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Jos North And Riyom Traditional Council Reforms: Heralding The Emir Of Jos?

By Bitrus Kaze



On it’s face value it looks completely harmless. Some of us may even choose to celebrate the CHANGE of title from The Gbong Gwom Jos to Gbong Gwom Berom as well as the fact that the President of Plateau State Council of Chiefs and Emirs would henceforth emerged from any of the 1st Class Chiefs/Emirs on the Plateau. However, it should be crystal clear to all discerning minds what big disaster this circular portends for the survival of Plateau ethnic nations beginning with the endangered native tribes of the Jos area.

This circular seeks to disrupt the time-tested Joint Jos/Barkin Ladi/Riyom Traditional Council but does not define in clear, unmistaken and unambiguous terms what role and status the throne of His Majesty the Gbong Gwom Jos (a creation of the law) assumes in the new order. Effectively therefore, it threatens to send the royal stool into the oblivion. Even if burrowing from the Gov Ganduje example in Kano State, it is simply unthinkable that any member of the Plateau State cabinet by whatever name called and howsoever described would single-handedly contemplate such sweeping reforms of such conservative and very sensitive institution by merely issuing circular without first subjecting the process through the rigours of the legislative mill (in the instant case the Plateau State House of Assembly).

It’s an open secret that in his bid to secure a second tenure, Gov Lalong promised to among other things create a new district for Jasawa.

However and very curiously so, this radical reform does not pretend to mention anything concerning the Sarki or Emir of Jos. We all know that the creation of an Emir of Jos is what the Jasawas have ultimately craved for in a long period of time and they believe that the best time for them to strike is now that President Buhari, Gov Lalong and APC Next Level are holding the reins of power.

It must be made abundantly clear that the dream to send the Gbong Gwom Jos into obscurity from Jos city is a joke taken too far. It is not really meant to serve the purpose of either the Afizeres or Anagatuas as it cunningly appears in the circular, it is simply a decoy designed to create division and acrimony amongst our people to prepare the way for achieving an age-long dream conceived since the Usman Dan Fodio jihadic exploits. Within the scheme of things in the modern day Nigeria, in the whole of the geographical area formerly known as the Jos Native Authority, the Berom ethnic nation stands out as the strongest, most organized, most influential, most portent and therefore most feared. Should the Hausa-Fulani oligarchy succeed in frustrating the Beroms out of Jos the Plateau State capital, definitely the Afizeres and the Anagutas would be effectively dislodged with much ease to pave way for the enthronement of an Emir in Jos. 

For me, the trio of Berom, Afizere and Anaguta cousins may continue in their local bickering among themselves, but no matter how bitter their disagreements our own Plateau State government MUST NOT become a tool in the hands of our traducers to decimate our people from their ancestral land under the guise of reforms or indeed whatever guise. Assuming this circular actually emerged from the Gov Lalong-led state government, it undoubtedly portends great disaster because it initiates a process of dashing to the Hausa-Fulani oligarchy a prize their fore-bearers failed to secure through desperate jihadic wars or what is now the modern day Maitatsine, Boko Haram or herdsmen killings. 

Surprisingly it does appear to me as if not too many Plateau natives being sympathetic to the APC are able to see this deadly reality. This dangerous circular may serve the purpose of the APC momentarily but it surely endangers our corporate future as a people and that of our generations yet unborn.

Kaze is a former member of the House of Representatives

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