Speech Delivered by His Excellency, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, Governor of Nasarawa State, on the Occasion of the Presentation of First Class Staff of Office to His Royal Highness, Alh. Shehu Chindo Yamusa III, PhD the Emir of Keffi,: Saturday, 5th August, 2017
1. Your Excellences, my Colleagues the Governors of Benue,
2. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State;
3. Distinguished Senators and Hon. Members of the National Assembly present;
4. Members of the Federal Executive Council present;
5. The Right Hon. Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly;
6. The Hon. Chief Judge of Nasarawa State;
7. Principal Officers and Members of the State House of Assembly;
8. Members of the State Executive and Security Councils;
9. The Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State;
10. Head of Service;
11. Members of the Diplomatic corps
12. Your Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, The Sultan of Sokoto,
13. The Head of the Civil Service;
14. The State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC);
15. Chairman of IMC, Keffi LGA
16. Permanent Secretaries;
17. His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr.) Isa Mustapha Agwai I, CFR, Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs represented;
18. Your Royal Highnesses, visiting Emirs and Chiefs;
19. Chairmen and Chief Executives of Commissions, Boards and Parastatals;
20. Your Royal Highnesses, Emirs and Chiefs;
21. Prominent Sons and Daughters of Nasarawa State particularly those of Keffi Emirate Council;
22. Other invited Guests at this Occasion;
23. Gentlemen of the Press;
24. Ladies and Gentlemen.
Today marks an important mile-stone in the life of this administration as we are gathered in the ancient town of Keffi to witness the formal installation and presentation of First Class Staff of Office to His Royal Highness, Dr. Shehu Chindo Yamusa III, Emir of Keffi.
2. Let me, therefore, welcome most specially our revered crème-dele-cremè of the traditional institution in the country who have come from far and near to witness this memorable occasion. In the same vein, I acknowledge the presence of array of sons and daughters, friends and well-wishers of this emirate council who are here to rejoice with the royal father on this important event. This show of love and compassion is, no doubt, a demonstration of your goodwill and solidarity to the paramount ruler on the one hand, and your unflinching support which has enabled Government to elevate the status of the traditional institution, on the other hand.
3. As you are aware, since our coming on board we have remained consistent in our determination to ensure the inclusion of Traditional Rulers in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to enable our Traditional Institution to continue to play its pivotal role as custodians of our traditions, customs, heritage and, indeed, the conscience of the society. It is our conviction that when this is done, the traditional rulers will more proactively complement Government efforts towards the development of our society.
4. As a corollary to this posture, I wish to say that in spite of numerous provocative statements credited to some unpatriotic elements clocked under the guise of restructuring, I want to assure everyone that a joint committee headed by His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the Governor of Sokoto State, comprising Northern Governors and Traditional Rulers would soon come up with a common position that will be in the best interest of not only the North, but Nigeria as a whole.
5. Realizing the strategic position of our Royal Fathers, we have since incorporated the traditional institution into the machinery of governance in Nasarawa State by engaging them in the affairs of Government at all levels in the State. This has availed government of their wealth of experience and doggedness in our governance of Nasarawa State. This synergy has contributed immensely towards the sustenance of peace, tranquility and harmonious coexistence amongst our diverse people. A case in point is the active participation of our Royal Fathers in the Community Based Conflict Resolution Mechanism of Government in solving the Herdsmen/Farmers crises in the state. On this note, I wish to recognize the role and efforts of His Eminence, The Sultan of Sokoto nationwide.
6. Your Royal Highnesses, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the selection of His Royal Highness, Dr. Shehu Chindo Yamusa III, to succeed his father not only in the insignia of kingship, but in his ability to unite his people has given hope to the people of Keffi for a better living. I say this considering the antecedents of His Royal Highness, who is a resourceful lawyer, who worked variously in both public and private sectors, including the academia and has carved a niche for himself. It is my belief that, with his youthful energy, intellectual disposition and wide reach, His Royal Highness will bring his wealth of experience to bear in his new role as the Emir of Keffi and Chairman, Keffi Emirate Council.
7. Perhaps, I should say that His Royal Highness is coming on board at a time this Administration is partnering with our traditional rulers in our collective determination to unite our people and provide conducive environment for harmonious coexistence for rapid socio-economic development of the society. This is in line with the cardinal objective of this Administration aimed at providing necessary infrastructural facilities for the overall development of our dear State.
8. Accordingly, I am happy to note that Government has embarked on robust infrastructural development in Keffi and environs. We have networked the city with asphalted roads and completed the abandoned Keffi Modern Market which will open commercial activities for the people. We have also awarded contract of about N400million for the construction of bridge over Antau River to link the municipality of Keffi and Saura Community. The E-Library project which this administration constructed in the city is also meant to engender research and linkages, considering the location of the State University and its environ. Similarly, taking into cognizance the proximity of Keffi to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Government has developed a flamboyant master plan aimed at transforming the town into a mega city that will compliment the FCT.
9. Your Excellencies, Highnesses, ladies and gentlemen, it is gratifying to state that our effort in this direction is in consonance with our overall determination to change the face of Nasarawa State in all ramifications. This includes provision of physical and social infrastructure such as road networks, potable water system, qualitative and affordable education, efficient and effective health care services for the well-being of our people and other social services aimed at improving the living standards of our people.
10. I need to reiterate that our commitment in this direction will not be complete without the inalienable contributions of the Traditional Institution in the State. It is for this reason that we have made the welfare of our Royal Fathers utmost priority, giving them the desired respect and privileges. In this regard, we embarked on the upgrading of the status of some Traditional Rulers, renovation and reconstruction of palaces, including the provision of vehicles to Emirs and Chiefs. We have also created additional chiefdoms for deserving communities in order to give them recognition and cultural sense of belonging and at the same time lessen the burden of governance. This has made Traditional Rulers not only relevant but supportive of Government in the accomplishment of the herculean task of caring for our people.
11. At this juncture, let me use this opportunity to
inform this gathering on the absence of the Emir of Lafia due to
indisposition. I am happy to say I spoke with him this morning and is doing
well. Insha Allah, he will be with us soon.
12. Finally, let me congratulate His Royal Highness, Dr Shehu Chindo Yamusa III, on his formal investiture as a First Class Emir today. It is my belief that, given your pedigree, you will uphold the virtues and values of this Emirate Council and abide by the oath of office for the benefit of the people in your domain and the good people of Nasarawa State in general.
13. On this note, it is my pleasure to present the First Class Staff of Office to His Royal Highness, Alh. Shehu Chindo Yamusa III, PhD, the Emir of Keffi.
14. Thank you and God bless.