Group raises alarm on how Gov Darius Plans to resettle Fulanis to take over their ancestral lands

‘Our attention has been drawn to the judicial commission of enquiry set up by his Excellency the Executive Governor of Taraba State Arch. Darius Dickson Ishaku to ascertain whether Maisamari is Under Nguroje or Kamkam Chiefdom.

  • …chronicled history to make record straight
A group under the auspices of Mambilla progressive cultural Association have raised an alarm of Taraba State Governor,Arch Ishaku Darius Dickson’s plans through a judicial commission of inquiry to resettle Fulanis in their areas.

In a Press Release made available to this medium signed by the group’s President, Rev. Moses Sufa said is trying to use a deliberate efforts for Fulanis to take over their lands.
They worried that Governor Darius is unmindful of the fragile security threats these areas have been experiencing, at the same time they are trying their best to sustain to it against all odd. They are calling on the Governor to retract the policy as is being considered an anti mambilla people.
The group delved into the history of how and when the fulanis migrated in some parts of the area, they chronicled how the Mambillas lived in those areas many centuries ago before a few handful of slave Fulanis settled in Ngoroje.
Read the statement in full as presented to this medium:

‘Our attention has been drawn to the judicial commission  of enquiry set up by his Excellency the Executive Governor of Taraba State  Arch. Darius Dickson Ishaku to ascertain whether Maisamari is Under Nguroje or Kamkam Chiefdom.

‘The committee which was inaugurated  on  the 7th Feb. 2022. Under the Chairmanship  of  His Lordship Justice Joel Agya and Barr. Kimamra Maigida as Secretary.

‘His Excellency while inaugurating the committee was quoted to have said ”newly inaugurated committee to determine the real status of Maisamari and  its environs has become necessary so as to avoid any unpleasant  issue that will arise from such area, he further said that the general public to remain calm and carry on their normal duties as he is on his toe that those responsible for causing unrest will not be allowed to see the light of the day.”

‘We agreed that the Security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose  of Government, as such Government is enjoined to provide a suitable environment for economic activities and secure the Life of the Citizenry.

‘Your Excellency in your Oath of office as the Governor of Taraba State you have sworn amongst other things that: 

‘…… That I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official decision……’  (see the seventh schedule to the 1999 constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria ( as amended) oath of office of  Governor of a State).

Your Excellency Sir,  prior to this Judicial commission of inquiry you set up on 7th Feb, 2022. There was another Judicial commission  of inquiry you set up sometimes in June, 2017 under the Chairmanship of His Lordship Justice Nuhu S. Adi who submitted their report sometime in Nov.2017 and recommended the creation of Kamkam as the result of finding and evidence available to them as stated in paragraph 16, pg 71 vol. 4 of the report of Hon.

‘Justice Nuhu S. Adi Judicial commission of inquiry into the communal crisis in part of Sardauna  Local Government  Area of Taraba State, stated as follows;

‘That from the evidence and findings. The commission recommends the ancient four (4) independent Mambilla Chiefdoms that existed prior to the colonial rule be restored to 3rd class Chief status and also one Kaka chiefdom of 3rd class status namely:Kabri, Mbamnga, Kamkam, Kuma, Kaka.’

‘The Taraba State Local Government Law 2000, the Taraba State upgradement of Traditional Rulers and creation of Districts (ORDER) 2018 by virtue of order 4(1) and scheduled 1. Upgraded Kamkam to 3rd class Chief  status and place Maisamari under the District of Kamkam Chiefdom.

‘The question is why the Judicial commission of inquiry again? We have no option but to continue to quest. I know as of fact, the Governor have Tea factory in Maisamari, he is a Politician and  have political loyalist  who equally have interest. What we are saying is  that, Maisamari status had never been in any doubt, because it is a law in Taraba State and doing anything to the contrary is amounting  to flagrant violation of the law. That Every child has a Mother and Mbungnu (Kamkam) founded Maisamari which today enjoys statuary flavour.

‘There is no doubt that throughout the History of the Mambilla Plateau (Mbaden) has been the headquarters of all Western Mambilla I.e Kamkam (Mbungnu) area and this Status has not been changed.

‘It will interest his Excellency that from Benene (now known as Maisamari) in the Northern end to Takam, Damu, Chamvurr (Now Gurgu) to old Mbungnu (Now Nguroje,) Mbaden (present day Kakara) Magu (present day Zongon- Ajiya), Ndunda , Furu (Yerimaru) Zima (Bangoba), Ndu (Kashallah sa’a) etc. All Western Mambilla was first inhabited by the Mbungnus since Pre-Colonial time. The exact date of first occupation cannot be specified at this stage, but Archaeological studies by the Frenchmen , Jean Hurault and Rigobert Tuecha between 1979 and 2000 revealed that, Mambilla Plateau has been people by inhabitant of the same culture for over 4 millennia  (Zeitlyn and Connell, 2003 journal of African History, vol. 44 no 1 pp 117- 138, June 11 2003. Cambridge University press). The first Fulani slave raids of relatively resent time (1890s) met the Mbungnu People here.

‘Your Excellency there were formally no other inhabitants  beside the Mambilla  in this areas down to the coming of German Colonial Masters.  According to the 1938 reorganization report provide as follows;.

‘No Fulani settled on the Mambilla Plateau until after the British occupation.’

‘By the 1890s Old Mbungnus Village ( known as Nguroje) was a key Mbungnu settlement. The Word.’Nguroje’ was derived from the Fulani term Ngurore meaning ‘Old settlement’ in reference to Old settlement of Mbungnus,  The word (Kamkam) was introduced for Mbungnu area in the Colonial times.

According to late Chief of Mambilla Muhammadu Mansur in his speech para. 3 said ;

‘The inhabitant of the present day Kakara and Magu were said to be the early settlers of  the present side of Nguroje which today is mostly inhabited by the Hausa/ Fulani Communities ,’

 (see the speech of HRH Alh Muhammadu Mansur  in the joined programme for the official presentation of second class Staff of office to their Royal highness Chief of Mambilla Muhammadu Mansur and Gashaka Alh. Hamman Gabdo Muh’d Sambo on Thursday 26th May, 1983 Gembu and Saturday 28th May, 1983 at serti by His Excellency Mr. Wilber Force B. Juta Governor of Gongola State).The papers were Prepared by the following Personalities: Alh. Abubakar Bobboi Jauro,, Alh. Sulaiman Zubairu,, Mr. Emmanuel Q.Njiwa,, Alh. Idris Waziri,, Mr. K.M Ada,, Alh. Hammanjoda Gashaka and Alh. Suleiman Titong.

Mbungnu was among the Thirty  Village Chieftainships recognised by the German between 1906 and 1915 which the British later collapsed  the  thirty into ten, Mbungnu was again among the ten Chieftainate  (see Izard Chiefs )  recognised by the British in 1926 and re-labelled Village Areas. The ten Chiefs were ; Mbungnu (Kamkam), Warwar (Nburr),  Vakkude (Gam), Kabri (Ndik), Mbamnga (Limil), Bang, Tamnya (Mbugu), Gembu (Bummi) and Titong (Kerke). see (Recurrent report southern touring area B3C, Note of Captain  Izard to Rowse May 1928,para. 8).

There was no other Chieftain in the entire Western  Mambilla   then except Kamkam (Mbungnu). The Kaka group of Antere  and Inkiri who moved up to the Mambilla Plateau from Mfunfe in Cameroon settled within Mbungnu jurisdiction and accordingly placed under the administration of the  Kamkam Chiefs (1938 report). 
Kakara (Mbaden)  continues as the headquarters of the Western Mambilla Native Chiefs as organised in 1938. The others were Mbamnga, Kabri Kuma and Gembu courts.

‘In 1962 NATIVE COURTS (JURISDICTIONS AND POWERS) NOTICE NNLN NO: 65 OF 1962 re-affirmed the establishment of the Court in Kakara. The Court centres were a Sought of Sub-administration, many of which have today become Local Government head quarters in the area of the former Adamawa provinces.

‘This was again re-affirmed in the Northern Nigerian Native Court ( Jurisdiction and Powers) Notice of 2 March,1967.

‘In 1968, the area Court edict of 1968 0f the North-Eastern States of Nigeria Gazette No:5 vol. 2 1968 abolished the Chiefs Courts  replaced them with Judge who Preside in the Courts, it continued in Kakara for all Western Mambilla, an attempt was made by the area Court Judge who was Newly transferred to Kakara and wanted to move the Court to Nguroje in 1975, a complained was lodged and Order was given that, the Court to be immediately returned to Kakara by the then North-Eastern State. 

The German Lost the Area after the first World war of( 1918) and was made part of the trust territory under the World league of Nations. Later it was the World League of Nations that, entrusted the whole area to the British after the second world war(1939-1954) coming under the British,  brought the Administrative supervision of the Adamawa  Native Authority. Since the then Adamawa Native Authority started sending the representative of Lamido of  Adamawa. The first was Marafa who choose both Mayo-ndaga  in Mambilla Plateau and Gashaka as his administrative bases (1939-1940). The second was Dan-Lawan (1940-1952),he changed the initial arrangement  by Marafa and Merged Kurmi with Wukari and created Mambilla and Gashaka District. He became the first District head of Mambilla and Gashaka District. Lastly was Usman Muggadas from (1953-1960)  he was returned to Yola as a result of protest by Mambillas to shook off external rule foisted on them by the Adamawa provinces, under the British in-direct rule and voted against the Nigerian Federation in the 1959 plebiscite . in order to convinced the Mambilla Nation to choose to remain in Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello the Premier of Northern Nigerian, promised to the Mambillas that, no external element will be impose in  their Area anymore  and that was the condition that the Mambilla agreed to join the Nigerian Federation.

‘The then Gongola State in 1981, Created Kamkam District with Headquarter in Kakara by virtue  of the  Gongola State  Local Government Law 1977, (Amendment  Law No: 5 of 1981. This was in continued recognition of the status of Kakara as the Head quarters of Western Mambilla.

‘In 2003, Kamkam  Chiefdom was the only New chiefdom  created from the existing  Mambilla chiefdom. However, the attempt to change the Headquarter from Kakara to Nguroje was resisted and was aborted.

‘Finally in 2017 the report of Hon. Justice Nuhu S. Adi  Judicial commission of inquiry into the communal crisis in parts of Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State in June 2017, vol. 4 main report. Findings and recommendations. P. 17 at para. 16 states as follows:

‘That from the evidence and findings, the commission recommends the ancient four(4) independent Mambilla Chiefdoms  that existed before the colonial rule be restored to 3rd class status and also one Kaka Chiefdom of 3rd class namely Kabri, manga, Kamkam, Kuma, and Kaka’

‘Under this administration, the Taraba State Government upgraded a New Chiefdom in Western Mambila Plateau with equal status with Kamkam Chiefdom and they want to expand the Chiefdom by taking over Maisamari from Kamkam. We do not know which District is next, despite the findings and the recommendations contained in the Hon. Justice Nuhu S. Adi report cited above in paragraph 34,p.75 vol. 4 stated as follows:

‘The above are the honest findings and recommendations of the Judicial Commission of inquiry set up by His Excellency. The state Governor Arch. Darius Dickson Ishaku to investigate the communal crisis in a part of Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State in June. 2017 and to the best of our ability, knowledge, and belief we have played our small part in bringing about lasting peace on the Mambilla plateau, hope and pray that Government will passionately consider this submission and implement them accordingly. 

‘Given the foregoing, we are still battling to know the criteria Taraba State Government used to award Nguroje with the 3rd class Chief, and here again, His Excellency had set up another Judicial commission of inquiry to expand the Jurisdiction of Nguroje Chiefdom. The question is after Maisamari which District is next. Kumkum community is the most peaceful community in the entire Mambilla Plateau and are Law-abiding citizens. Our peaceful disposition should not be taken for granted, we will explore all peaceful means and will leave no stone on a turn until justice is done.’

Rev Moses sufa while shedding more light on the whole scenario to our correspondent these are all plans by Gov Ishaku to resettle Fulanis to take over their ancestral lands.
He said upgrading of Ngoroje to a third class chief has a serious problem considering how other communities of equal status are neglected.

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