The Peace That Passeth Understanding: Bwari, The Visitors Headache, Indigines Quagmire

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By Emeh Udoh

…The reminder I got this evening reminding me to put in my report at 9:30 pm was most poignant on two critical fronts.

9:30 is the early to bed, early to rise the first session. Anything outside this was a late night.

Etsu Bwari and Muhammadu Buhari
Etsu Bwari and Muhammadu Buhari

It was also remarkable in the sense of the timing to beat the final window by crossing the Military Checkpoint before the bars drop at 10 pm.

This is Bwari, a once very peaceful and idyllically serene suburb set off from the City Centre at about 35 – 40mins drive due North.

…..”Since the appointment of Alhaji Awwal Musa Ijakoro as the new Sarkin Bwari to replace his late father, Alhaji Muhammad Musa Ijakoro, who died on August 29, 2017, the Gbagyi speaking natives of the area have appeared to be agitated”.

This, understandably, has affected all and sundry.

In the aftermath of this appointment, Bwari and it’s native inhabitants, neighbors and visitors plenty, have remained on Tenter-hooks.

It is indeed the Peace that surpasseth logical Comprehension and Judicial Interpretation; we are at Peace but yet the Peace that binds and grows the citizens eludes us.

By the 25th of December 2018, we would have won the award of First Area Council in Abuja (FCT) to have sustained and indeed revelled in a year-long Curfew even in Peace times so close to the seat of Federal Power; One year in the Regiments.

Businesses have collapsed, Enterprise is dying a slow agonizing death while Home and Landowners are counting their loss, surveying the Real Market and relinquishing their Titles..

For the love of a King, nay a Chief who will build bridges across the various Clans, Council Wards and indeed Hamlets all densely populated more by visitors than Natives, the Council writhes in the gnawing chasm of disunity occasioned by the Tussle for Supremacy.

The Bwari of yore, the Bwari landmarked by Jamb, NIGERIAN LAW SCHOOL and the new entrants of Dorben Polytechnic and Veritas University, is now laid bare and stripped of all its cosy comforts and insipid tranquillity.

Bwari is in pains as of childbirth and another year rolls by without a let up of the barricades.

I leave you Guys now as I run thru the Bars to continue again…..

Bwari is a town in Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria. The original inhabitants of Bwari are the Gbagyi speaking people. The paramount ruler is the ESU who is otherwise known as Sa-bwaya. However, with the establishment of FCT in Abuja so many changes occurred in Bwari, one of such changes is the imposition of an Emir in Bwari.

History has it that the Gbagyi people do not operate an emirate system of government. Thus, questions have been asked as to why there is an emir in Bwari. Research has however revealed that the emir who is koro by the tribe is from Niger State.

On Christmas Day of 2017, there was a communal clash between the Hausa and Gbagyi communities that engulfed the Bwari district of Abuja over Chieftaincy dispute, in which two people were confirmed dead with properties including the Bwari Main Market burnt.

Bwari is also the capital of Bwari Area Council of FCT. Politically, Bwari Area Council has at the helm of affairs an elected chairman with ten elected councillors representing ten wards. Bwari plays host to some public establishments such as: Bwari General Hospital. Nigerian Law School, Bwari. Joint Admission & Matriculation Board (JAMB)HQs. JAMB UTME Computer-Based Testing Centre. Dorben Polytechnic, Bwari (now moved to the permanent site in Garam, Niger State).

According to a senior Police officer, the Chieftaincy dispute between the Gbagi people who are the original indigenes of the Bwari became protracted when the Hausa community settlers manoeuvred and appointed an emir for Bwari. He said that prior to the clash, efforts had been on by the FCT authorities to resolve the matter before tempers flared and it snowballed into the conflict.

To be continued.

Emeh is a Naija Center News correspondent in Bwari, Abuja. and can be contacted at [email protected]


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