By Mumini AbdulKareem
Almost two years since the stool of the Balogun-Fulani of Ilorin became vacant following the passing of Alhaji Mahamud Durosinlohun Atiku, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji (Dr) Ibrahim Sulu Gambari has appointed a new traditional ruler, putting to rest the dust that the vacant stool had raised within the state.
The Emir, last Thursday announced the District Head (Daudu) of Afon and a brother to the late Balogun, Alhaji Abubakar Sidiq Atiku as the successor to the throne.
Mallam Hanafi Kale Balogun was also appointed as the new Daudu of Afon in Asa Local Government Area to replace the new Balogun-Fulani.
Others appointments made by the Emir according to a release by the Magaji Nda of Ilorin, Alhaji Soliu Woru Mohammed included Alhaji Isiaka Yussuf, former district head of Ipaiye in Moro local government as the new Balogun Ajikobi of Ilorin, Mallam Abdulwahab Kayode Ajikobi as the new Daudu of Ipaiye and Mallam Mohammed Bolakale Olateju as the 14th Magaji Abudu of Ilorin.
While congratulating the appointees, the Emir advised them to always discharge their duties in their various communities diligently and with the fear of God.
The appointment of the successor to the late Balogun had taken another dimension when former chairman of the Kwara State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, Hon Ishola Balogun-Fulani filed a suit at the state High Court accusing Alhaji Sidiq Atiku of attempt to edge him out of the race for the stool.
The former APC chairman and the Daudu both contested for the stool that became vacant upon the demise of Alhaji Durosinlohun Atiku, the 11th Balogun-Fulani of Ilorin.
There have been widespread insinuations that the appointment of the new Balogun-Fulani was being hampered by the court case instituted over the matter.
However, multiple palace sources who confided in this reporter over the appointment of the new Balogun-Fulani, last night, because they were not allowed to speak officially on the matter divulged why the Emir waited this long.
The sources claimed the Emir’s decision was based on various considerations in order not to be seen as favouring anybody but following age-long tradition in the appointment.
According to one of the sources, some people in the state were already blaming the Emir for waiting this long to make the appointment considering the strategic role the Balogun plays in the community.
The source who listed four reasons for the Emir’s decision on the new Balogun-Fulani added that the appointments of traditional title holders in the Emirate is the exclusive prerogative of the royal father who is the creator of the titles.
“In the first place, the Emir was not a party to their case in court, he was not stopped from making any appointment by any court injunction, he created all the titles and lastly, he appointed the most senior person from the family in line with the age-long tradition to appoint anybody that goes to the village as District head as Balogun.
“The Emir can’t just leave the vacuum, who knows when the case will come to an end. In fact the Emir was too patient before making the appointment. And you have to take into cognisance the issue of the right of appeal which could further prolong the decision of the court until it gets to the Supreme Court. We will be bastardising our culture with such action”, the source added.
“Some people were already blaming the Emir for the protracted delay in the appointment which allowed for a vacuum to be created considering the fact that Baloguns have their roles to play in the community especially during this period of Ramadan.”
The source however urged the new appointee to embark on reconciliation in the interest of the family even as he called on relatives to cooperate with him. He noted that litigation most times is an endless battle.
“Look at the case of the sacked Baloguns, this is the sixth year and appeal court has not decided on it yet.”
Another palace official who also spoke on the issue anonymously said there is no case that affects the stool of Balogun in court and the Emir was not bind by any court injunction.
“The only case instituted on the matter has to do with eligibility of individuals. It is not that the lawsuit was responsible for the Emir not appointing a successor.
“The Emir was just taking his time and to allow due process to take place. These people are all known to our revered royal father and he took his time to allow for the court process to take its course and not appear as if he damned any consequence or that he has pre-empted whether somebody is eligible and the other person is not.
“In line with the tradition, anybody that has gone to the village is the next in line for appointment whenever there is a vacuum. Balogun stays at home and Daudu stays in the village. And there is an existing Daudu already in this case. So there is nothing stopping the Emir from appointing anybody and this latest development does not stop the eligibility suit in court”, he added.
But speaking on the issue last night, in a telephone chat, the former APC chairman who also contested the stool, Alhaji Ishola Balogun Fulani, congratulated the new Balogun-Fulani adding that the development does not stop the eligibility suite in court.
“It is the prerogative of the Emir to appoint whosesoever he wishes. That is his power. We may have about 10 contenders and he can chose anybody. We don’t have any issue about the appointment and we are ready to work with the new traditional ruler. I wish him well and congratulate him on the appointment.
“The case in court which has to do with eligibility is still on. It has nothing to do with the issue of Balogun.
That is a different case not on appointment of the Balogun.
Meanwhile, the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad has rejoiced with the new Balogun Fulani, Alhaji Abubakar Sidiq Atiku Fulani on his appointment as the new traditional ruler of the area.
Ahmad while paying his homage to the new traditional ruler at his Palace, Balogun Fulani Compound on Saturday described his appointment as a welcome development.
He said, without doubt, the Balogun deserved his elevation having paid his due and armed with various experience as the former District Head of Afon for several years.
The lawmaker stressed that it is expected that he would perform excellently to the admiration of his subjects with various achievements recorded in his former post and charged him to deplore his wealth of experience while in the active service to rule over his subjects and attract more development to his domain.
Ahmad also called for support from indigenes and settlers in the local government for the new traditional ruler to enable him succeed in the arduous task.