- Not politically motivated – Emirate
- PDP, APC differ
Daura Emirate has found Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, worthy of honour.
If things go smoothly as planned, on Saturday, February 5, the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouq Umar, will confer the traditional title of Dan Amanar Daura (Trusted Son of Daura) on the minister, at his palace.
People around the former governor of Rivers State are saying the title was an appreciation for all the things Amaechi has done for the people of Daura, where President Muhammadu Buhari hails from.
The minister is a two-time Director General of President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation (2015 and 2019) and is now tipped among those eying the presidency in 2023.
Could the title then be an endorsement of PMB’s emirate? This is the question on the lips of some people.
Speaking on behalf of Daura Emirate Council, Galadiman Daura and District Head of Mai’Adua, Alhaji Ahmad Diddiri Ahmad, said the title is given solely in recognition of his contributions to the development of the emirate, Katsina State and the nation in general.
He said the traditional institution does not align itself with any political party, adding that the title was purely to appreciate Amaechi for his contributions.
“Basically, we considered two things in relation to his contributions to the development of Daura Emirate in particular and to the state and the nation in general.
“One, despite all odds, he made sure that the University of Transport is located here in Daura. That is a gigantic project that will be a great source of employment for our people.
“Two, the Kano–Maradi rail line passes through Daura. That is also a monumental project that will boost business transactions along this axis, from the Sea to Kano to Niamey up to Dakar, and all these will definitely improve the living standard of our people,” he said
When asked if the title has something to do with Amaechi’s relation with President Buhari, the Galadiman Daura said that was mere speculation by politicians.
He said the emirate does not have any political inclination and therefore could not do anything based on political reasons.
“As I told you, it is purely done to appreciate his contributions and encourage him and even, by so doing, encourage others to do more,” he said.
Also commenting, the Secretary of the Ruling All Progressives Congress in Katsina State, Alhaji Shitu S. Shitu said, “Political aspiration is something that is tied with time, so as far as I know, Amaechi did not come out to declare that he is contesting for one position or another. Whatever is going around, as far as I know, is not official but speculation, mostly from his supporters.
“We all know that whenever a politician is given a title, it is usually an appreciation of his contribution to that emirate or kingdom. I don’t have any personal relationship with Amaechi but I know that he has brought a university of transportation that is first of its kind in the country.
“That is indeed something worthy of appreciation and if the people of Daura or the emirate decide to honour him for that, that should not be any subject of discussion at all,” he said.
When asked if that amounted to an endorsement of his presidential aspiration, Shitu said, “in the kind of politics we have now, we have gone past the era of someone endorsing somebody. We are at a level where people decide who they want and everyone has the right to contest and it is up to the people to decide.
“If you can recall, the president has made it clear early this year that he has no anointed candidate. So for anyone to say that conferment of traditional title means an endorsement, that is really unfair,” he said
On his part, the chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Katsina, Alhaji Salisu Majigiri, said one could not separate conferment of traditional titles on a politician with politics.
“If you remember, other politicians were given traditional titles in Daura. Orji Uzo Kalu was given the traditional title in Daura and he has declared his intention to contest for the presidency.
“Similarly, Rochas Okorocha was given a title and he is on his way to declare his intention to contest and we all know that they will use that in their campaigns to woo support from this part of the country.
“So, if Amaechi is given the title, nothing will stop him from using that opportunity to show that he is part of the people of this area and also use it as his campaign tool. So there is no way you can separate the two,” he said.
Similarly, the President of Daura Emirate Development Association, Alhaji Aliyu Daura, said the title was well-deserved considering Amaechi’s contributions to the development of Daura and the nation in general.
“We are in full support of the conferment. He has done a lot for us and the country, in general, will benefit from it. This is how people should be appreciated when they have done something worthy of appreciation,” he said.
On his part a politician and long-time ally of President Buhari, Danbilki Kwamanda had a word of caution to traditional institutions, saying conferment of traditional titles on politicians could destroy the institution and relegate the traditional leaders to becoming subservient to politicians.