Taraba assembly passes bill to end Ukwe Takum stool squabbles  


Piqued by the protracted Ukwe Takum stool tussle that has lasted for over 28 years, the Taraba state House of Assembly, Thursday, passed a bill to end the  squabbles in Takum local government area of the state.

 Titled ‘Establishment of One Rotational 1st Class Chief and Three 3rd Class Chiefs Bill 2024,’ the piece of legislation was sponsored by Governor Agbu Kefas, as an executive bill.

The House took the decision while considering the clause by clause provisions at its Committee of the Whole, chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Hamanadama Abdullahi. 

The new law when passed would provide for the establishment of one rotational First Class Chief and Three (3) Third 3rd Class Chiefs in Takum among the Kuteb, Chamba and Jukun Takum tribes, respectively.

 Recall that diverse views had trailed the proposed bill by various stakeholders, especially the Kuteb ethnic group, who claimed that the Takum traditions stool was their exclusive right. 

Kefas sponsored the bill to end the over 28 years traditional leadership tussle in Takum marred by disputes and controversies.

 A well attended public hearing was called by the lawmakers where stakeholders were afforded the opportunity to make contributions that will shape the bill, leading to its eventual passage on Thursday. 

The state legislature passed the bill after member representing Mbanga state constituency, and chairman, House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Abel Diah, submitted the committee’s report on the floor of the House. 

While presenting the recommendations of the committee before his colleagues, Mr Diah urged the immediate passage of the bill to end the decades long controversy surrounding the traditional stool. 

Diah told colleagues that the proposed law, among other objectives, seeks to put to rest the lingering chieftaincy tussle in Takum. 

He said during the public hearing majority of the groups that spoke, asides the Kuteb groups, expressed total support for the bill believing that it will end the chieftaincy fight. 

“I am pleased to inform this Honourable House that the response of stakeholders to our call for memoranda and invitation to the public hearing was highly commendable.

 “For the avoidance of doubt, the following organizations attended the public hearing to make oral and written submissions. They include:  Taraba State Council of Chiefs, Ministry of Justice, Bureau for Local Governments & Chieftaincy Affairs, Kuteb Yatso of Nigeria, Tiv Cultural and Social Association Taraba State, Jukun Takum, TEKAN/ECWA, N.C.W.S Taraba State, Chamba Takum, Kuteb Youths of Nigeria, Ukwe Takum Royal Palace, Jibu Ruling House under Jukun Takum and Jalingo Development Foundation.

“In their submissions during the public hearing, the Taraba State Council of Chiefs, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), the Jukun Takum, Chamba Takum, Ministry of Justice all expressed their total support for the Bill,” he said.