The Adara people in Kajuru and Kachia local government areas of Kaduna State have vehemently rejected a proposed legislation by the state seeking to make drastic changes in the traditional institutions.
The National President of Adara Development Association, ADA, Mr. Dio Awemi Maisamari, in a statement accused Governor Nasir el-Rufai of harboring a hidden agenda against the Adara nation and majority of Christian domains of Kaduna State under the guise of reforms in the bill.
The people noted that the state government circulated a draft bill with a cover letter dated 19th March, 2021, and signed by the Commissioner of Local Government Affairs marked ‘top secret’ titled; ‘The bill for a law for the traditional institution in Kaduna state, 2021’.
The statement further explained that the state government claimed that the bill is intended to ‘restore the fading glory of traditional institutions’ and to make them serve the people better’.
The Adara people rejected the bill because it is a continuation and intensification of the unjust and unpopular restructuring of traditional institutions which started in 2017 and targeted traditional institutions in Southern Kaduna.
It added that the bill is going by previous experience, government will not listen to the opinions and wishes of non-Muslim communities in the process as it did in the past.
They observed that they cannot find any provisions in the law that will restore the glory of traditional institutions or make them serve the people better, rather, there are sections that will alienate, cage and stifle them, saying that they will be exposed to excessive politicization, manipulation and intimidation.
The Adara people expressed the fear that the appointment of traditional rulers would virtually be taken over by politicians as customary due processes are not recognized and respected in the bill.
They noted that the law is seeking to enforce uniformity in Muslim and non-Muslim traditional institutions which are fundamentally different, adding that the law will also subordinate, suppress and relegate non-Muslim traditional rulers to a permanent weak and inferior position.
The Adara people alleged that the new law has revealed Governor el-rufai’s special hidden agenda against Adara nation and Adara land, stressing that the new law will legalize the unjust scrapping of their 1st Class Traditional Institution, legalize the balkanization of their community, legalize the suppression of their identity, history, culture and religion and also legalize the degrading, humiliation and marginalization of Adara being the second largest nationality in the state.
The statement explained that the law would facilitate the implanting of other peoples to rule over Adara people and take over Adara land, and therefore totally opposed to the draft bill as it will heighten social injustice, communal frictions, social disharmony and retarded development.
The Adara people feared that the present democratic structures would be compromised to rubber stamp the new law and called on Kaduna state government to widen consultation with all relevant stakeholders in that state with the view of seeking for acceptable reforms in the traditional institutions in the state not via an executive bill which it says serves the interest of only one section of the state.
Recall that the slain paramount ruler of Adara Land, the Agom Adara, Dr. Maiwada Galadima, was ambushed in October, 2018 on the Kaduna-Kachia expressway, abducted and killed after a ransom was paid for his release.
Shortly after his death, the Adara Traditional Council and the Adara Chiefdom were abolished and, instead, a Kajuru Emirate created, even when Muslims make less than 5% of the population of Kajuru local government area.