President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has described the late Dr. Shekarau Angyu Masa-Ibi, the 24th Aka Uka of Wukari in Taraba State, as a great leader who worked to unite his people and bring development to Taraba and the defunct Gongola State.
Lawan stated this on Tuesday during the Senate plenary in his remarks to honour the deceased.
The Senate President in a condolence message said, “Let me commiserate with the Jukun Kingdom, the government and people of Taraba State for the loss of late Aku Uka.
“Dr. Shekarau was a great leader, he was a man of peace who worked so hard to unite people to ensure that there was development throughout his kingdom and, indeed, Taraba and former Gongola State.”
Earlier, coming under a point of order, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, drew the attention of his colleagues to the demise of the foremost traditional ruler.
Senator Bwacha who relied on Order 43 – Personal Explanation, said in 1976, the late Shekarau Angyu Masa-Ibi was made the 24th Aka Uka of the Jukun Kingdom, succeeding Malam Adda Ali, who died barely two years after ascending to the throne.
He added that, “Major General Muhammadu Bashir, Emir of Gwandu, then a Colonel and the Military Governor of the defunct Gongola State, quickly approved the appointment of Mr. Shekarau Angyu Masa-Ibi who upon his coronation as the 24th Aka Uka of Wukari on the 24th day of November, 1976, also assumed the traditional title of Kuvyo I.
“Barely a year after ascending to the throne, the Aku Uka, was recognized as a strategic pillar of the Gongola State Council of Chiefs.
“This recognition made the Governor to without any hesitation, appoint him the Deputy Chairman of the Gongola State Council of Chiefs.
“Having further recognised the special historical position of the Aku Uka as one of the oldest traditional institutions in the federation, the Aku Uka was upgraded to a first class status in 1982 by the administration of Governor of Gongola State, Late Alhaji Abubakar Barde.
“An appropriate staff of office was therefore presented to HRH Shekarau Angyu Masalbi, Kuvyo II, as the First Aku Uka to be so crowned in the history of the Jukun Kingdom, on the 15th of March, 1983
“Following the creation of Taraba State in 1991, with its headquarters in Jalingo, the then Military Administrator, Navy Captain Ambrose Afolahan, on the 4th of April, formally appointed the Aku Uka as the Acting Chairman of the Taraba State Council of Chiefs.
“Shortly after, on the 4th of April 1996, the Aku Uka was appointed substantive Chairman of the same council by the Military Administrator, Col. Yohanna Mamman Dickson.
“The Aku Uka has been serving in this capacity for the last 25 years and in these years so far, HRH the Aku Uka, has been providing the state Council of Chiefs and by extension the entire state with the requisite leadership and, therefore, impacting formidably on the growth and development of the state by promoting harmonious living and coexistence amongst its diverse lots.”
The lawmaker noted that the deceased was appointed the Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Owerri, in 2001.
He recalled that the Government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, shortly before its exit, and in consideration of the Aku Uka’s enormous experience and leadership qualities, appointed the late Dr Shekarau Angyu Masa-Ibi, Kuvyo II, as the pioneer Chancellor of the Federal University Dutse in Jigawa State.
Bwacha said the contributions of the deceased to the development of education in the country was also recognised by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, which resulted in his appointment as Chancellor of the Federal University, Lafia on July 8, 2021.
The Senate, thereafter, held a minute silence to honour the deceased traditional ruler.