ollowing incessant crisis that rocked Tafawa Balewa Headquarters in Bauchi State in the past four years, the National President of Zaar Development Association (ZDA), Engineer Isuwa Galla, has disclosed that normalcy has returned to the area and they were now living peaceful with all the tribes in their various communities.
He explained that despite efforts by some outsiders to frustrate the peaceful coexistence amongst different ethno-religious groups of the area, the local government is now enjoying peace amongst diverse groups in the area.
The ZDA President, who stated this in an interview with New Telegraph in Bauchi, maintained that there was no problem with the Sayawa people and other tribes in the affected area.
So far, they were able to achieve peace through the peace initiative of Speaker, eight Assembly members of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; late Senator Ali Wakili and Honourable Aminu Tukur.
The ZDA President alleged that the ethno-religious skirmishes that used to occur in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area in the past were influenced by outsiders who were bent to see the fall of the local government, which eventually led to relocation of the local government to Bununu village.
Galla said: “Following the peace process initiated by the former Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, all the various ethnic groups in Tafawa Balewa have mended fences, hence the peaceful coexistence been experienced in the area now.”
Galla added that the presence of different ethnic groups during 2019 Lemp Zaar annual festival in Tafawa Balewa was an attestation that fences have been mended and the different people have resolved to live peacefully with one another.
He said: “We were able to share a common view on how to work out modalities for sustainable peace and development in the land. In fact, the aim has been achieved. You know Tafawa Balewa to say, once you mention the name, there is impression that is registered in the minds of the people, and that is, it is a trouble prone area. But when you find out, you discover that those troubles that have happened in the past were externally influenced.”
“The people of Tafawa Balewa have never gone somewhere to launch any attack on anybody. No! The trouble used to come from different quarters. Some outsiders used to invade the serene community and cause havoc on them. But with the peace process started by the former Dogara, which we keyed into and the one Barrister Kefas Magaji is championing now, I think a lasting peace has come to stay in such a way that we will never witness any uprising in that area again.”
Galla, who said his community had been marginalised in the area of infrastructural development by the immediate past administration expressed optimism that with Senator Bala Mohammed as the Governor of Bauchi State, the common resources of the state will be equitably distributed.
The ZDA president, who applauded the last administration for maintaining peace in the state however, scored them very low in the area of developmental projects in his area.
“In the fours years of the last administration in the state, you hardly see any developmental project captured in the state budget to be cited in Tafawa Balewa or Bogoro.” He said.
He added that apart from some of the developmental projects that were attracted to the three local governments of Dass, Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro by the former Speaker, only few pockets of projects were recorded in some of those areas.
“Since normalcy has returned, the state government should restore the local government headquarters to where it was constitutionally located before it’s relocation as a result of crises.
“The relocation of Tafawa Balewa Local Government headquarters from its constitutionally designed area to Bununu which has been described as unconstitutional by many groups and individuals needs to be reconsidered in the overall interest of the people of the local government.” Galla said.
The President also appealed to Governor Bala Mohammed to actualize the long waiting Zaar Chiefdom as gazetted by the successive administrations in the state.
“About the issue of Zaar Chiefdom, you know, many people have their traditional institution; many people have their rulers and leaders. His Royal Highness, the Emir of Bauchi is the Chairman of Bauchi Council of Traditional Rulers and the Zaar Chiefdom is still under the council of chiefs. So, if given the chiefdom, we will really appreciate it because that is what we have been agitating for.
“So, I think in the interest of justice, fairness, for lasting development, progress, sense of belonging and to balance everything, Sayawa Chiefdom should be actualised now.”
He recalled that several commissions and committees have recommended the actualisation of Zaar Chiefdom in Tafawa Balewa.