PLATEAU State’s Governor Simon Lalong has taken a cue from his Kano State counterpart Abdullahi Ganduje and moved to reduce the influence of the Gbong Gwom of Jos Da Jacob Gyang Buba by carving out two traditional councils from his domain.
In what is now becoming a growing trend across Nigeria, Governor Ganduje decided to carve the Kano Emirate Council into four earlier this month, as a means of reducing the influence of the Emir of Kano Emir Lamido Sanusi Mohammed. Last year, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State tried to do something similar by creating 10 additions monarchs in the state capital to reduce the influence of the Olubadan of Ibadan.
With traditional rulers increasingly being forced by their subjects to criticise bad governance, Governors are not finding their intervention in the political arena funny. On the latest move against a monarch, Governor Lalong has ordered the carving out of two councils from Jos Traditional Council to be known as Jos North and Riyom Traditional Councils.
In a memo written by the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Dayyabu Garga, to the chairmen of Jos North and Riyom Local Government Areas, the Plateau State government stated that the most senior traditional rulers in each local government shall be the presidents of Jos North and Riyom Traditional Councils, respectively. Governor Lalong directed all graded chiefs, district heads, village heads and their staff, who are from both local government areas, to henceforth constitute members and staff of the newly created traditional councils.
According to the memo, Governor Lalong’s decision was in compliance with Section 91(1) of the 2016 Local Government Law, adding that Section 91(3) of the law. Earlier, Governor Lalong had created new chiefdoms and upgraded some, including the Anaguta Chiefdom in Jos North and that of the Aten of Ganawuri in Riyom.
However, Da Gyang Buba said he remained the paramount ruler of Gbong Gwom Jos. His spokesman Alex Rwang Pam, explained that the position currently being occupied by Da Jacob Buba was first institutionalised as Sarkin Jos on August 28, 1947.
He added: “The position of Gbong Gwom Jos was the one gazetted and nothing has altered the provisions of that document.” According to Mr Pam it was much later that the Berom people re-coined the name to their own language since Gwom means Sarki in their local language.