By Princess Simon (Bureau Chief North-Central, in Minna)
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has approved the immediate re-deployment of the Commissioner for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs, Barrister Abdulmalik Sarkin Daji, to Kontagora Emirate, as a battle over the succession of the late Emir takes a dangerous turn.
The deployment is sequel to the fall out of the election for the 7th Sarkin Sudan of Kontagora after the demise of the former occupant of the stool, late Alhaji Saidu Umar Namaska who died on Thursday, September 9, 2021.
Kingmakers from Kontagora Emirate on Sunday, September 19, 2021, conducted the election under the supervision of Sarkin Daji but were rejected by most of the contestants who accused both the Commissioner (state government) and the Electoral College of bias.
Mika Anache, one of the contenders to the throne, had, in a petition rejecting the outcome of the exercise, copied the Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, the Directorate of State Services (DSS), Niger State Police Command, former Presidents; General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), and General Abdulsalami Abubakar.
The petition also copied the Chairman, Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers and also, the Chairman, Kontagora Emirate Kingmakers (Electoral College), Alhaji Shehu Yusuf Galadima, arguing, among others, that the Kontagora Emirate stool is sacred and must be respected by all.
The 6-page petition also requested for the immediate replacement of the “Commissioner for Local Government, Abdulmalik Sarkin Daji, for alleged incompetent, and lacking in capacity to handle the affairs of Kontagora Emirate and its people known for their candour, uprightness, intelligence, focus and always in a quest for justice, having involved himself in the complicity to compromise with people of vested interest”.
Consequently, the Niger state government, through a statement from the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), and acting on the petition, announced a ‘temporary’ re-deployment of the Commissioner, Ministry for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs.
The statement signed by the SSG, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, and made available to journalists on Tuesday evening, said the re-deployment of the commissioner was because ‘the aftermath of the election was followed by petitions and misgivings’.
“To reinforce the state government’s neutrality in the election process, a review of the process has been directed by Mr Governor. In this regard, the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs, Barrister Abdulmalik Sarkin Daji, has been temporarily moved to the Ministry of Youth Development”.
According to the statement, “Similarly, Mr Emmanuel Umar, Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Youth Development has been temporarily redeployed to Ministry for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs” to take charge of the situation in Kontagora Emirate.
The redeployment of the Commissioner is with immediate effect, the statement indicates. NNL.