Kaduna state governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, at the weekend, presented first-class staff of office to Esu Chikun, His Royal Highness, Dr. Danjuma Barde, calling on residents to live in peace with one another.
Addressing people from all works of life who thronged to witness the event at Esu Chikun Palace, Kakau, Kaduna, Governor El-Rufai, said the elevation of the chief was done to recognise his contribution to the advancement of peace in the state.
El-rufai, who stated that traditional rulers have a vital role to play in encouraging and nudging communities towards tolerance and cooperation for a common purpose, said his administration is involving the traditional institution in driving development in the state
The governor while calling on the residents who live or work within the chiefdom to support and encourage the Esu Chikun,said the Kaduna State Government has taken steps to enhance the prestige and authority of the traditional institution.
He said while recognising the cultural background to the emergence of many of chiefdoms in the state, his administration is implementing a policy that anchors the authority of a traditional ruler to territory, not tribe:”That way our royal fathers can more easily command the allegiance of every person and community within their territory, rather than just the people with whom the ruler shares a common ethnicity. This is the 21st Century, and our traditional institutions should be assisted to flexibly adapt to the reality of increasingly diverse communities”
El-rufai said:” On 5th November 2018, the Kaduna State Government announced the elevation of the Esu Chikun to first class status. The decision to upgrade Chikun Chiefdom follows a recommendation to that effect by the Ministry of Local Government Affairs which highlighted the role of HRH Danjuma Barde as a bridge-builder among the various ethnic groups in the Chiefdom. Shortly before the elevation, the government had in fact sent a letter of commendation to the Esu Chikun whose chiefdom includes a significant chunk of Kaduna metropolis”
“Your Royal Highnesses, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is on record that since his installation as Sa Gbagyi on 18th January 2001, His Royal Highness, Dr. Danjuma Barde has provided exemplary leadership and worked with dedication to promote integration among the diverse population of his chiefdom which covers the entire Chikun local government area of the state”
The governor added:”This Government has always stated that beyond police and soldiers, the ultimate guarantee of peace is the willingness of people to live together in harmony. The enduring and sustainable route to peace is for our communities to uphold respect for the right of every resident to live in security and pursue legitimate livelihoods”
“Our communities ought to marginalise, expose and report those who seek to deny others this right, and who resort to violence to resolve differences. We should not compromise on our insistence that what matters is a common humanity. In spite of the loudness of those who see only tribe and faith, let us continue to respect every human being and their rights, wherever they live, whatever language they speak and however they worship!”
” In terms of welfare, we have provided brand new cars for our 22 Third-Class and Second-Class chiefs to address the transportation difficulties they face in discharging their responsibilities. We will soon extend the same to our First-Class chiefs. We are also renovating some palaces.
“All our emirates and chiefdoms were consulted on this matter, and in arriving at the new designations of chiefdoms to reflect this policy. Unfortunately, some bigots have seized upon this as an opportunity to peddle their divisive baggage, including vile lies about the circumstances of the unfortunate demise of His Royal Highness, Dr. Maiwada Galadima”
“For the past three years, this government has been working to improve the lives of its people especially the poor, always putting our people first at the centre of our development programmes and policies. We are moved by the desire to create a future of hope for our children by investing in public education and the health sector.
“Our pursuit of investment has created jobs and business opportunities for thousands of our people. We are working with investors to transform Chikun LGA to become a centre of economic activities not only in Kaduna state but in the northern region. Already, the largest feed mill and hatchery in Sub-Saharan Africa has been built in Chikun. We are in the process of creating Green-Agro-Allied Industrial Zone (GAAIZ) that will house big companies like Dangote Peugeot factory, OCP Fertilizer blending plant and other big companies in Chikun Local Government” the governor said.
In his acceptance remarks, the new Esu of Chikun, His Royal Highness, Dr.Danjuma Barde, who dedicated the elevation to Gbagyi ancestral fathers commended governor El-Rufai, for the honour to the chiefdom.
He,however, tasked all traditional rulers in his chiefdom to preach and live in peace with one another irrespective of his or her ethnic, tribal and religious background.
Highlight of the event was the decoration of Governor El-Rufai in Gbagyi traditional attire and a hoe by the Esu of Chikun, His Royal Highness, Dr. Danjuma Barde.
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