1. His Excellency, Barr. Mohammed Abubakar, the Governor of Bauchi State;
2. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State;
3. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Kano State, Hon. Nasiru Gawuna;
4. His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Alhaji Sule, Governor-Elect, Nasarawa State;
5. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor-Elect, Nasarawa State;
6. My Lord, the Ag. Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Mohammed,
7. Distinguished Senators and Hon. Members of the National Assembly present;
8. Members of the Federal Executive Council present;
9. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Barr. Boss Mustapha,
10. The Right Hon. Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly;
11. The Inspector General of Police,
12. The Hon. Chief Judge of Nasarawa State;
13. The Governor of the Central of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefele;
14. Principal Officers and Members of the State House of Assembly;
15. Members of the State Executive and Security Councils;
16. The Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State;
17. Your Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto and President, Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs;
18. The Head of the Civil Service;
19. Special Advisers;
20. The National Vice-Chairman, North-Central Geo-Political Zone, All Progressives Congress (APC);
21. The State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC);
22. Executive Chairmen of Local Government Councils and Overseers of Development Areas;
23. Permanent Secretaries;
24. Your Royal Highnesses, visiting Emirs and Chiefs;
25. Chairmen and Chief Executives of Commissions, Boards and Parastatals;
26. Your Royal Highnesses, Emirs and Chiefs, Nasarawa State;
27. Prominent Sons and Daughters of Nasarawa State, particularly those of Lafia Emirate Council;
28. Distinguished invited Guests at this occasion;
29. Gentlemen of the Press;
30. Ladies and Gentlemen.
Today marks yet another historic event as we are gathered to witness the formal installation and presentation of First Class Staff of Office to Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad I, JSC Rtd., as the 17th Emir of Lafia.
2. You would recall that following the demise of our revered Traditional Ruler and Father, the 16th Emir of Lafia, His Royal Highness, Alh. (Dr.) Isa Mustapha Agwai I, CFR, it became incumbent on the Government of Nasarawa State to engender the process of selecting a new Emir to avoid a vacuum. Accordingly, on 26th March, 2019, the college of selectors, saddled with the responsibility for choosing a successor, selected Hon. Justice Sidi Muhammad Bage I as the 17th Emir of Lafia to succeed our respected and dignified leader who passed away to the world beyond on January, 10th 2019.
3. It is pertinent to pay special tribute to the late Emir reputed to be an exemplary monarch per excellence, during whose reign the ancient town of Lafia witnessed unprecedented and monumental growth and development. It was also during his reign that Lafia became the capital city of Nasarawa State. The high-esteem and the enviable status of Lafia in the comity of emirates and chiefdoms in the country is largely attributable to the towering personality and cherished virtues of His Royal Highness, the late Emir of Lafia. The peaceful and harmonious co-existence that existed between and amongst different ethnic nationalities within and outside the emirate was largely due to his style of leadership. May Allah (SWT) in His infinite mercy rest\ the soul of His Royal Highness, Alh. (Dr.) Isa Mustapha Agwai I, Jannatil Firdaus.
4. Your Excellencies, Your Royal Highnesses, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I need to state that, the emergence of Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad I, JSC, Rtd, as the new Emir of Lafia came to the people of Lafia and, indeed, the State as a whole as a welcome development, considering his acknowledged virtues of justice, equity and modesty, which I belief he will bring to bear in the running of the affairs of the Emirate and the State Council of Chiefs as its Chairman. I need to point out that the array of guests and personalities from all spheres of life who are gathered here to celebrate with us, further lays credence to the tremendous goodwill the new Emir enjoys across the nation.
5. Let me, therefore, join other well-wishers, on behalf of the Government and people of Nasarawa State to congratulate Your Royal Highness for earning the pleasure of Allah (SWT) who found you worthy to ascend the throne of your forebears as the 17th Emir of Lafia. It is our prayer that Allah (SWT) grants you sound health, wisdom and foresight in the task of superintending the traditional affairs of your people.
6. As you are aware, since our coming on board, we have remained consistent in the inclusion of our Traditional Rulers in the scheme of things, in view of their vast backgrounds, experience, training and exposure which has no doubt contributed immensely to the maintenance of peace and harmonious co-existence towards the development of our society.
7. 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 act of governance in the almost eight years of our stewardship in the State. It is for this reason that this Administration over the years accorded our traditional rulers with necessary enablement and support to aid them in the due discharge of their historic roles. In this regard, we provided vehicles for their convenience, renovated and constructed palaces, as well as upgraded the status of some chieftaincy institutions. We had reasons to also create new chiefdoms to give communities traditional sense of belonging. We will continue to accord our traditional rulers the necessary reverence up to the end of this Administration by the end of this month.
8. Let me use the opportunity of this occasion to
convey the appreciation of my Administration to our Royal Fathers for the
remarkable support and cooperation I received during my two terms
tenure. It is my hope and expectation that similar gesture would be extended to my successor when he assumes the mantle of leadership on May, 29th 2019. Let me also express my appreciation to the people of Nasarawa South Senatorial Zone for the confidence reposed on me to continue to render service to them as the Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I assure you that I will continue to make you proud as your worthy representative at the red chamber.
9. Your Excellencies, Your Highnesses, ladies and gentlemen, in conclusion, I wish to draw the attention of the Traditional Rulers on the imperative of peace in their domains. The recent unfortunate spike in ethnic conflict in some areas of the State will be investigated and any traditional ruler found culpable will be dealt with in accordance with our extant laws. Accordingly, Government has given firm directives to Security Agencies to investigate the recent isolated skirmishes in Panda Development Area and part of Iggah community in Nasarawa-Eggon Local Government Area and bring to book whoever is culpable.
10. Government will not fold its arms as tribal bandits unleash mayhem in their communities. Inspite of these isolated and unfortunate developments, Nasarawa State has remain largely peaceful. We wish, therefore, to thank the people of Nasarawa State for their massive support, loyalty and understanding accorded to us over the years. And I say thank you all.
11. Finally, let me once again congratulate His Royal Highness, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad I, JSC, Rtd., on his formal investiture today as the 17th Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs. May your reign be long.
12. Thank you and God bless us all.