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Parting Shake-up: Governor El-Rufai Deposes 2 Traditional Chiefs

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KADUNA, Nigeria — Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, has dismissed two traditional chiefs from their posts, citing reasons related to leadership and residency regulations.

His Highness Jonathan Paragua Zamuna of Piriga Chiefdom and His Highness General Aliyu Iliyah Yammah of Arak Chiefdom are the affected rulers.

An official statement, released on Monday, May 22, 2023, by the Commissioner of Local Government, Hajiya Umma K Ahmad, declared that both leaders “cease to hold their respective offices.”

The decision is rooted in Section 11 of the Traditional Institutions Law No. 21 of 2021 and follows recommendations from the Ministry of Local Government.

“The District Head of Garun Kurama, Mr. Babangida Sule, will oversee the affairs of Piriga Chiefdom, pending the appointment of a new chief,” stated Commissioner Ahmad, providing a temporary leadership solution.

Concurrently, Mr. Gomna Ahmadu, the Council Secretary of Arak Chiefdom, “will oversee the affairs of the chiefdom and also initiate the process for the appointment of a new Chief.”

Governor El-Rufai’s move follows several infractions by the deposed rulers.

In a pointed critique, the statement labeled as “unacceptable” General Yammah’s actions.

He allegedly appointed four district heads for his chiefdom, contrary to the single position approved, and also failed to maintain his residency within Arak Chiefdom.

As for the deposed chief of Piriga, Zamuna, the state government pointed to recent clashes between the Gure and Kitimi communities within his jurisdiction.

The strife, paired with Zamuna’s own non-residency within Piriga Chiefdom, triggered his removal.

In a further action, the statement announced the immediate dismissal of the village heads of Aban, Abujan Mada, and Anjil in Arak Chiefdom.

This represents a significant shake-up in the traditional leadership of the region and signals a stringent adherence to the new Traditional Institutions Law.

The sudden changes within Kaduna’s traditional leadership hint at a greater attempt to streamline governance and promote accountability within the local communities.

Critics and supporters alike will watch keenly as the processes to appoint new chiefs begin, with the effects of these changes likely to ripple across the political landscape of Kaduna State.

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