We're sorry for cheating you — Bauchi Gov apologises to traditional rulers 

We’re sorry for cheating you — Bauchi Gov apologises to traditional rulers 

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Bauchi State Governor, Sen Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir has apologized to the traditional rulers in the state for deliberately short-changing them of their statutory entitlement.

The Governor said this while speaking to the State Council of Traditional Rulers during a courtesy visit at the Government House in Bauchi. 

“You have been managing our limitations and inadequacies as a government to provide for you, and, that is why when we came, we were building from where our predecessors have left off in terms of making sure that you have befitting accommodation, good transportation and good remuneration.

“I understand to my chagrin, that some of the benefits that should come to you as per law, we were not doing it as a state, that is in terms of the sharing formula of the percentage of what is going to the local governments to you,” he said.

Speaking further, the Governor lamented that “It was not just done deliberately by us, we inherited it and we continued with it, we didn’t know until my eyes opened and I saw that you were being cheated and I said that it should be reversed, we have just started.

“The authors of that law knew that you have a lot of responsibilities because as Royal Fathers, you are not only taking care of yourselves, you are taking care of the Emirates and the communities and the community of royal fathers; the royal family whose needs are so vast and varied and they are huge.

“Therefore, you need a lot of resources to be able to keep them in the form and content of royalty that is expected of them. The royalty that is supposed to be exuded by them must be maintained by you and because you have been doing it over the years,” he added. 

Governor Bala Mohammed further said that “So, I assure you that the sharing formula has been corrected and it will continue that way. We will also look at the salary structure of the District Heads and the Village Heads so that we can make it better for them to discharge their royal duties.

“This is to keep their eyes off the goodies of the bandits and other unwholesome elements that are coming to lure them to make them compromise.” 

According to him, “If you don’t provide for somebody that you have given trust in terms of land, lives and properties in the villages that are not even accessible, then you are just playing with fire because you have not taken care of their basic needs of food, transportation and the rest.”

The Governor added that,”That is why we will look inwards to review their remuneration and salary structure up to the lowest level so that we can hold them accountable, if they do anything wrong. We will deal with them decisively through your offices.

“I have already told the Ministry of Local Government Affairs and the Commissioner to look at this so that our royal institutions will have dignity and so that we can rescue them from the vagaries of ourselves, the government that is not able to provide for them.”

With regards to internal security, the Governor said,”I am glad to inform you that we have established a Ministry of Internal Security that will partner with the Federal Government just to drive the issue of providing internal security. We have our own vigilante that is working with the established security.” 

According to him,”The Emir of Katagum is one Emir that is known to always go out at night patrolling. I want the other emirs to emulate him and do what he is doing, not that they are not doing, but you are uncommon in terms of your own forthrightness.” 

He assured that, “We will try to exercise restraint and patience with your District Heads and with the Emirs. Even if we remove or punish any member of the traditional institution, we are doing it with a lot of pain. I don’t like it but we have to do it when there is apparent disobedience to the rules of engagement of emirs, traditional rulers and so on and so forth.” 

Bala Mohammed said that,”We are just taking a minimal number to make an example out of them. We cannot afford to punish all the people that are transgressing, we are just making sure that we are trying to bring remorse to put people on course but we are doing this with a lot of apology and regret. We don’t like touching the institution because that institution is our symbol of our togetherness.”

He stressed that other states are moving ahead, “we have one of the largest populations in the region and so with the activities of the Federal Government in other parts of the geopolitical zones, the bandits are coming to Bauchi.” 

He however assured that, “We will have to go the extra mile to make sure we checkmate them. We are doing that but certainly, we’re getting overwhelmed and that is why we call on the Federal Government to help us and to come to our aid, to do that thing that they are doing in the north-west so that as we have always been a sanctuary of peace, we’ll maintain that status.”

“Of course, some of the infrastructures that will help us that would have been left out, I want you the emirs to talk to the new President that we need the railways to be revived from Enigu to Maiduguri, this is the first railway route but it has been abandoned. Even our road from Akwanga to Jos to Bauchi to Gombe is bad,” The Governor said.

Bala Mohammed further said that,”But, we want to express our gratitude to His Excellency, the Vice President on behalf of his Excellency, the President, Bola Tinubu who pledged to build the road between Bauchi and Gombe because the road is totally bad. We will make time with you to go and thank Mr. President for that and to ask for other things.”

The Governor added that Bauchi state has to be on the mainstream regardless of being in the opposition, noting that “Nothing works in Nigeria without Bauchi, we are controlling the balance of power, the balance of tradition and knowledge and with people like you. I am calling on the Federal Government not to ignore us because we are in PDP. We are a state and we are ready to work with the Federal Government.”

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