By Abubakar S.H
The Lokoja Forum of Patriots ( LPF) , a socio – cultural group of Lokoja indigenes has call on the kogi state Governor, Alh. Yahaya Adoza Bello to restore joy and happiness to the life of the indigenes of Lokoja by using the opportunity of the coming independence Day celebration to approve a New Maigari of Lokoja.
These plea was contained in a statement issued and signed by the Chairman and Secretary of Forum,
Alhaji Idris Babaango and Alhaji Ali Danlami Ibrahim respectively.
The statement read thus ;” you will recall that the throne of the Maigari of Lokoja became vacant following the demise of Alhaji (Dr )Muhammadu Kabir 111 on September 28, 2022,
Since then, Lokoja and its indigenes have been living without a traditional head”.
It further stated, ” Our collective hope of having a successor to fill the vacuum created by the death of the late Maigari was high , especially when members of the Lokoja Traditional Council who are also the town’s Kingmakers met and picked a successor in line with the tradition and custom of Lokoja to fill the vacant throne”.
According to the statement” To complete the process, the Lokoja Traditional Council forwarded the decision to your office through the Lokoja Local Government in line with the extant laws guiding the selection and appointment of a new Maigari”.
” Since then, the people of Lokoja have been waiting eagerly for the formal approval and announcement of the new Maigari of Lokoja by the state government”,
” By September 28, 2023, it will be exactly one year that Lokoja has been without a Maigari, the traditional head of the town and Custodian of the culture and custom of the indigenes of the ancient town”.
” This development is very strange to the culture of the people of Lokoja”.
” The tradition and culture of Lokoja abhors vacuum , and this is happening for the first time in the history of the town”.
” The throne of Maigairi of Lokoja is the soul and symbol of peace and unity among the indigenes of Lokoja”.
” We therefore express dissatisfaction with the continuing foot dragging of the state government on the appointment of a new traditional ruler for Lokoja”.
” For the Throne to continue to remain vacant is not in the best interest of Lokoja and her indigenes, Kogi State and Nigeria as a whole”.
” Apart from being the capital of Kogi State and an ancient town which once served as the capital of the defunct Northern Protectorate until the amalgamation of 1914, Lokoja should be accorded its due rights by having a traditional ruler approved for it without further delay by Your Excellency Sir”.,
It stressed that Lokoja cannot continue without a Maigairi on the throne for just no reason.
” Lokoja, the Kogi State capital and her indigenes have been like a flock without a Shepherd since the transition of the late Maigari, we are appealing that you do the needful by approving a new Maigari for us”.
” Your Excellency, we are particularly worry that Lokoja is the only major town in the state and the only state capital in the whole Northern Nigeria without a traditional ruler”.
” The absence of Maigari of Lokoja is already affecting negative effects on the social and economic well-being of the town and its indigenes”
” We are like a house without a rooftop. Nobody to guide us Islamically and traditionally for almost one year now. This is strange to our tradition and culture”.
” We have never found ourselves in this type of situation. This is the first time the town will be without a head and leader for one year”.
” We members of the Lokoja Forum of Patriots are not happy and sad that about the failure of the Kogi State government to approve a new Maigari for Lokoja”.
” This has forced the indigenes to postpone the annual Lokoja Boat Regatta Festival and the Lokoja Nupe Carnival/Festival”.
” We believe that there is no cause for celebration when the throne of the Maigari is still vacant due to action an inaction of the Kogi State government”.
” These are age long traditional festivals which are celebrated yearly to showcase the rich culture and traditional occupation of the people of Lokoja and its people have also been serving as a tourists attractions for so many years”.
” The postponement of the festivals occasioned by the non approval of a new Maigari for Lokoja will amount to revenue loss for the state government and business owners, especially hotels, cab operators and other petty traders”
” The state will also miss the positive attention the festivals have been attracting to the state for years”.
” The Lokoja Forum of Patriots is calling on all our royal fathers, the Emirs and other traditional rulers in the state and in the entire 19 Northern states to intervene and help us to appeal and beg Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello to in the name of Almighty Allah, fairness , equity and justice approve a new Maigari of Lokoja for us without further delay”,
” We are also calling on well-meaning indigenes , including members of the national assembly, members of the state assembly, Ministers and other prominent individuals of the state origin to intervene and join us in appealing to Governor Yahaya Bello to use his good offices to approve a successor to the vacant throne of Maigari of Lokoja without further delay”,
” We are appealing to Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello to restore joy and happiness to the life of the indigenes of Lokoja by using the opportunity of the coming independence Day celebration to approve a New Maigari of Lokoja”.
” The Lokoja Forum of Patriots is also urging our people to join hands with the Lokoja Traditional Council by turning out en masse for the one year remembrance prayer for our late Royal Father, Maigari of Lokoja , Alhaji (Dr) Mohammadu Kabir 111 on September 28, 2023″.