By Egbe Attah
The Benue State Deputy Governor, Engr Benson Abounu, has directed those planning the installation of Sarduana of Otukpo to stop forthwith.
This order was contained in a press statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ogaba Ede, and made available to newsmen recently.
According to the statement, “the attention of the deputy governor has been drawn to the planned installation of one Bala Bello Muhammad as Sarduana Otukpo and widely circulated on the social media.”
It adds, “Abounu has reached out to the Leader of Hausa Community Otukpo, Alhaji Mamuda and informed him that there is nothing like Sardauna Otukpo in the Benue State Chieftaincy Laws of 2016.”
The Chief Press Secretary maintained that, his boss also directed Alhaji Mamuda to call off the intended coronation which the leader has accepted to comply with.
Meanwhile, the Och’Otukpo Odu, Dr John Eimonye, has distanced himself and the entire Otukpo District Traditional Council from the planned coronation of one Alhaji Bala Bello Mohammed as Sadauna Otukpo.
The Otukpo District paramount ruler who made this known in his new year message to the people of Otukpo Kingdom said the planned coronation which was scheduled to hold in February is completely alien to the Benue State Chieftaincy Law 2016 and as such, has no place in Otukpo.
A statement issued by Secretary to the Council and Ejila of Ai-Okopi, Chief Udeh Adole, said the Och’Otukpo Odu was not aware of the development and has not in any way nominated or appeared to have supported anyone planning such.
The statement appreciated the prompt and pro-active move of the Deputy Governor, Engr Benson Abounu, describing his action as a swift move to uphold the peace and security agenda of the governor.
However, in a swift reaction, the Sarkin Hausawa of Otukpo, Mallam Dahiru Mamuda expressed shock over reports to install the Saudauna of Otukpo
Mallam Mamuda while reacting to the report, denied any plan to carry out any ceremony of such in Otukpo.
He described the report as completely false as he never planned or was aware of any plan of that nature in the land.
The Sarkin Hausawa of Otukpo tendered an unreserved apology to the Och’Idoma, Dr Elias Obekpa, the deputy governor, Engr Benson Abounu and the Otukpo Local Government Chairman, Chief George Ali for the unfortunate development, describing it as false.
He assured that he would always consult them before embarking on any award ceremony in Otukpo.