Ilorin emir, chiefs at war

Date: 2005-09-27

THE nine-year-old crisis between the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari and his chiefs worsened over the weekend as the Emir announced the deposition of three high chiefs in the Ilorin Emirate Council and replaced them with new ones while a new Magaji Are has also been appointed. However, in a new twist, the three deposed chiefs, who described themselves as the Ilorin Traditional Kingmakers, have also announced the removal of Alhaji Sulu-Gambari as the Emir of Ilorin with effect from yesterday.

The three deposed chiefs, according to the Emir, are Alhaji Abdulkareem Laaro, the Balogun Gambari, Alhaji Shuaib Adio Mahmud, the Balogun Alanamu, and Alhaji Saka Aleshinloye, the Baba Isale of Ilorin. The Emir in a Radio Kwara announcement on his behalf by Alhaji Mohammed Salihu Woru, the Magaji Nela of Ilorin, explained that the deposition of the three chiefs became necessary because of "their persistent acts of disloyalty, disobedience, character assassination and rank insubordination against the Emir to the knowledge and embarrassment of the people of the Emirate, the state and the entire nation".

The Emir, in their place, also announced new appointments including the positions of two Baloguns; Balogun Fulani and Balogun Ajikobi, which had remained vacant for three years and one and half years respectively. The new appointees, according to Alhaji Sulu-Gambari, include Alhaji Muhammed Aliyu Adebayo, (Balogun Gambari), Alhaji Abubakar Akanbi Jos (Balogun Alanamu), Alhaji Mahamoad Durosinlorun Atiku (Balogun Fulani), Alhaji Usman Baba Olobi (Balogun Ajikobi) and Alhaji Shuaib Aremu Zubair as the new Magaji Are of Ilorin.

However, the Emir is yet to name a new person to replace Alhaji Saka Aleshinloye, who was deposed along with the two other Baloguns. All the new chiefs were turbanned yesterday (Saturday) contrary to the announced date of turbanning fixed for this morning (Sunday) while armed policemen escorted each of the chiefs to his family compound except Alhaji Aremu Zubair, the new Magaji Are whose family, Afonja family, has appointed another person, Alhaji Saadu Alabi Sulaiman, to succeed the late Alhaji Busari Alabi Alasa, the father of Alhaji Mohammed Lawal, the former governor Kwara State, who died on Friday, September 9, 2005.

The secretary of Afonja Descendants Union (ADU), Alhaji Hassan Amao, said that the family had appointed Alhaji Saadu Alaba as the Mogaji Are. The deposed chiefs, who also announced the deposition of the emir in a statement jointly signed by Alhaji Abdulkareem Buhari Mahmud, (Balogun Alanamu), Alhaji Saadu Alabi Sulaiman, (Magaji Are) and Alhaji Saka Aleshinloye (Baba Isale of Ilorin), said that the emir was removed at an emergency meeting held yesterday (Saturday) "to deliberate on the new twists and turns to the prolonged crisis that has bedeviled the Ilorin Emirate Council for the past nine years out of the ten years so far spent by the emir on the throne."

The chiefs alleged that Alhaji Gambari on Friday, in a Radio Kwara bulletin of 8 p.m., added a new twist to the crisis when he announced the removal of the three chiefs without recourse to the appropriate authorities and constitutional procedure. They alleged that since the installation of Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari as the 11th Emir of Ilorin in August 1995, the Ilorin emirate had known no peace as the emir had been involved in the running crises.

It would be recalled that the chiefs in a letter sent to the president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in July this year urged the president to intervene in the nine-year-old crisis by calling the emir to order. In the letter jointly signed by Alhaji Abdulkareem Buhari, (Balogun Gambari), Alhaji Mahmud Adio (Balogun Alanamu) and Alhaji Saka Aleshinloye (Baba Isale), the chiefs accused the emir of breaching traditional laws and customs by not filling the existing vacancies in the Emirate council and failing to call regularly, the Emirate Council meeting.

They also alleged that the Emir had been failing to give them their rights in the five percent revenue allocation from the Local Government to the traditional council as ordered by the Federal Government during the regime of Gen Sani Abacha. Over the past few years, there had been tell tales of crisis brewing in the traditional institution within the Ilorin Emirate over the refusal of the emir to constitute the Emirate Council.

According to reports, the emir's decision was informed by his belief that majority of the members of the council were his sworn enemies while some of the high chiefs, who also formed members of the council, were said to have died, a reason which informed the decision of the emir to, before last Friday, be running the emirate single-handedly. This development, according to sources, said to have constituted a source of worry to the Kwara State governor, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who was said to have called Alhaji Sulu Gambari and advised him to constitute a new emirate council.

Alhaji Sulu Gambari was said to have, however, rejected the governor's advice, thereby sticking to his hard stance in running the emirate without reconstituting a council to complement his traditional role. This unwholesome development was said to have irked the Kwara State governor, who sources disclosed, proceeded to report to the President Olusegun Obasanjo, urging him to prevail on the Emir of Ilorin to reconstitute a new emirate council. Sunday Tribune further gathered that following the emir's meeting with President Obasanjo, he was said to have met with Governor Saraki, in order to reach a compromise.

The outcome of the comprise meeting between the duo was the formation of a new Emirate Council eventually reconstituted last Friday, thereby putting an abrupt end to the era of running the Ilorin traditional emirate unilaterally by the emir.

Source

 


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