April 16, 2024

The Taraba State House of Assembly has passed into law the “Establishment of One Rotational First Class Chief and Three Third Class Chiefs Bill, 2024”, for the Takum local government area, thereby settling the decades-old tussle for the Ukwe Takum stool.

The Bill titled: “A Bill for a Law to Provide for the Establishment of One Rotational First Class Chief and Three Third Class Chiefs in Takum among the tribes of Kuteb, Chamba, and Jukun Takum respectively, and Other Matters Connected Therewith 2024.”

Governor Agbu Kefas had earlier in the week sent an Executive Bill to the House seeking the establishment of one rotational first-class chief and three third-class chiefs in Takum.

In a plenary session held under a makeshift arrangement, the chairman of the House Committee on Local Government, Traditional and Chieftaincy Affairs, Peter Diah, said the House considered the general principles of the Bill and after an exhaustive debate it was referred to the Committee for further legislative action

According to him, several stakeholders submitted their memoranda which include: The Taraba State Council of Chiefs, Ministry of Justice, Bureau for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, Kuteb Yatso of Nigeria, Tiv Cultural and Social Association, Taraba State, Jukun Takum, TEKAN/ECWA, NCWS Taraba State, Chamba Takum, Kuteb Youths of Nigeria, Ukwe Takum Royal Palace, Jibu Ruling House under Jukun Takum and Jalingo Development Foundation.

According to him, of all the stakeholders, only Kuteb Yatso of Nigeria, Ukwe Takum Royal Palace, Kuteb Youths of Nigeria and NCWS Taraba State, opposed the Bill citing “an attempt to deprive the Kuteb race of their inheritance as they consider the Ukwe stool as their exclusive preserve”.

After stating their observations, the Committee, therefore, made their recommendations which include: that “the appointment of the Chief of Takum shall be among the three (3) third Class Chiefs and shall be on rotational basis provided that no any 3rd Class Chief shall be appointed twice if any of the other 3rd class chiefs has not been so appointed to the office of the Chief of Takum.

“Where the Governor approves the nomination of any 3rd Class Chief to be appointed as the Chief of Takum, the ruling family from which such a nominee was drawn, shall nominate a replacement within three (3) days”.

After laying the report, Diah further elaborated on the report. According to him, the committee saw the need to unite the three tribes of Takum for peace to reign.

He recalled that a similar thing had happened on the Mambilla Plateau, explaining that this was the only way to have peace in Takum.

During the debate, a member representing Takum 1 in the state Assembly, Abubakar Tanko, said for the past 28 years, attempts had been made to implement reports concerning the stool which did not work, and that there was a need to try something else to bring peace.

For Member, representing the Ussa constituency, Joshua Rikupki, though the Bill will bring about accommodation, the House must replicate what it has done should it happen elsewhere in the future.

The plenary session which was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Hamman Adama Abdullahi, therefore resolved to pass the Bill into Law and a draft copy to be forwarded to the governor for his assent.

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