September 26, 2021

Plateau Governor’s tribe clashes with another over Chieftaincy rights

Gov. Simon Lalong

Old conflicts over Chieftaincy rights between the Pan and Goemai tribes of Southern Plateau State may have resurrected with the recent installation of a substantive Chief in Namu Community in Qua’anpan Local Government Area.

Similar conflicts in 2005 and 2006 resulted in several deaths and destructions, reports say.

Both tribes are claiming ownership of the stool, throwing allegations and counter-allegations at each other.

In a press statement by the President, Pan Development Association, Mr. Mark Dachi, the Goemai tribe which the present Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong hails from, is accused of territorial expansion.

The statement claims that the Pan tribe constitutes 90% of the population in the disputed Community, Jepjang Namu, demanding restraint from further attempting to force a Chief on the Community.

The Goemai Development Association in a reply through its President, Theodore Bala accused the Pan tribe of “malicious and subversive intent to re-ignite conflict”.

“It was this same body language of the Pan Development Association that invidiously generated the ill-fated Namu conflict of 2005/2006,” says the statement.

The Pan Development Association, the statement says has no legal, administrative or historical right to meddle into affairs relating to chieftaincy of Namu (Japjan) Chiefdom, “an exclusive preserve of the Gamai vide the two ruling houses of Moegurum and Ntiem Wapma.”

“These ruling houses have had unbroken control of the rulership of Namu (Japjan) since 1732 beginning from Nfum the 1st chief to Miskoom Safiyanu Allahnana the 14th chief,” says the Goemai tribal group.

The group said its tribesmen are willing to continued dialogue on the issue, but “would not be held hostage by invidious threats, acts of intimidation and propaganda aimed at taking our people back to the dark days of immolation and contraption.”