opinionBy Abdussalam Muhammad
Yobe — My fellow indigenes of Yobe and the country in general, we send to you our warmest salutations. Whenever we make a rejoinder, we hope that you will use your talent and foresight to understand that we do not intend to assault anybody. We rather give evidences against rumours and mischief perpetrated by some undesirable elements from Bolewa tribe who use one of their sons, Tuku Mamu to mount an endless campaign of calumny against the Ngizim tribe.
We believe that they are using that opportunity to achieve their aim of marginalising various tribes in Potiskum. They always want to be on top, they forget that God gives power to whom He likes and takes it whenever He wishes. Therefore, I am advising you to desist from fighting the will of God, if you want to live in this world peacefully.
Tukur Mamu wrote deliberate lies against governor Maman Bello Ali's father, in which he said that he interviewed him. We know that he did not conduct such interview. He just wrote lies to tarnish the image of this gentle old man. We strongly believe that he wanted to divert the attention of people and create confusion among our peaceful community and the state in general.
We want to inform Mamu that he will not achieve his dreadful aim.
Mamu said that Kare-kae and Ngizim have no past; can tell us this history of Bole"Ya tribe? In addition, before they came from Kwarafa what was their name? We know that it was Ngamo tribesmen that named them Belewa. Whenever they came to Daniski and Ngamo, when they saw them, they said in Ngamo language 'Menen de Bolewa', meaning what brought these people here. Before then what was his tribe's given name. Daniski and Fika belong to the Ngamo tribe. What history does his tribe have that he spreads rumours against tribes that have decent record in Borno Empire.
Mamu accused Honourable Alhaji Muhammad Hassan, of mounting endless campaigns of calumny in the media against Alhaji Aminu Alhaji. I want to tell him that these men are decent. If he does not know let me tell him that they came from decent backgrounds. We believe that any person that always blackmails people, has horrific life. We know that fornication and all sorts of evil devices are part of his culture. Check the record of Bolewa people in Borno Empire. According to history, when Bolewa left Kwarafa, they were 28 in number that is three females, and 25 male. They multiplied through adultery, fornication that occurred between these 25 males and three females. That is why he did not take fornication as a sin, because it is part of his culture, which is why he blackmails decent people. We are not afraid to fight back and tell the truth where it is needed.
If Mamu is illiterate, he should know it today that the Lawanin Yandiski, Malam Hassan Waja, was a grand father to Mamman Ali's father, who is the 15th emir of Potiskum. Mai Agudum, turbaned him as Lawanin Yandiski in 1909. Likewise his grand father, Mamman Bello Ali, who was called Usaku, was also turbaned by Mai Agudun, Lawanin Yandiski in 1912. We are revealing this fact for you to know that Kare-kare and Ngizim have historical background.
Foundation of Potiskum
Potiskum was founded by Chief of the Ngizam tribe named Mai Bauya 1. The Ngizim have been identified by some writers with the Walu and Badde and certainly are akin to the latter. Probably they came with the first west ward migration of Badde who built their settlements along the bank of Kamadugu Yobe River at Gogarama. Ngizim migration continued into the 19th century. A group of Ngizim under the leadership of one Bauya left Mugni, took a southern course to Keisala area where Ngizim and Lalamawa groups had already settled.
On arrival, Bauya and his group helped the inhabitants of Keisala to repulse an attack on them by the Ngazar state (Ngizim state) of Dawura, which had posed a serious security threat to the neighbouring settlements. After a counter attack on Dawura and its consequent defeat, Bauya founded his own section of the settlement which he later called Pataskum hence Potiskum. The historical account differs as to why he gave the name to his town.
However, one version said he named the town after an earlier Ngizim figure, while another says the town was named after the environment in which it was founded. The Ngizim word was for Pat means 'forest' while 'sukum' refers to 'Baushe' tree from this perspective. The name Potiskum is a corruption of the word Pataskum. An instance of this type of corruption appeared very early in the Arabic manuscript collected in Kumasi by Thomas Bowdich where the name Kushum was written.
After Mai Bauya built this town and was able to establish his authority over both his own Ngizim people and the Karai-Karai, the task of consolidation fell on his successors since the pressing problem continued to be that of the defence from external attacks. Mai Bauya's successor's derived their authority from the military protection they provided to the groups inhabiting the area. Ngizim leaders borrowed the Bornuan institution of Kachalla (Commander).
It could be recalled that in the 19th century, Muhammad El-Kanemi of Borno transformed the institution of Kachalla and the Kachalla became powerful leaders of armed regiment of their own followers.
Before 1853, the Ngizim rulers of Potiskum adopted the title of Kachalla, it was Migza who received staff of office of Kachalla from Shehu Umar El-Kanemi at Kukawa. The Kachalla of Potiskum further consolidated their authority with the transfer of the centre of power from the old settlement of Yerimaram to a new walled town, which became modern Potiskum.
According to tradition, Mai Awanyi's son discovered a well over flowing with water. After offering the necessary sacrificial rites, Kachalla Awanyi became the owner of the well. The importance of the well to a settlement and the threat from external enemies led to the decision by Kachalla Dangari to mobilise labour to build a city wall encompassing the well. Thus one of the essential elements in the emergence of Potiskum as a centre of political power was fulfilled, but Kachalla Dangari (D.1824) died before he could move into the new town. The movement took place during the reign of his brother and successor, Kachalla Dawi, the 15th Kachalla of Potiskum.
Chronology of Ngizim maps of Potiskum.
1. Kachalla Bauya 1, 2; Kachalla Awanyi 3; Kachalla Kuduskunai 4; Kachalla Dangari 5; Kachalla Dawi 6; Kachalla Darama 7; Kachalla Mele 8; Kachalla Malam Bundi 9; Kachalla Mizgai 1835-1856 10; Mai Jaji 1856-1858 11; Kachalla Nejo 1858-1866 12; Mai Namiyanda 1866-1993 13; Mai Gabau 1893-1902 14; Mai Bundi II 1902-1909 15; Mai Agudum 1909-1913 16; Mai Jaji II 1913-1919 17; Nai Vungum 1919-1924 18; Mai Gankiyau 1924-1927 19; Mai Jaji II 1933 he was re-instated but ruled for only three months 21; Mai Bauya II 1933-1957 22; Mai Hasan 1957-1988.
Mamu said in the purported interview that the governor's father spoke about the governor's mother. This is a clear indication of his vicious mischief, because she died ten years before he became Senator in 1999. Mamu has mounted an endless campaign of calumny against these famous, honest, hard work and visionary people, among whom is Wazirin Muhammadu Guza, and Madakin Tikau, Alhaji Musa Lawan. I want to tell him that these gentlemen are better than his mentors who are sponsoring him to lie against important personalities, who are honest.
We thank God that they have something to do, they are self-reliant, not like those that siphon public funds. Everybody knows that these people have achieved success in life.
Tukur Mamu alleged that His Excllency, Mamman Bello Ali, wanted to kill him by sending people to kidnap him. This is a blatant lie. He thought that he would disturb by his insult and reconcile with him. Let me tell Mamu that a governor like Maman Ali is not terrified of him because he is an honest, religious and literate person. He is always trying to lead by example.
The present administration of governor Mamman Ali is the cleanest, most honest and trust worthy. He provides infrastructure in all the local governments of Yobe State. These include purchasing of transport, building of dispensaries, building houses for traditional rulers and building secretariats for local government in the state. We pray to Almighty Allah to protect you against your enemy who did not accept Allah's will, who are fighting with Allah's judgment, bootlickers of terrible leaders who rob state treasury and convert them into their account.
Finally, we call upon all Yobeans to continue supporting the Mamman Ali's administration to deliver the services to us.
May God protect governor Mamman Bello Ali, Amin.
Abdussalam Muhammad (Sheikh Zeze) wrote in from Potiskum.