Takum: ‘War’ looms in General Danjuma’s home town over chieftaincy
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Former Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, General TY Danjuma
By our reporter
Takum in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State, the ancestral home of former Nigeria Chief of Army Staff, General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma is currently sitting on a time bomb following moves by the State Governor, Dr. Agbu Kefas to fill the over 28 years old disputed vacant stool of Ukwe Takum.
The stool of Ukwe Takum has remained a ‘forbidden fruit’ for all successive governments since the death of the paramount ruler, Alhaji Ali Ibrahim Ahmadu Kufang II in 1996.
All attempts to install a none Kuteb tribe on the throne has resulted to a monumental loss of lives while property worth billions of naira were destroyed between 1996 and 1997 with all accusing fingers pointing at General Danjuma as the alleged mastermind.
Tension however went high in Takum town and environs last week shortly after Agbu announced to the elders of the Kuteb, Chamba and Jukun after an extensive meeting that he was going to fill the 28 year old disputed vacant stool of Ukwe Takum with some modifications.
The first modification, according to a source at the meeting was the change of the name of the first class stool from Ukwe Takum to King of Takum. This is to accommodate other tribes other than Kuteb who have been sole occupant of the stool since 1914.
Secondly, the governor allegedly told the elders at the meeting that the stool will henceforth be rotated between Chamba, General Danjuma’s tribe, the Kpanzon tribe and Kuteb the ancestral owners of the stool.
The third modification is that the Chamba tribe will be the first to ascend to the throne of King of Takum.
Rimamnyang Habu Boyi Ahmadu II, the new Ukwe selected by the Kuteb kingmakers
Aside from these, Governor Agbu also informed the elders at the meeting of his intention to appoint three third class chiefs in Takum, one each for three tribes in same Takum town for Kuteb, Kpanzon and Chamba, then there will be a 1st class King which will be rotated between the same three tribes, meaning there will be four chiefs of different tribes in the same town.
These developments however did not go down well with the elders and youths of Kuteb tribe who have vowed that until the last Kuteb man on earth dropped dead no other tribe would be allowed to occupy their ancestral throne of Ukwe Takum.
The Kuteb Yatso of Nigeria (KYN), the umbrella body of the Kuteb people from Taraba State on Thursday in Jalingo said that the Kuteb people will not sit back and allow the state government to take the traditional stool of Ukwe Takum and hand it over to General Danjuma as compensation for his developmental strides in the state.
The National President of the group, Mr Emmanuel Ukwen, who said this at a press conference in Jalingo, said TY Danjuma can be honoured with any traditional title but not the stool of the Ukwe Takum which is an exclusive preserve of the Kuteb people.
Governor Agbu Kefas of Taraba State
He cautioned the Governor against instigating crisis in the state and urged security agencies in the state to focus on tackling the prevailing security challenges affecting the area, rather than allow the Governor to stir mayhem in that part of the state.
“The attention of Kuteb Yatso of Nigeria, Likam and Akente ruling houses of Ukwe Takum has been drawn to the outcome of the consultative meeting, His Excellency, Governor Agbu Kefas had with Likam and Akente ruling Houses of Ukwe Takum on Saturday, 20th day of January, 2024 wherein His Excellency told the ruling Houses of his resolve to demolish the Kuteb Takum Dynasty and do something else.
“The determination by the Governor to honour Gen. T.Y. Danjuma for his developmental strides in the State which is not in doubt, we wish to State emphatically that as lofty as such developments are, Gen. T.Y. Danjuma cannot be honored with a traditional Stool of UKWE TAKUM or any other traditional Stool in the State. Traditional Stool is distinct and separate from Traditional Title and so cannot be dished out to anybody outside the Royal Families. In this wise, Gen. T.Y. Danjuma can be honoured with a ‘Traditional Title’ not an existing Chieftaincy Stool. Ascension to Traditional Stools being subject to product of native Law and custom are by Inheritance. If this is allowed, even other traditional Stools in the State will one day be given to any person in the State who had performed brilliantly and credibly well in his developmental strides. God forbid.
“The Kuteb see the UKWE TAKUM STOOL as the inheritance of their Fathers and have no reason whatsoever to give or Share it with any other non-Kuteb under whatsoever guise. We wish to humbly State further that the position of His Excellency recently to destroy the Kuteb Dynasty of Ukwe Takum has no root and is quite unacceptable.
“We also wish to inform His Excellency Gov. Kefas Agbu that Ukwe Takum Stool is not an exclusive affair of the Likam and Akenten Ruling houses but a Kuteb nation affairs as a whole. So by always inviting the Akenten and Likam only to discuss the Ukwe Takum issue is not good enough. The Governor also told Kuteb delegation in a meeting on Sat. 20th January, 2024 that all Kuteb leaders are dead and that Kuteb have enemies around them e.g. Tiv, Chamba, Fulanis, adding that how would they Succeed as they have no one to stand for them. The Governor failed to remind himself that the Wukari people also fought with Tivs, Fulanis and Hausas. Does it then mean that Wukari people will not Succeed?.
“We wish to inform our Traditional rulers in the state that they should know that they came to the throne of their fore-fathers through inheritance as such they should advise the Governor on the right things to do in the case of Takum Ukwe Stool.
They are Custodians of Tradition and Custom and should protect it anywhere by all cost. They should be mindful of nemesis. To our Security Chiefs we call on them to advise the Governor against instigating violence or crises in Takum. Our Security Chiefs should focus on tackling rampaging kidnapping and banditry in the State rather than allowing the Governor to cause mayhem in Takum which has being engulfed in crises in which innocent blood have been spilled over the years.
“In this regard, we thank our brothers and friends who understand our plight and always stand by us in the great struggle. We call on Kuteb youths to remain calm, Law abiding and be cautious of the misuse of social media” the statement reads in parts.
Comrade Ukwen maintaind that Kuteb kingmakers have already selected Prince Rimamnyang Habu Ahmadu as the crown Prince to succeed late Ukwe Ali ibrahim Ahmadu who died in 1996.
The President disclosed that the king makers will submit his name to the government for approval as soon as all the traditional rites were concluded.
Meanwhile efforts by Apex News Exclusive to get either the Chief Press secretary to Governor Agbu, Yusuf Sanda and Hon. Emmanuel Bello, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity failed as both declined to comment on the matter.