Day of the Mountain Eagle, Visionary Crocodile

By Garba Yedimakudon

Barring any unforeseen circumstance, the confluence city of Numan in Adamawa State will on December 23rd, 2020 play host to dignitaries ranging from top government functionaries, captains of industry, notable First-Class Traditional Rulers, local and international tourists, religious leaders and socialites as well as other prominent guests and personalities, will converge on the town for the presentation of a First-Class Staff of Office to the newly enthroned Hama Bachama, Homun Dr. Daniel Shaga, OON (Kpawo Nomwe Gilong’o Diya), the 29th Hama Bachama.

The event which doubles as the Official Coronation of the new monarch is to be performed by the Governor of Adamawa State. Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.

According to the Chairman of the Main Organizing Committee of the event, Chief Joel H. Madaki, at a Press Conference in Yola, on Wednesday will take place at the Makwada Square in the city centre.

Madaki said the presentation of the Staff of Office was in fulfillment of the commitment made to the monarch when the Royal Father paid a “thank-you” visit on the Governor at the Government House, Yola on August 28th, 2020.

Madaki while thanking the Governor for the gesture however assured guests of having the privilege to witness display of the Bwatiye cultures, the warmth and hospitality the people of the Bachama Kingdom are known for.

He therefore called on the indigenes both at home and the diaspora to come out in large numbers to welcome visitors to the occasion.

He also assured that the Organizing Committee for the event had put in place measures aimed at ensuring the observance of all protocols established by the government to curtail the spread of Covid-19 novel disease, which he contended had already entered its second wave.

“As we prepare for the coronation ceremony of the 29th Hama Bachama, I call on all sons and daughters of Bachama Kingdom, home and in the diaspora, neighbours and well-wishers of the Bwatiye race to come out en masse to grace this colourful ceremony.

“During the occasion, we should not be oblivious of the fact that we have entered the second wave of Covid-19, and it is real.

“Therefore, I plead with all and sundry to observe the Covd-19 protocol especially as regards to the use of face masks and social distancing during the occasion” he urged.

The traditional stool of the Hama Bachama was elevated from Second Class to its current status with the controversial appointment of Mr. Asaph Zadok as the 27th Hama Bachama after the equally contentious dethronement of Homun Freddie Soditi Bango in June, 2004 by former Governor Boni Haruna’s administration.

Although many saw the first class staff of office to the Bachama Kingdom as long overdue, the gesture was however never celebrated with pomp, as its presentation, was performed under very tight security; Numan was militarized due to the protest against the then new King, Homun Zadok (Gorogakye).

However, upon the ascension to the throne after Zadok’s eight year reign, by Homun Honest Irmiya Stephen, some degree of peace returned to the Kingdom.

That explained why the presentation of his staff of office was done under a peaceful atmosphere with its attendant fanfare and pageantry.

Prominent first class traditional rulers including his eminence the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III was at Makwada square, the venue of the event.

The Sultan was a course mate of Homun Stephen at the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA.

The ceremony was performed by retired Vice Admiral Murtala Nyako the then Governor of Adamawa State.

The significance of a presentation of staff of office cannot be over-emphasized, but suffice it to say that such a gesture anywhere, is regarded as the final confirmation of appointment or choice of the beneficiary.

It is also to be seen as the endorsement of the actions taken and pronouncements made by the new King to the satisfaction of the authority.

In the extant case, Dr. Daniel Shaga Ismaila has left nobody in doubt about his sincerity to pursue peace, and achieve it as reasonably as possible going by his utterances.

It is to his credit that whenever an opportunity presented itself, the new monarch, a former Director of Administration and Finance as well as Acting Chairman of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, he would preach love, tolerance forgiveness, peaceful co-existence, reconciliation among his people and other ethnic groups in his domain.

Conscious of the time tested fact that peace has no alternative as a sine qua non for development and progress in any given society, the new monarch, endorsed all the steps taken by his immediate predecessor, Homun Stephen and adopt new strategies to achieve peace not only in Bachama domain but the entire old Numan Federation comprising Guyuk, Shelleng, Demsa, Lamurde, Numan and infact the entire Southern Senatorial Zone of Adamawa State.

The new synergy between him and his brother traditional rulers in the zone is an attestation to that resolve.

This, among others, must have endeared the monarch to the Governor, hence the decision by the Governor to fulfill the commitment he made when the Hama Bachama led members of his traditional council and prominent sons and daughters of the Kingdom on thank you visit on August 28, 2020 following his choice as the 29th Hama Bachama by the Kingmakers.

In the spirit of the season, one may not lose credit with a guess that the Governor’s choice of the Yuletide period for the official coronation and presentation of a staff of office is a special Christmas gift not only to His Royal Majesty but the entire Kingdom.

The prayers on the lips of all and sundry is that the Bachama Kingdom that used to be an epicenter of peace, tolerance and love, good neighbourliness and brotherhood will take centre stage during the reign of His Majesty, Homun Daniel Shaga Ismaila, Kpawo Nomwe,(the Mountain Eagle), and Gilong’o Diya (Visionary Crocodile) being his pet names in the days, months and years ahead.

– Garba Yedimakudon a veteran Journalist writes from Yola.

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