The Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammadu Barkindo, has stripped one of his chiefs of his title for critising Governor Ahmadu Fintiri for presenting car gifts to traditional rulers in the state.
The Adamawa Emirate Council said Umar Mustapha is no longer fit to hold the traditional title of ‘Mukaddas Adamawa’.
Mr Mustapha, a former governorship aspirant under the All Progressives Congress (APC), was in a statement critical of the governor over the gifts.
“It’s a misplaced priority to spend N200 million getting vehicles for traditional rulers while Pensioners are dying of hunger,” he had said.
The statement followed an announcement by the state government of the gesture to the traditional rulers.
Following the statement, the emir, Mr Barkindo, in a statement through the emirate secretary, Khalil Kawu, said Mr Mustapha has been deposed.
“The paramount ruler of the Fombina said Umar Mustapha does not deserve to hold the title as a result of his deliberate attack on the governor on the presentation of the vehicles to first class traditional rulers in the state.
“The unguarded utterance on the government is unwarranted and is an affront on the traditional institution which he is just part and parcel of,” the statement said.
The statement expressed the emir’s dismay that Mr Mustafa refused to show understanding for the good intentions of the government to the traditional institution.
“The presentation of the vehicles by the Fintiri administration comes after a long time when the institution benefited from such laudable gesture and wondered why that has become an issue to people when they are expected to support the government towards promoting its well intentioned peace building initiative across the state,” the statement added.
Governor Fintiri had on December 1 announced the gift of vehicles to members of the Adamawa State Council of Emirs and Chiefs at the Government House in Yola.
The governor’s new media aide, Muhammad Tukur, in a statement, said the traditional rulers, who were at the Government House for their regular meeting with the governor, were presented with official SUV and a Hilux van pilot vehicle each.
Mr Tukur said the governor commended the traditional rulers for their support for his administration and for maintaining peace.
He said the vehicles are meant to ease their logistics and help them contribute more to peace building.
“The royal fathers that benefited include Lamido Adamawa Dr. Muhammad Barkindo Aliyu Mustafa, the Emir of Mubi Alhaji Abubakar Isa Ahmadu, the Gangwari Ganye Alhaji Umaru Adamu Sanda, the Amna Shelleng Abdullahi Isa Dasong and the Hama Batta Alhamdu Gladson Teneke.
“Responding on their behalf, the Lamido of Mubi expressed appreciation to the Governor for the gift promising to use the vehicles for the betterment and unity of the state,” Mr Tukur said.
But in his reaction to the gifts, Mr Mustapha, who also holds the traditional title of ‘Otunba of Ekiti’, queried why Governor Fintiri presented brand new Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Jeeps, Toyota Hilux vehicles worth two hundred million naira to five First Class Traditional Rulers of the state.
“The good gesture done to the revered Monarchs is a misplaced priority and Mr Fintiri wants to bribe his way by buying the conscience of the traditional rulers building to the 2023 elections,” the politician said.
“I wonder why the gesture must be done now knowing the fact that the governor knows their need for vehicles long ago since coming into government.
“The decision to get the exotic vehicles for the first class traditional rulers while pensioners are dying of hunger, battling to pay their children school fees is a gross insensitivity of the government toward the common man whose pension and gratuity is their right.
“Let me tell you the general perception of people over this matter is that the government is trying to bribe them to pipe them low because the government has neglected and caused them a lot of hardship.
”In another way the government is trying to soften their stand. There is a plan which everybody knows of reducing their domain by creating new Chiefdoms to balkanize the existing ones. Naturally, they wouldn’t want that to happen. So to me, he gave them these vehicles to get soft landing which many termed to be a bribe.
“How do you give someone a car and don’t have the resources to maintain it? The Intention is not a good one. If the government has good intentions to help them, they would have sat down with them and found out their problems. I am sure they will tell him things that bother them that are much better than the vehicles he provided,” Mr Mustapha said.
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