A traditional title bestowed on Femi Fani-Kayode, former minister of aviation, has created division in Shinkafi emirate of Zamfara state.
During the weekend, Muhammad Makwashe, emir of Shinkafi, conferred the traditional title of “Sadaukin Shinkafi” on Fani-Kayode.
Makwashe had said the honour was in appreciation of the former minister’s support and contributions to the development of the emirate.
But the conferment of the title has thrown the emirate into crisis, with some title holders saying it is against ideals of traditional councils.
Some prominent persons in the kingdom asked the monarch to withdraw the title from Fani-Kayode whom they said is not worthy of it.
But the refusal of Makwashe to accede to their demand made some traditional chiefs to resign from the emirate.
While Sulaiman Shinkafi and Tijjani Shinkafi, both Sarkin Shanun Shinkafi and Sarkin Marayun Shinkafi respectively — announced their resignation at a press briefing in Kaduna, three more tendered their joint resignation letter also on Wednesday.
In the letter, the title holders said: We view this conferment against the functions and ideas of traditional councils such as contribution to development of administration, economic policy, security, culture, customs, religious dispute and general well-being of the citizens.
“The conferment is not in conformity with any of the above core values. Conferment should be based on these important principles (and) not politically instigated to divide and cause chaos to good citizens of Zamfara State, Northern Nigeria, and Nigeria at large.”
Similarly, Shinkafi, who resigned as the Sarkin Shanun Shinkafi, said at the briefing that Fani-Kayode abuses the northern culture and religion.
He said: “This is a man known to always disrespect and abuse our leaders and forefathers in the region.”
Hours after the conferment, Fani-Kayode had commended the emirate and promised to continue to maintain good relationship Zamfara and core northern states.
“I am highly impressed with this title given to me as one of the heroes of Shinkafi emirate. I commend the present administration led by Gov. Bello Matawalle for promoting peace and stability in the state,” he had said.
“I came to Zamfara for bridge-building. I went around the state, I am impressed with the peace been restored and various infrastructural development.”
Fani-Kayode is a critic of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
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