Five Shinkafi Emirate Council members in Zamfara State have relinquished their chieftaincy titles over the conferment of a title on a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, Daily Trust has learnt.
The conferment of Sadaukin Shinkafi title on Fani-Kayode by the Emir of Shinkafi, Alhaji Muhammad Isah Makwashe, has elicited a lot of criticisms from different quarters in the state.
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Those who resigned their positions as members of the emirate council are: Sardaunan Shinkafi, Alhaji Bilyaminu Shinkafi; Iyar Shinkafi Hajiya Hadiza Abdulaziz Yari; Uban Marayun Shinkafi, Dr Tijjani Salihu Shinkafi; Dan Majen Shinkafi, Alhaji Umar Bala Ajiya, and Sarkin Shanun Shinkafi, Dr Suleiman Shuaibu Shinkafi.
On his part, Alhaji Bilyaminu Shinkafi told Daily Trust that his decision to resign his position as Sardaunan Shinkafi was because he was not consulted when certain decisions were made.
He said the conferment of a title on the Fani-Kayode was unfortunate.
On her part, Hajiya Hadiza Abdulaziz Yari said her religion was bastardised and her husband, a former governor, Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, was humiliated, and that she would never be a party to such irresponsible act.
A source told Daily Trust that the emir had earlier attempted to withdraw the title after its conferment was greeted with a barrage of criticisms but he was stopped.
“There was an attempt by the emirate council to release an announcement of its withdrawal of the title but there was an order from above that the emirate should halt the move,” the source said.
What I will do – Fani-Kayode
However, Fani-Kayode had said he would sponsor 600 students to tertiary institutions abroad and that 300 of the students would be from Zamfara State.
He said he took Shinkafi as his second home because he was brought into politics by the late Marafan Sokoto, Alhaji Umaru Aliyu Shinkafi, and that nothing would stop him from contributing to the development of the emirate and the state in general.
The former minister, during a visit to Gusau, said he never knew that the RUGA policy was important until he was taken to the project site in Maradun LGA of Zamfara State by Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle.
Emir gets ultimatum on Fani-Kayode
Meanwhile, two of the traditional title holders that resigned, Dr Sulaiman Shuaibu Shinkafi (Sarkin Shanun Shinkafi) and Dr Tijjani Salihu Shinkafi (Sarkin Marayun Shinkafi) spoke on behalf of Shinkafi Concerned Citizens at a news briefing in Kaduna, where they called on the emir to reverse his decision.
They called on other traditional title holders in Shinkafi emirate to resign because Fani-Kayode did not deserve the title conferred on him.
“We the citizens of Shinkafi reject the title of Sadaukin Shinkafi conferred on Femi Fani-Kayode by the Emir of Shinkafi in Zamfara State, Mohammed Isah Maikwashe, because he does not deserve the title.
“This is a man known to always disrespect and abuse our leaders and forefathers in the region,” they said.
Shuaibu said the group would go to court if Fani-Kayode’s traditional title was not withdrawn.
“After 24 hours, if the decision is not reversed, the emir should expect the wrath of the law and he should also resign.
“We are going to take to the streets in protest against his decision.
“Fani-Kayode doesn’t deserve any title in the North and anyone who tries to give him one, we are going to protest against that,” he said.
The secretary of the emirate council, Alhaji Salihu Nabaiwa Yahaya Shinkafi, did not respond to Daily Trust inquiry.
‘Government has no hand in it’
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Enlightenment, Media and Communication, Zailani Bappa, said the state government has nothing to do with the decision to confer the title on Fani-Kayode.
When contacted, Fani-Kayode referred one of our correspondents to Dr. Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi, the honourary special adviser on Inter-Governmental Affairs to Governor Bello Matawalle.
Shinkafi, in a telephone interview, said he facilitated the conferment of the traditional title on Femi Fani-Kayode, saying the title was irreversible and irrevocable.
“The uproar is the handiwork of mischief makers and the opposition political party.
“It is the prerogative of the emir, whether a district head or a village head, to confer a chieftaincy title on anybody he wishes, whether an indigene or not, whether a Muslim or not, whether a Hausa or Fulani or not,” he said.
Shinkafi, who is the Wamban Shinkafi, said the title conferred on Fani-Kayode would promote intercultural relationship between the North and South.
“Yes, I was instrumental to it based on the historical background of the relationship that existed between the late Remi Fani-Kayode and the late Umaru Shinkafi. Umaru Shinkafi was a learned colleague to late Remi Fani-Kayode, the late father of Femi Fani-Kayode.
“In 1992, as a young man at that time, Femi Fani-Kayode was one of the promoters of Umaru Shinkafi’s presidential ambition.
“His father, Remi Fani-Kayode, handed him over to Marafa in 1989.
“Umaru Shinkafi mentored Femi Fani-Kayode in politics,” he said.
Faulting the claims that the traditional title was purchased, Shinkafi said those spreading the rumour should ask former President Olusegun Obasanjo and all those who had been conferred with traditional titles how much they paid.
He said Muslims are enjoined to, “Follow bad deed with a good deed.
“If someone did something wrong to you, you are enjoined not to retaliate with a bad deed.
“They said he (Fani-Kayode) was against Islam, Hausa and Fulani, now he has gone for bridge-building,” he added.