation of more Emirates and Chiefdoms will usher in progress at the grassroots.
When the question was put to vote, members unanimou-sly agreed to return the Bill to the Executive because it was too sensitive for them to handle.
Unity Forum takes a stand
The Bill for the creation of more emirates and chiefdoms in Borno State has generated a lot of controversy with the Borno State Unity Forum saying it was â€œa dangerous anti-people policy capable of endangering peace and creating divisions on the altar of selfish interestsâ€.
In a widely circulated document, the forum observed that the proposed Bill was â€œvery senseless, ill-conceived, ill-timed and a dangerous attempt that has been hatched by government which, if allowed, is capable of further exacerbating the already tense situation in the country and put at risk the move to ward off crisis and its attendant social and political consequences in the state and the country at large.â€
The forum said, â€œthe Borno State Government led by Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff, with just a year to go is becoming highly partisan, reckless, insensitive and contemptuous to the people of the state through antics that portend great danger to the social and political stability in the state that has just come out from the Boko Haram crisis in which hundreds of lives were needlessly lost.â€
The Forum also accused the governor of targeting Dikwa Emirate in particular and have another emirate created from it with the objective to make some persons, including the Galadima of Dikwa who is his father, become emirs and chiefs without regard to protocol, feelings of the people, culture, heritage, lineage and social equilibrium.
It pointed out that the traditional institution has always been at the vanguard of peace and stability and any attempt to expose it to the machination and tantrums of an individual to further polarise and render it vulnerable to being scandalised, should be resisted.
Tasks govt on campaign promises
The Borno state Unity Forum then advised government to â€œdeliver on its campaign promises which the government has not done as evident in the level of poverty, illiteracy, disease, despondency and high death rate due to maternal mortality and misery that has almost conquered the peopleâ€.
It stated that the â€œeconomic problems facing the people are so visible that no serious government will ever contemplate adding salt to their injury with an ill- conceived anti-people policy that will be counterproductive in the long runâ€.
The rejection of the Bill by the state Assembly was greeted with jubilation from all corners of the state.