By Yakubu Uba
Yola – Sukur community in Adamawa have rejected the appointment of Mr Ijarafu Bayal by Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri as the new District Head of Sukur in Madagali Local Government Area of the state.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Sukur community are the custodian of the first Nigerian landmark to be granted the status of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1999.
Mr Toma Kami, the Chairman of Sukur Development Association, stated this in a statement on Sunday in Yola, saying that the community was not in agreement with the appointment approved by the governor.
Kami alleged that the people of the community had elected one of their tribesman, Mr Markus Ezra, son of the late District Head, Rev. Ezra Makarma, to succeed his father.
According to him, they were shocked to see the governor appointing someone from another tribe as head of the Sukur chiefdom.
Kami called for justice and fairness for the Sukur people and dismissed the action as a deliberate show of marginalization.
He added that the action could brewed tension in an area that already had fragile peace due to insurgency.
“The present appointment of someone from another tribe as our district head is repugnant to national justice.
“It is a deliberate plan to humiliate a people with long history and host to African first and world’s number 25 UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“The people of Sukur see the position of district head as the only physical expression of anything close to governance which is now taken away from them.
“We can only be comforted by restoring back our mandate and restricting the nomination and appointment of district head to the Sukur royal family thereby sustaining the leadership succession,” Kami said.
In a swift reaction, Mr Solomon Kumangar, the Director General, Media and Communications to Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri, said the appointment of the Sukur District Head was approved by his predecessor Gov. Jibrilla Bindow.
Kumangar wondered why some elements were capitalizing on the issue to cause disharmony among the tribes that have been living peacefully in the district.
Kumangar recalled that Bayal scored more votes to defeat Ezra in an election conducted to elect the new district head of Sukur.
“It is surprising that the matter crop up now that the decision taken earlier was only confirmed by the governor as a responsible leader that believes in the continuity of governance,” Kumangar said.
Meanwhile, various stakeholders in Adamawa have called for dialogue to resolve the matter amicably to sustain peaceful coexistence among the diverse people of Sukur and Madagali.