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Taraba: Kuteb community vow not to recognise propose Chief of Takum, insists on Ukwe Takum as their paramount ruler

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Kutebs protest at the premises of the Taraba State House of Assembly, Jalingo

By Uhuru Samuel Adaji, Jalingo 

The Kuteb community in Takum  local government area of Taraba State have vowed not to recognise the new Chief of Takum being imposed on the people of the area by the State Gov. Agbu Kefas. 

The Kuteb in their numbers on February 21, 2024 stormed the State Assembly complex, venue of the public hearing of the executive bill sent to the lawmakers by Gov.  Agbu Kefas wearing black attires and carrying plakads with various inscriptions such as “Ukwe Takum stool  is not a souvenir”, “Ukwe Takum is not for compensation”, “we say no to rotation of Ukwe Takum”, “no to destruction of our heritage” “we kick against daylight robbery of our heritage. This is abuse of office”.etc.

The Taraba State House of Assembly  held a public hearing for an executive bill submitted to the house by the state governor Dr Agbu Kefas, seeking the creation of one rotational 1st class and three 3rd class chief in Takum town.

There have been growing tension and apprehensions as the Kuteb nation continues to reject plans by the State Governor Dr Agbu Kefas to take the ancestral stool of Ukwe Takum, which is a Kuteb heritage and give to a non Kuteb person as compensation for General TY Danjuma.

 Mrs. Punarimam Daniel Atenji, spokeswoman  for Kuteb women group who  is also the  Chairperson, Taraba  State National Council for Women Society  (NCWS) told journalists at the Assembly complex that the Kutebs are aware of the agreement between General T.Y. Danjuma and Governor Agbu to forcefully install a Chamba, Danjuma’s tribe as Chief of Takum before he was entroned as Governor. 

She lamented  that Ukwe stool is an exclusive right and traditional dynasty of the Kuteb people that can not be shared  with any other tribe. 

“I want to place on record that Gov. Agbu and General Danjuma can go ahead to install a Chamba as their Chief of Takum but the Kuteb who constitute 60 percent of the population of Takum will continue to pay their allegiance to Rimamnyang Habu Boyi Ahmadu 11, the new UKWE already selected by the Kuteb kingmakers. The Kuteb world wide will never recognise any other traditional stool in Takum other than the Ukwe Takum.” she said. 

The Kuteb Yatso of Nigeria (KYN) on Wednesday also kicked against the planned rotation of the stool of  Ukwe Takum, the Paramount traditional stool of the Kuteb in Taraba.

 Chief Emmanuel Ukwen, President of the KYN  made the rejection at the Public Hearing on the rotation of the First Class Traditional Stool and the creation of three chiefdoms in Takum organized by Taraba State House of Assembly in Jalingo.

Ukwen noted that the seat of Ukwe was an ancestral inheritance, retreating why the government would contemplate rotating with non Kuteb people.

He said that two ruling houses  of Akente and Likam  had been their succession lineages since 1912.

The President recalled that the position of Ukwe existed since 1510 and was upgraded by the colonial administration in 1914.

According to Ukwen, the Kuteb had nutured the seat from village head, Third Class up till First Clas without external link with any other tribe, adding that the proposed rotational was against the culture and traditions of of the Kuteb race. 

“The rotation is alien to my people and we will not recognise anybody imposed on the people of Takum by Gov. Agbu. We already  have our new Ukwe and we will continue to pay our allegiance to him as our paramount ruler. ” he said. 

Our correspondent recalls that the succession tussle for the stool of Ukwe started  in 1996 following the death of the former Ukwe Takum who died in 1996. 

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