The purported appointment of an Emir and the creation of an emirate on Calabar, the Cross Rivers State capital, has drawn the ire of the state government and the people of the state.
During the last Sallah festival in Calabar, the recently coronated head of the Hausa/Fulani community in the state capital, Alhaji Garba Lawan, younger brother of the deceased one, was addressed and hailed as the Emir of Calabar and paraded as such.
There were increasing social media proclamations of the reported ‘appointment’, thereby attracting comments from people who claimed the territory of northern Nigeria extends into the Atlantic Ocean.
The action received very serious criticisms from local kingmakers, residents, traditional chieftains, and politicians.
Threatened by the action, the state government summoned the leadership of the Hausa/Fulani communities in the state to the governor’s office, where they were told in very strong terms to immediately abolish the title and refrain from the plots to create an emirate in Calabar.
Addressing the leaders on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, Permanent Secretary of Special Services, Governor’s Office, Sir Alfred Mboto said, “On no account should any member of the public address any Hausa/Fulani leader as “Emir” in Cross River State.
“This is not acceptable in the state. The state has been known for peace and tranquillity, accomodating and uniting all ethnic nationalities who live in the state.”
The government warned that no leader of the Hausa/Fulani community should be addressed as Emir, or be seen with palace guards.
They also warned that “No leader of the Hausa/Fulani community should be seen with men with swords.
Special Adviser to Governor on Chieftaincy Matters, Mr Adoga Ifop stated that on account should the Hausa/Fulani community issue a chieftaincy title in the state as issuance of chieftaincy titles is not part of their duties.
“The leadership of the Hausa/Fulani community must report to the State Government any illegal activities around its environs.”
In separate speeches, the leader of the Hausa/Fulani Muslim community in the state, Alhaji Garba Lawan; the Chief Imam, Kabeer Olowdayemi, and other leaders of the Hausa/Fulani community in the state appreciated Mboto for wading into the matter.
They promised to apologise immediately, claiming that they did not know the publisher of the social media posts.
They pleaded that the scenario will not repeat itself as the community will remain law abiding.
Present at the meeting were the State Security Adviser (North), Mr Murphy Ntol; the State Security Adviser (South), Mr Henry Okokon amongst other security experts.