Steve Oni, Ilorin
Ahead of the emergence of the new Etsu of Patigi in Patigi Local Government Area of Kwara State, the kingmakers, traditional title chiefs and the people of the town have insisted on a rotation of the traditional stool of the ancient community among the ruling houses.
At a consultative meeting held yesterday at the chamber of the legislative arm of Patigi local government, the stakeholders resolved that all ruling houses should be entitled to the throne of Etsu Patigi.
The Waziri of Patigi, Alhaji Rabiu Usman Ndalolo, who spoke on behalf of other chiefs, insisted that only the five kingmakers under the chairmanship of the Ndeji Patigi, Alhaji Muhammed Ndeji Gboke were empowered to screen all the contestants and submit the names of the best candidates to the council chairman for onward transmission to the state ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
It was gathered that the consultative meeting was aimed at uniting the ruling houses with the kingmakers, traditional chiefs and elders to harvest thoughts and opinions on the way forward and discuss equity and fairness in choosing the successor to the late Etsu Patigi, Alhaji Ibrahim Chatta Umar.
Ndalolo, however, cautioned that any action contrary to the position of the kingmakers could ignite crisis in the ancient town, just as he asked the state government not to go against the wishes of the people on the new king.
He also warned some first class traditional rulers from Kwara North and South senatorial districts of the state against undue interference in the chieftaincy of Patigi, urging them to stay away from the contest so as not to instigate crisis.
“We are here to discuss issues on who to succeed the late Etsu. It is sad that the Chairman of the council, who is the chief security officer of the local government is not here, even the representatives of the ministry and the kingmakers.
“This showed that we don’t form a quorum, hence the decision on who succeed the late Etsu cannot hold. If any representatives of these people are not here, I doubt if there could be any meaningful discussion.
“There is fear that Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed will soon announce the next Etsu Patigi, I believe that he will not do that. If he does, he is calling for revolution in this town. There will be unrest if he goes contrary to the decision of the Kingmakers and entire people of Patigi that the position should be rotated among the ruling houses.
“There is also a dilemma that some traditional rulers from Kwara North and South are interfering on the successor of Etsu. We, however, warn them to stay away from who becomes the next Etsu, because we don’t interfere in their own affairs. I will personally bring this issue up and take it to Abuja for the intervention of the necessary authority”, Ndalolo said.
The Waziri Patigi also denied the suspension of the Ndeji Patigi, affirming that he is still the head of the five kingmakers while the Chief Imam is the Chief Adviser.
Ndalolo, therefore, called on representatives of the ministry of local government, Patigi local government, kingmakers, and security agencies to attend the consultative meeting, which was shifted to Thursday to discuss the chieftaincy of the council.
Addressing Journalists, the Chairman of the kingmakers and Ndeji Patigi, Alhaji Muhammed Ndeji Gboke, said the kingmakers signed a pact after the demise of the late Etsu, Ibrahim Chatta Umar, that the kingship be rotated among the ruling houses, adding that the kingmakers submitted a list of the shortlisted candidates from other three ruling houses of Nakodi, Shaaba and Kpatako out of which the new Etsu would emerge, to the council chairman.
Among the kingmakers that signed the pact were Ndeji Patigi, Muhammad Ndeji Gboke; the Chief Imam of Patigi, who was the Chief Adviser, Musa Abdullahi now late; Nnefene Patigi, Idris Ndeji; Sonlawu Patigi, Mohammed Sonlawu; and Tsadza Patigi, Alhaji Muhammadu Ndeji.
He, however, clarified that one of the five kingmakers that signed the agreement on power shift, the Tsadza Patigi, Muhammadu Ndeji, withdrew his signature under pressure.
The Ndeji Patigi, therefore, affirmed that in ensuring equity, fairness and transparency, the kingmakers’ position, which represents the decision of the entire people of Patigi stands.
According to the nonagenarian, the Bologi ruling house where the late Etsu Patigi, Ibrahim Chatta Umar hailed from had been ruling for eighty five years, saying that all the three districts that constituted Patigi, Lade, Paada and Patigi supported the rotation of the position among the ruling houses.
When asked if the state government has the power to impose a candidate based on the speculation making the round that there are plans to make the late Etsu Patigi’s son, Bologi Ibrahim the new Etsu Patigi, the Chairman of the Kingmakers warned that any attempt to go contrary to the decision of the entire people would provoke crisis.
Findings showed that the names of candidates shortlisted from the other ruling houses by the kingmakers are, Mallam Usman Mohammed Shaaba, the General Manager of the Kwara State Road Maintainance Agency, Engineer Usman Baba Jubril; and Alhaji Muhammed Nma Majiya.
The Bologi ruling house that ruled for eighty five years from 1923 after succeeding Kpatako ruling house, also shortlisted the son of the late Etsu, Prince Bologi Ibrahim, a retired colonel, Usman Umar and Ahmed Bello Idris to succeed the late Etsu Ibrahim Chatta Umar.