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No Mumuye Land In Kona Chiefdom


•'Our Fathers Brought Education to Mumuye Land', - Kona Group replies Mumuye Critics 






The Jukun Kona Youths Development Association (JKYDA) has said the elevation of the Kona district to a second class Chiefdom had been long overdue as most of her contemporaries like the Bachama Chiefdom of Numan, the Zing Chiefdom and Muri Emirate are presently on First Class status.
  
JKYDA in a statement signed by its President, Joseph Bonaventure Nomiri responding to an open letter by the Mumuye people against the Kona Chiefdom elevation said the Kona people had been denied what is rightfully theirs for ages, noting that there is nothing wrong if the Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku decides to correct the injustices and anomalies by giving them a sense of belonging.
The group stress that there is no Mumuye land in the Kona Chiefdom.
"Any Mumuye person in Kona Chiefdom is only a settler because there is no Mumuye that does not have his/her origin from either Zing or Yorro. This is evident during their traditional festivals as they all go back to Zing or Yorro and not anywhere around Kona Chiefdom. may we use this opportunity to remind all and sundry that Kona Chiefdom has come to stay.
"If however, anyone is not comfortable living with us in our Chiefdom, such a person is free to pack and leave our Chiefdom. We are hereby informing our brothers (Mumuye) that any act of insubordination and insurrection to the Chiefdom constitutionally established by the government is going to be greeted with stiff resistance."
The group added that the Kona tribe has greatly contributed to the educational development of the Mumuyes claiming that many of the Mumuye elites were schooled by their grandparents.  
"If those who wrote the open letter to the Executive Governor of Taraba State are not aware of the profound influence of Kona on both the traditional religion and acquisition of Western education of the Mumuye; their elders should please do justice in letting them know. They should know that most of the celebrated Mumuye elites of today were schooled by our great grand-parents, parents and brothers, who sacrificed their lives and rendered services to various Mumuye Villages either as pioneer headmasters or classroom teachers. 
"In the event the elders too have forgotten or decided to be quiet on this; the young generation of Mumuye should know that these few out of the many Kona people brought formal education to the doorsteps of many Mumuye communities in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. The positive impacts of these noble sons of the Jukun Kona nation are undeniable as far as formal education is concerned in the lives of very many sons and daughters of the Mumuye nation; most of whom today are at the zenith of their career in both public and private sectors. Therefore, for the petitioners to say there is nothing to learn from Kona does not only portray an act of ingratitude, but also of gross insult to the collective memories of these noble men, some of whom have long gone to the great beyond," the group said.
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REJOINDER: "DON'T CREATE KONA CHIEFDOM ON MUMUYE LAND"; OPEN LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR OF TARABA STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY ARC. DARIUS DICKSON ISHAKU

In recent times, we have observed continuous provocative Press Statements, Petitions and Open Letters by the Mumuye people against the Kona Chiefdom. The most recent being an open letter, written to the Executive Governor of Taraba State, His Excellency, Arch. Darius Dickson Ishaku, which was circulated on media outlets like Taraba Truth and Facts, Taraba in Focus and other media outlets. The open letter was purportedly sent to these media outlets by a group that claims to be the leadership of the Mumuye people living in Ardo-Kola, Jalingo and Lau Local Government Areas of Taraba State; where they expressed their dissatisfaction to the Executive Governor of Taraba State over the elevation of Kona Chiefdom and the "creation" of two other Chiefdoms in northern part of Taraba State.
While we are fully aware that it is the responsibility of government to address issues of this magnitude, we are, however, compelled to respond to some of the issues raised concerning the Jukun Kona and the Kona Chiefdom as such superfluous and weighty issues, if left unaddressed are capable of misleading the general public.
A thorough study of their submission reveals some falsification or rather, distortion of facts as they relate to:
1. Creation of Kona Chiefdom and ownership of the land upon which the Chiefdom is situated.
2. Population figure.
3. Willingness or otherwise of submitting to the authority and leadership of Kona Chieftaincy.
For the purpose of impartation of knowledge and setting the records straight, we seek your attention to educate you adequately on the points highlighted above. 


CREATION OF KONA CHIEFDOM AND OWNERSHIP OF THE LAND UPON WHICH THE CHIEFDOM IS SITUATED
In its submission, the group maintained that since their opinion was not sought in the process leading to the creation of Kona Chiefdom; the Mumuye in Ardo-Kola and Jalingo Local Government Areas would not be part of the Chiefdom. To us, this is merely an exercise of freedom of choice, which every human being is entitled to as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. However, it may interest them to know that, going by historical antecedent, Kona Chiefdom is not a birth-child of Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku's administration.
The Kona Traditional Council in Muri area dates back to 1200 AD when the Kona people established their hegemony in the Middle Benue Valley. From 1200 AD to 1800 AD, the Kona people brought most of what is today's Jalingo, Ardo-Kola, Gassol and Lau Local Government Areas under their influence. The peak of the Fulani uprising coincided with the activities of the colonialists and the amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates to one Nigeria in 1914 accorded the Kona people a District under a Third Class Chief (Kuru Baya, 1907-1928).
By 1914, the Mumuye homelands of Yorro and Kwajji were formally incorporated into the Kona District by the colonialists and Baya, the then Chief of Kona became the first District Head to oversee the activities of the District. In 1936, during the reign of Kuru Dai (Baya's successor), the Mumuye District of Yorro was carved out of Kona District and some months later, the Chief of Kona (Kuru Dai, 1928-1936) was deposed following his alleged non-remittance of tax to the colonialists. Consequently, Kona District was suspended and merged with Jalingo.
Before the present upgrade of Kona Chiefdom to a Second Class status, there had been repeated efforts by the Kona community, requesting the government to re-instate their long suspended District and have it upgraded, but to no avail. 
Pressing further for self-determination, the Kona community again during the administration of Rev. Jolly T. Nyame (from Mumuye tribe), presented a request to the committee on the review of Traditional Institution in Taraba State. The committee, which was chaired by Alhaji Abubakar Barde, a former Governor of the defunct Gongola State and a Mumuye man, going by the history of Kona Chiefdom and having found Kona to have satisfied the stipulated government's criteria, recommended not only the re-instatement of their suspended District, but also the upgrading of the Chiefdom to a Second Class hierarchy to meet up with some of its contemporaries that have long been enjoying the privilege.
However, despite the recommendation of the committee and subsequent confirmation of the recommendation by the Taraba State House of Assembly during its plenary session of Friday, 22nd July, 2005; the Jolly Nyame led administration for reasons not known to us, REFUSED to implement the committee's recommendation as regards the Kona Chiefdom and a few others.
Based on the foregoing, it is worth reminding the petitioners once again that, the elevation of the Kona District had been long overdue as most of her contemporaries like the Bachama Chiefdom of Numan, the Zing Chiefdom and Muri Emirate are presently on First Class status.  
If the Kona people had been denied what is rightfully theirs for ages, was anything wrong when the Rescue Captain, Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku decided to correct the injustices and anomalies by giving them a sense of belonging?
On the question of who owns the land, are the petitioners not aware that God Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth and everything therein owns the land? Do they also not know that all lands belong to the Federal Government of Nigeria as per the Land Use Act of 1978? Well, if they insist that they are the aborigines of Jalingo and that the Kona people migrated and met them here; who was the Mumuye chief that was rulling over Jalingo when the Jukun Kona migrated and met them? why did the name of Mumuye or any of their historical events of significance not captured under Jalingo by the National Population Commission in their booklet containing the compilation of the list of historical events for age estimation in Nigeria population and housing census of 2006? The National Population Commission's document is there for the Mumuye who claim to be the owners of Jalingo to cross check. 
Based on the above historical certitude, we therefore, wish to categorically state that, THERE IS NO MUMUYE LAND in Kona Chiefdom. Any Mumuye person in Kona Chiefdom is only a settler because there is no Mumuye that does not have his/her origin from either Zing or Yorro. This is evident during their traditional festivals as they all go back to Zing or Yorro and not anywhere around Kona Chiefdom. 
In light of the above, the claimants are called upon to wake up from their slumber and admonished to stop daydreaming as far as the subject matter is concerned. 
PRESENTATION OF QUESTIONABLE POPULATION FIGURE
Everyone with natural acumen and intuition knows that the population figure presented by the Mumuye is contestable. In as much as population size is an important consideration in the creation of chiefdoms, the Mumuye should know that there are other criteria that are equally important. These include but not limited to historical antecedents, economic prospects, socio-political consideration, security factor and geo-political viability of the area. Assuming that population size is the only factor of consideration as erroneously thought of by the Mumuye, the mind-boggling questions begging for answers are: How did they come about the figure that they are laying claim to? Is the figure representing the population of the entire Mumuye in Taraba State? Is it the combined population of Mumuye in Ardo-Kola, Jalingo and Lau Local Government Areas or is the 120,000 the population of Mumuye in each of Ardo-Kola, Jalingo and Lau? Moreover, how did they know that the population of Kona is 3,000? Even if our population is a paltry 3,000 as claimed by the Mumuye; does that make Kona land their own because they are more in number?
We know that the only statutory body responsible for giving accurate population figure in Nigeria is the National Population Commission (NPC). Have the Mumuye laid their hands on any recent NPC's document containing population distribution of the various ethnic groups in Taraba State to justify their insulting claim? If they have, we would be glad to have a look at such, otherwise they do not have any moral standing to assume majority over any tribe in the state and even beyond.   
UNWILLINGNESS TO SUBMIT TO THE AUTHORITY AND LEADERSHIP OF KONA
The petitioners in paragraph 4 of their submission stated that, they do not need to be under the leadership of Kona because they have nothing to learn from them. This statement implies that Kona people have nothing to teach the Mumuye. In case the Mumuye do not know, the joy of every parent is to see his or her child grow up to attain some fame and achievements which surpasses those of the parent; so also it is with every teacher when his or her student acquires knowledge and skills that outweighs his or her own. 
If those who wrote the open letter to the Executive Governor of Taraba State are not aware of the profound influence of Kona on both the traditional religion and acquisition of Western education of the Mumuye; their elders should please do justice in letting them know. They should know that most of the celebrated Mumuye elites of today were schooled by our great grand-parents, parents and brothers, who sacrificed their lives and rendered services to various Mumuye Villages either as pioneer headmasters or classroom teachers. 
In the event the elders too have forgotten or decided to be quiet on this; the young generation of Mumuye should know that these few out of the many Kona people brought formal education to the doorsteps of the underlisted Mumuye communities in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.
• James Kashi Monkin
• Ismaila Dauya (late Kuru Kona) Kpantisawa
• Hamman Sani Kona Kwajji
• Fidelis Kaigama Monkin
• Philip Yani Kassa
• Umaru Kona (Moro) Kpantisawa
• Michael Nokya Monkin
• Colman Nokani Garin Bakka
• David Kamai Lamma
• Ignatius Doga Yakoko
• Benedict Sindot Danzang
• Peter Swanikuru Kpantisawa
• Mathew Wubni Zing
• Kevinus Amara Zing
• Abel Noku Kpantisawa
• Andrew Gbamkapmai Lamma
• Vincent Yakubu Donkin
• Joseph Dame Gongong Maliki
• Livinus Swanikuru Malang
• Alexander Dame Kpanti-Buri
• Tobias Kaigama Kpantisawa
• Anthony Kaigama Bitako Yali
• Dominic Aziba Gampu
• Chrysanthus Nokya Kayya
• Pascalis Sonji Kayya
• Albert Sauziu Manna
• Boniventure Saumam Garin Bakka
• Clement Nshiu Manzalang
• Sylvanus James Lankaviri
The positive impacts of these noble sons of the Jukun Kona nation are undeniable as far as formal education is concerned in the lives of very many sons and daughters of the Mumuye nation; most of whom today are at the zenith of their career in both public and private sectors. Therefore, for the petitioners to say there is nothing to learn from Kona does not only portray an act of ingratitude, but also of gross insult to the collective memories of these noble men, some of whom have long gone to the great beyond. 
In conclusion, may we use this opportunity to remind all and sundry that Kona Chiefdom has come to stay. We the Jukun Kona and indeed the entire Jukun race are ever peaceful, loving and welcoming. Other tribes are welcome to reside in our Chiefdom. If however, anyone is not comfortable living with us, such a person is free to pack and leave our Chiefdom. With that being said, we are hereby informing our brothers (Mumuye) that any act of insubordination and insurrection to the Chiefdom constitutionally established by the government is going to be greeted with stiff resistance.  
It may interest the world, especially the Mumuye petitioners to know that, the Kona Chiefdom plays host to critical infrastructure of Taraba State Government and people. These infrastructure include the Taraba State Secretariat, Jalingo Airport, Taraba State University, State College of Agriculture, Taraba State Polytechnic, Suntai, Jalingo Campus, Jolly Nyame Stadium, Taraba Vegetables (Green House), Owoniyi Motor Park, Taraba State Transport Corporation Park, Civil Defence Headquarters, NYSC Orientation Camp, Technobat Estate and a host of others. By the grace of God, due to the strategic situation of Kona chiefdom, so many Government and Private Infrastructure will be coming to the Chiefdom. 
May we also in a special way, thank the Executive Governor of Taraba State, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku for giving to Kona People the justice that has been denied them for many decades. You will be remembered in the heart of every Kona person for generations to come. Your Excellency Sir, we appeal to you to ignore crocodile tears from calumnious detractors, warmongers and disrespectful groups, who beat about the bush without presenting verifiable evidences to back up their frivolous claims of being majority over other ethnic groups. 

Remain Blessed!
Yours sincerely,
Joseph Bonaventure Nomiri
President, Jukun Kona Youths Development Association (JKYDA)

1 comment:

  1. It is expedient for the Mumuye group of critics to humbly consult their elders to seek for proper advice.

    ReplyDelete