By Ahmad Sajoh
A presentation in support of the submissions of a Request for the creation of Amana State with the city of Mubi as Headquarters by the people of Mubi North, Mubi South, Maiha, Michika and Madagali Local Government Areas of Adamawa state.
Today, we stand before you all here to speak for and on behalf the people of an area that had put its TRUST in Nigeria since 1961. An area that willingly voted to join a great Country called Nigeria. An area whose citizens are Nigerians by choice. A choice we made on the 11th of February 1961. A choice that represented hope for us which is anchored on a solemn promise by the then Prime Minister of Nigeria Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa when he said, “Join Nigeria for peace and progress, otherwise poverty and hardship” Everyone of us in that territory that was a ‘Trust Territory of the United Nations’ still believes in that promise.
Hence, we anchor our demand on the premise of the TRUST we had in Nigeria which in Hausa means AMANA. We the people of the Trust Territory or Kasar Amana have two demands. Restore our status as an autonomous region or state as it was when we joined you.
Secondly, take a second look at the series of deprivations we suffered over the years as a result of our lost of autonomy and the loss our capital city suffered since it ceased to be a capital city. It remains the only provincial capital in Nigeria not have the status of a state capital.
Why are we here?
If the plebiscite of 1961 represents a watershed in our history, the events that followed represent out tragedy. Since we voted to join Nigeria we had only one clamour, which is to be mainstreamed and accepted as equals in a country we willingly choose to join. But we have never been so accepted. Of the 11 territories that constituted the former German colonies taken over by the mandate of the League of Nations after the first world war and later held as Trust territories of the United Nations only the Kameruns that have not become independent countries. Of the two Kameruns, Northern and Southern, we are the only ones that did not get a sub-National status.
The Southern Cameroons joined the Republic of Cameroon as a distinct Region. Later, they were split into two Regions. We are still a vassal of a sub-National entity. This is sad and unfortunate and perhaps a betrayal of the trust we had in the promises made to us when we joined the country. This is because the Premier of Northern Nigeria had promised us our continued status as a distinct entity within the Nigerian state, and our capital which is Mubi will remain the capital of a sub-national entity as long as we remain within Nigeria.
When we see our brothers take up their struggle for autonomy as a nation state called “Ambazonia” we begin to pity ourselves. If our brothers who went to Cameroon as an autonomous Region now have the benefit of two Regions, two Airports, A Railway line, three University Campuses, two Radio Stations, two Television stations, 24 hour power supply to major cities, pipe borne water, good roads including the Enugu to Bamenda Road and several other amenities could feel so marginalised, what of us, who have no state status? Our capital city has been dismantled, our Airport is obliterated, we have no power sub-station to give us steady power, no water supply, no TV station, no Radio station to warn us when Boko Haram came calling. To add salt to injury, every road leading to our territory is bad.
There is virtually nothing to show that we once had a near autonomous territory with a thriving capital city of Mubi. In terms of appointments, the five Local Governments making Adamawa North Senatorial District did not have anyone sitting as a full member of the Federal Executive Council from 199 to date.
In 1979, then President Shehu Shagari made a pronouncement that all Federal Colleges of Arts and Science in the Country will be converted to Universities. However, when it came to Federal College of Arts and Science in Mubi, they said it will not apply because we are not a state capital. But ABU Zaria is not in a state capital, OAU Ife is not in a state capital, Federal University of Agriculture Umudike is not in a state capital. Why the double standards when it comes to Mubi or our area in general? Today Gashua, Malumfashi, Daura, Oye-Ekiti and Otuoke all have new Universities, but they are not state capitals. Go to Mubi and see, even our water system is being repaired by ICRC and not Federal Government Agencies charged with post Insurgency recovery efforts.
A compelling case for Amana state with Mubi as Capital City:
Mr. Chairman, dynamic and respected Hon. Representatives, if you go by the trajectory of our demand for Amana State, you will notice that we are the most consistent of all state creation agitators in Nigeria. From 1976 to date, we had made submissions to practically every panel, committee or conference established. There is no Nigerian leader that does not have a record of our agitations. And we have been consistent. Perhaps it was only the late General Murtala Muhammed that truly understood our situation when he lamented as follows after the Irekefe panel threw out our request “There is no other way to appreciate the heroic and historic decision of these people to remain with Nigeria, even after their Southern counterparts had already decided to the contrary, than to give them an independent state of their own”.
We want an Amana state with Mubi as its capital.
At a time when Nigeria had only one Governor in Lagos and Lieutenant Governors in the Regions, Mubi had a Governor. At a time when Telephony to Foreign Countries was a luxury reserved for only Lagos the Nation’s capital, Mubi had direct telephone line to the UN in New York and UK. Rather than give us “Peace and Progress” we have retrogressed immensely by joining Nigeria. But we are resilient. Mubi is the only Provincial capital in all of Nigeria that is yet to be made a state capital. It is sad. But we will continue to ask for a state of our own with our capital of Mubi restored to its status no matter how long it takes. We only hope and pray that our agitations will end with this 9th National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Even the tragic incidence of 2014 when Boko Haram overran our area and took over our capital city of Mubi did not break our spirit. They changed the name of our city to “Madinatul-Islam” and designated it the Headquarters of their Caliphate. We are still pained by that occurrence, but we are compelled to remind Nigeria that even an infamous group like Boko Haram realised that we deserve a state status and our Capital city deserves to be made a state capital. The continued ignoring of our right to be an autonomous region in a country we freely choose to belong is a serious misnomer. In the words of my brother Alhaji Haliru T. Ali, a very respected Teacher in Mubi, “our parents did not go to school, they dressed in skins and leaves, yet they emancipated us. They resolved to get us a better future and identity, they sent us to school. We got educated and dressed up in modern attires, but we failed to liberate ourselves not to talk of them”.
All along we have been following due process in our demand. We have written to every panel, committee or conference. We have been very peaceful in our agitations. But our peaceful disposition should not be construed to say Nigeria is being peaceful with us. Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the presence of Social justice. An area that willingly surrendered its sovereignty to join another country should not be treated as we are being treated. With all the things we enumerated earlier as being absent in our territory how can anyone say we have been mainstreamed or even treated as equal citizens with the rest of the country?
Indices of a viable state:
The National Population Commission and the National Bureau of Statistics put the population of the five Local Governments of Adamawa North Senatorial District as 911,500. But that was before we received several communities ceded to Nigeria as a result of the judgement of the International Court of Justice at The Hague with a sizable population. These are Rumsi, Rimisiki, Gouris, Rhumsiki, Gwava, Siwi, Sidakule, Misa, Bourha Vamgo, Ndabakura, Mabisi and part of Doumo. They came with a sizeble population. In addition, we equally received over 600,000 displaced persons from Insurgency ravaged areas of Borno and Yobe. Today we have a population of over 1,700,000 people and we are still counting because our area is so hospitable that we shared our lands and resources with all newcomers. There are states currently in existence with populations within this range. According to the Modibbo Adama University Journal of Environment, the total landmass of the area in question is 4,885.47 square kilometres. Lagos State has just 3,345.00, Anambra has 4,844.00 Imo and Abia have slightly above 5,000. According to statistics from INEC on voter population density, Sabon Layi, Kolere and Yelwa wards are among the most densely populated voting centres in Nigeria.
The area in question despite the many set-backs still houses a University, a Polytechnic, and a College of Health Technology. An indication that we have all the trappings of a viable development hub. We have a Military Barrack, a Police Barrack, a Customs Barrack, Immigration Service and the other Security Services. We have the capacity and capability to host a sub-national structure.
Economically, Mubi is to present day Adamawa state what Lagos is to Nigeria. We are the economic capital of the state. It is on record that by 1993 Mubi as a Municipality paid its staff salary before receiving allocation from Abuja. We in Mubi were giving our Councillors allocations to undertake projects in their constituencies which is what you call today “constituency allowance” Again permit me to borrow from my brother Haliru T. Ali, “We are far more economically viable than most states. We produced the grains that feed most of the states in Nigeria, we contributed to the famed groundnut pyramids in Kano, we provide the beans taken to Lagos especially the red beans, we have the largest cattle market in Nigeria with weekly trade volumes in billions of Naira. But our biggest resource is our people. Highly educated, vibrant, upwardly mobile, cosmopolitan and resilient” Our resilience and vibrancy ensured our quick recovery from the disaster of Boko Haram occupation. We are proud that our dynamic sons and daughters have played and are still playing leading roles in modernising the current state capital of Adamawa state. But that cannot compare with having a state of our own and our own state capital.
A passionate Appeal:
We will like to end this presentation by appealing to this vibrant and dynamic House of Representatives and indeed the National Assembly to consider repaying a historic debt owed Nigeria by all of us in the former Trust Territory of Northern Kameruns. A debt occasioned by our historic decision to willingly join this great country called Nigeria. A debt affirmed by all the promises made by Nigerian leaders at the time we joined. Restore our status as a sub-National entity or a state within the Federal set-up in Nigeria. Restore our Headquarters Mubi as the Capital of a Territory as it was in the past. We have carried on this agitation consistently since 1976. We pray it ends with this exercise.
Let me also state very categorically that we are not antagonistic towards any person or group of persons or region. We are only exercising our inalienable right to self-determination. We are exercising our freedom within the ambience of a constitutional order. We have endured. We have persevered. We have waited a long time. We pray the waiting ends one day and now should be the time. We may not know what colour or hue our children’s agitations may take if this continued denial and deprivation does not end. Now is the time to end it.
Mr. Chairman, Respected Hon. Members of the Federal House of Representatives, standing with us here and outside this venue are representatives of the community we speak for. We all came with high hopes. Hopes that one day our agitations will end. That one day we will converge in Mubi as the Capital of Amana State with all the rights and privileges and the status of a capital city it once enjoyed. And we must add that we in the proposed Amana state believe in Amana or Trust. Mubi is the only provincial capital in the North where no Ibo man was killed or molested in 1966. Rather the then Paramount Ruler gathered all Ibo people in his palace, called all his elders and asked them to hand over their property in Trust to the elders. He ensured their safe passage through Bourha in Cameroun. When the civil war ended, they returned to Mubi and everything was handed back including rent on property and proceeds of sale of domestic animals. There was no “Abandoned” property in Mubi. That is AMANA!
We thank you very much for listening to our presentation and for your disposition towards correcting the errors of the past.
God bless you all.
His Excellency Boni Haruna (Makaman Mubi)
His Highness the District Shuwa (Jarman Mubi)
Alhaji Mustafa Muhammadu Sanusi
Distinguished Senator Elisha Ishiyaku Abbo
Distinguished Senator Binta Massi Garba
Hon. Jaafar Magaji Haske Member House of Reps
Hon. Zakariya Dauda Yampa Member House of Reps
Professor Ladi Hamalai
Alhaji Haruna Lawan Duhu
Mr. John Papka Kaigamma
Hon. J. J. Ahmed
Former Perm Sec Commissions 4.6km Damare Road, Lauds Fintiri’s Achievements
A retired federal permanent secretary and elder statesman Alhaji Ahidjo Bamanga has lauded Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri for his outstanding achievements in 3 years which have uplifted the status of the state
He was speaking during the commissioning of 4.6km ATV Damare road in Girei local government area.
Speaking shortly before the commissioning Alhaji Bamanga applauded the Governor for his commitment towards changing the fortunes of the state.
The elder statesman described Governor Fintiri as a committed, result oriented and great achiever who has salvaged the state from the shackles of underdevelopment urging all Adamawa people to support him for continuity.
Earlier Governor Fintiri said the 4.6km road is part of the landmark achievements in the deliveries of the urban renewal campaign of his administration.
The Governor said government has developed a two way approach to infrastructural strides which is urban renewal and rural infrastructure and community development and it will not rest on its oars till it achieves that.
He proudly noted that Adamawa is wearing a beautiful look and has fast become an investment hub for investors.
While pledging to continue to flag off and commission projects till the end of his tenure he reiterated his resolve to ensure that no one is left behind and nothing is left untouched.
Commissioner of works and energy development, Adamu Atiku
said the 4.6km ATV Damare road is strategic and important as it has ameliorated the plight of commuters and opened up the area for development.
There were goodwill messages from the District Head of Girei, Dr Ibrahim Ahmed Mustapha, and chairman Girei Local Government Council Judah Amisa and Baba Salam.
High points of the event was a display of three hearty cheers from corp members who are major beneficiaries of the road which leads to the NYSC orientation camp Damare.
The Governor while inspecting the road had a stopover at the NYSC camp and was cheerfully welcomed by the corp members.
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Dr Bello Maigari, the Executive Secretary , National Lottery Trust Fund, has said that the Agency emerged the second best accountability compliant in Federal Government Agency’s Anti Corruption and Transparency Units ( ACTU) in 2021.
Dr Bello Maigari made the agency’s stand clear in a statement issued on Monday and signed by Muhammad Auwal Adam, Media and Puɓlications unit of the Trust Fund.
Dr. Maigari equally stated that the agency was the fourth best compliant among the government MDA in efficiency and transparency in the workplace.
“In less than Three years of the constitution of the Unit, the agency scored 84.45% to emerge the second best compliant in agency category in Nigeria and the fourth best compliant MDA with systems and processes put in place to promote efficiency and transparency in the workplace”. Maigari said.
According to Dr. Maigari, the success is attributed to the efforts put by the agency’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU).
The Executive Secretary stated that the development equally followed the high standards of transparency and accountability collectively exhibited by the management and staff of the agency.
Similarly, Federal Government has lauded the National Lottery Trust Fund for gigantic intervention in National Sports Development and urged other government MDAs to emulate.
According to Dr Bello Maigari, the commendation followed the giant intervention so far made by the agency in promoting nation’s sport.
He said that over N574m worth of sports equipment procured by the National Lottery Trust Fund and distributed to over 2000 selected public primary schools across the country.
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Ishaka Dedan Reelected As Adamawa NUJ Chair
The Adamawa state Council of the Nigeria union of Journalists, NUJ Saturday held its election which saw the emergence of Ishaka Donald Dedan as the Chairman for the second term.
This was announced by the Chairman, Electoral Committee of the twenty twenty two election, Comrade Bashir Liman at the N UJ’s Secretariat, Press Centre Yola.
The returned Chairman, Comrade Ishaka Donald Dedan polled one hundred and ten votes to defeat his rival Comrade Kate Aliyuda who polled seventy two votes.
Meanwhile, Comrade Fidelis Jockthan polled one hundred and twenty votes to clinch the position of Secretary defeating his closest rival Jonathan Filibus who polled seventy three votes.
The office of the treasurer was won by Joy Diamond Leka with one hundred and sixteen votes beating her rival Felicia Amos who polled thirty seven.
Other positions of Auditor and Assistant Secretary were unopposed.
The newly elected leaders were administered oath of office by Barrister Sunday Wugira.
In an inaugural speech, the Vice Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalist, North East zone, Comrade Zare Baba charged the new executive to carry every body along and eschew bigotry and favoritism.
In an acceptance and victory speech, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Comrade Ishaka Donald Dedan who thanked God for the victory pledged to play an open door policy.
Comrade Dedan who solicited prayers and support of the members urged them to advise them where necessary.
Speaking, the Permanent Secretary ministry of information, Barrister Isuwa Misali who congratulated the new executives to work together towards forging the union forward.
Other speakers at the event who presented their good will messages include NUT state Chairman, Comrade Rodney Nathan, representative of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN Adamawa state Chapter and Radio Television Theatre and Art Workers Union, RATTAWU.
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