Two Brothers Battle for Ganaja Traditional Title

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Trouble is brewing in Ganaja in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi State over which of two brothers should occupy the traditional stool of the area. While one of them, Idris Mohammed occupied the stool in an acting capacity hoping to be confirmed later, his cousin, Yahaya Abubakar Umar was eventually crowned as the Anajagaku of Ganaja.

This action has created tension in the sleepy community as supporters of the two kinsmen are spoiling for war.

Mohammed has petitioned the authorities in the state on the development, saying he has been prevailing on his supporters not to take the law into their hand but to remain calm and allow peace to prevail. However, he is not sure for how long he can hold them down.

Although there are two ruling houses in the community, he claimed that the kingship was snatched away from him by undisclosed persons and handed over to his cousin.

He claimed that the “coup” was perfected with the connivance of Umar and some of his loyalists.

Mohammed said the reason behind the development is the fear that if the throne returns to him and his family lineage, being the “rightful owners, the impostors might not be able to return. Even right from time, they didn’t use to snatch it; if you beg we give you, but this one was done with fire, cutlasses and arrows. The palace was locked and now the situation is ripe for war, but I have continued to appeal to our people to remain calm.”

He explained that “the Ohi of Egunji in Adogo (Ajaokuta LGA) is the traditional ruler in charge of the whole area, and the Onu of Ajaokuta”.

The Nation was informed that the Shaba of Ganaja title has been in existence for over 400 years, long before the creation of Kogi State and is recognised by the authorities. Supported by a cousin-sister, Zainab Banda, Mohammed said despite the petition to the state Commissioner of Police (CP) and the Director of State Security Service (DSS), things have remained the same as those bent on fomenting trouble within the community went ahead with the coronation. He claimed he was molested when he went on a peace mission to the palace of the Anajagaku.

“I have written petitions to the Commissioner of Police and the SS, but still they couldn’t stop them. The situation is tense as I am talking to you right now. I want the Ohi of Egunji and his council to call this chief top order in case of trouble tomorrow. There has been peace and we don’t want this to cause trouble. We are cousin-brothers but we have to sit and agree. As an elderly brother, they pushed me out of the palace so that maybe I will cause trouble and government will push me out that I cannot lead. I have acted as Anaja of Ganaja for so long, but we later agreed to give it to the present person because he was an elderly person, but since he is now chief; the position ought to revert to me, but they tried to short-change me. I want peace in my community and I want things to be properly done. The council will now sit and come out with an acceptable candidate, even if it is him, but what is obtainable now is unacceptable”.


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