Editorial

Breach of Benue Chieftaincy Law

THE law, in every clime delineates the conduct of affairs in places it covers and a breach in any guise, is prohibited. This explains why the Benue State Government, faulting a plan to institute an order not recognized by the current Chieftaincy law in the state, botched a clandestine plan to establish the Sardauna sovereignty in Otukpo through a coronation fiesta.

ASIDE from being an alien practice in Benue State, the Sardauna originates with the culture of people who are not indigenes and the planned coronation outside of the established legal provisions of the state was an illegality and a rude shock to people and government of the state.

PROPONENTS of the botched fiesta of coronation sited Islamic reasons and likely accruable benefits from the establishment of the Sardauna seat, especially, to members of the Islamic faith in Otukpo and the entire state. But they overlooked the sensitivity and risks inherent in their plans with the gale of insecurity across the country and the fear of threat to the fragile peace in the state through this.
Benue State is adjudged a major Christian territory in Nigeria and care is taken not to jeopardize this statusquo. Beyond the legal requirement, the establishment of the Sardauna stool in the state will offend the sensibilities of the people and will mobilize Christian faithful against the entrenchment of the culture thereby leading to regrettable outcomes.

A violation of the constitutional provision on freedom of religion in Nigeria is not imagined since what is at stake is not an attack on any faith but the stoppage of an illegality and the insistence on law, especially, in sensitive Chieftaincy and religious matters.

THE persistent farmers and pastoralists conflicts in Benue state enhances suspicions of the planned Sardauna sovereignty as a hidden agenda to railroad violent pastoralists into the state so as to afford them indigeneship with disregard to norms and acceptable practice in the state. The Voice views the prompt response of the state government to this ugly development with satisfaction.

IT is worth stressing that those involved in the deleterious act should be brought before the law for conspiracy and threats to peace to serve as a deterrent to people who may have a similar plan and are waiting for an opportuned time to onstage their drama of calumny intended to push the state to the precipice.

EMERGING facts further describe the Sardauna saga in controversial terms as important Islamic authorities in the state were left out of the proposed fiesta and being uninformed, question the integrity of the botched religious feast thereby raising the suspicion of an obvious mission to undermine the state and to establish an institution that is evil intended.

IT is gratifying that what would have inflamed the passions of people of the state, especially natives of Otukpo, its planned location, and indeed the entire Idoma, was averted through the timely intervention of the Benue State government and conflicts that would have resulted were nipped in the bud.

THE Voice however, stresses the need for an intensified surveillance to protect and safeguard the entire state against a reoccurrence, especially since the current state of the nation shows heightened insecurity and an increasing ethnic and religious disharmony that should not afflict Benue State.

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