From Nick Dugba, in Wukari
President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that any traditional ruler found to be corrupt must be stripped of his title even as he stressed that the traditional institution must not shy away from the fight against corruption but be a vanguard of the fight against it.
The President gave this warning on the occasion marking the 40 years anniversary on the throne of the Aku Uka, Dr. Shekarau Angyu Masa Ibi, Kuvyo II, held Friday in Wukari, Taraba State.
Represented by Minister of Youth and Sports, Barr. Solomon Dalung, Buhari stated that no development could take place where there was conflict sparked by mutual distrust.
He, however, eulogized the Aku Uka for his good leadership in ensuring peace, one of which was the mobilisation of Wukari elders towards resolving the 2013 crises using dialogue.
Earlier on, the Governor of Taraba State, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku, in his speech, lauded the paramount ruler for his humility and commitment to peace which was responsible for his long and fruitful reign.
He praised him for ensuring peace and development, education and forging intergroup relations despite challenges.
He added that Wukari is the “academic capital of Taraba” with the presence of a Federal University, Kwararafa University, and a campus of the National Open University of Nigeria, which were all traced to the paramount ruler.
According to Ishaku, the British did the construction of Nigeria, but the design was of Kwararafa.
“About 1000 years ago, various ethnic groups left this land and settled in five Geo-political zones of Nigeria. That in itself shows that we have been united as a people long before Britain colonized us and put us under our current configuration”, he stated.
In his remarks, The Abonta of Kwararafa kingdom and one time Chief of Army Staff, General Theophilus Y. Danjuma, acknowledged the fact that the Aku Uka at one time was one of the four traditional rulers in the North, alongside Sultan of Sokoto, Emir of Gwandu and Emir of Katsina.
He then described the traditional ruler as “a unified bridge builder and apostle of peace” and prayed God to give him good health.
Highlight of the occasion was the presentation of a portrait to the Aku Uka by the Governor of Plateau State, Barr. Simon Lalong.
Meanwhile, the occasion witnessed an unprecedented crowd and visitors from within and outside the State.
Among the August visitors that visited were Governors of Plateau, Benue, while those of Nasarawa and Kogi were represented by their deputies.
Among the traditional rulers present were the Sultan of Sokoto, Dr. Mohammed Saad Abubakar, Emir of Gwandu, His Majesty, Mohammed Jega and the Andoma of Doma, Alhaji Ahmadu Aliyu Oga Onawo.