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Cultural Heritage: National Monuments And Sites …The Etsu Nupe’s Palace

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Nigeria has two UNESCO world heritage sites, namely; Sukur Cultural Landscape in Madagali in Adamawa State and Osun-Oshogbo Sacred Grove in Osun State. There are 65 national monuments and sites managed by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments. Palaces, the residence of traditional rulers are among the fewest documented, yet, they constitute the most visible artefacts that are socially, culturally and politically significant and worthy of historic documentation. A good example is the Etsu Nupe’s palace.
The Etsu Nupe is the traditional title for the most superior Emir of Nupe land. The Etsu Nupe is a first class chief. Nupes are found predominantly in Niger State, which lies in the North Central geo- political zone, signifying the extent of the Emir’s influence. They are also found in Kogi State.
The Etsu Nupe’s palace is located in Bida West in Niger State, along Wuya-Bida Road next to Bida Local Government Secretariat. The Etsu Nupe’s Palace is referred to in local dialect of Hausa as Hakorin Giwa, and Yikan Dagba in the original Nupe language, interpreted in English as elephant’s tusk. It serves administrative, cultural and social purposes. The Etsu Nupe’s palace (Ekan Dagba was constructed in about 1935 by Sarkin Gini Muhammad Egba. Perhaps, Etsu Nupe’s palace, among other traditional palaces holds a rich cultural heritage in the North Central region of Nigeria.
These are the past events that brought about the present and future of the Nupe Emirate which are called ‘Etsu Nupe’.
The ruling family of the Nupes are all sons of Mallam Dendo , out of seven sons, the ruling families are  three in number , namely; Usman Zaki, Mama Saba and Umaru Majigi also known as Ena-Gpyazhi (Dauda 2013). The genealogy began in 1856. Since then, 13 Emirs have reigned successfully, except Etsu Nupe Usaman Sarki who was sent on exile. The reign of each Etsu commences by appointment and is terminated by death. The longest serving Etsu was Etsu Nupe Umaru Sanda Ndayako who reigned for 28 years. The shortest was Etsu Nupe Usman Zaki who reigned for three years. The current Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar has been on the throne for 15 years now.
The Hakorin Giwa, a symbol of the Nupe Emirate’s administrative dynasty is significant for its socio-cultural and political activities where major decisions are taken by the Emir and his councils. It serves as Nko, a venue for the royals and title holders converging every Friday to discuss central issues to the Emirate.
The palace occupies about 500 metres. The main entrance has a height of 5ft with the thickness of the wall of 2ft 33″ and the Arch entrance at 4ft 57’. The main entrance has a wooden door panel called “Kpako Cigban”, This is the door to the walk way for the Etsu known as “Dyadya”, and it leads to Etsu Katamba called the sitting room/reception for attending to visitors and his subjects.
Hakorin Giwa like other traditional buildings in the North are glossed by Makuba and Dan Gangaje to smoothen the wall to show the architectural and artistic mastery. The Makuba is also used as an insect repellent. This cultural heritage is a single round palace comprising four rooms and one cell “Katagi” for offenders, two entrances, with one door from the front view. The back view has three Archs with an exit door.
It serves as conference/meeting “Nko”, venue for the royals/title holders on Fridays to discuss the way forward for the Emirate. Among the socio-cultural activities of Hakorin Giwa is the royal marriage of princesses. Both maternal and paternal princess marriage rites are conducted in the Katamba. The union known as Yawo- Gitsu takes place at Shaba Palace. The couple are brought to the Hakorin Giwa at evenings as a mark of royalty heralded by sounds of flutes called Khakati. Other weddings of course take place in the palace but sometimes without royal blessings. Funeral rites known as “Ekunso” and Suna, naming ceremonies all take place in the Hakorin Giwa in the Nupe Emirate.
Customarily, women enter the palace only at dawn before morning prayers to tend to immediate issues. Though, the Emirate holds and recognises the contributions of women to the society in high esteem. The Sagi Nupe and Niwoye are high ranking women who hold titles in the emirate and are restricted to the royal family alone. Soniyan Nupe is one in charge of the market women, the Etsu’s maids and midwife to his wives. The women in their respective designations foster unity and coordinate the affairs of women in the land. These are the women allowed in the Hakorin Giwa. Remarkably, the Nupe nation is known for its historical antecedents of the Nupe reign and has held the Hakorin Giwa, as a significant cultural heritage of the people.
Every nation that has a future has a history and that can be said of the Nupe dynasty. The Nupes hold in high esteem the “Hakorin  Giwa” , which is of great importance for administrative, cultural and social purposes for the ruling class.
Abosede resides in Abuja.

 

Olaniyan Oluwabukola Abosede

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Rivers LG To Give Grants To 80 Post-Graduate Candidates

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The Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, has concluded process of giving grants to 80 indigenes of the area to pursue Masters and Doctorate degree programmes in universities in the state.
The council Chairman, Barrister George Ariolu, disclosed this, yesterday, when the leadership of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) visited him in his office at Rumuodomaya, near Port Harcourt.
Ariolu stated that grants will be given to 50 candidates to pursue Masters degree programme and another 30 to those pursuing Doctorate degree programmes in University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State University and the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education.
He said: “Our main focus as we promised our people is the area of human capacity development. Not that we don’t have interest in infrastructures, we do.
“As it stands today, we are giving grants to our people, those who are interested in advancing their academic qualifications by taking up Ph.D and Masters degree programmes.
“For Masters degree, we have grants for 50 while Ph.D is 30 for now. But because of pressure, we will likely take it up to 50. We set up a committee made up three professors, an academic doctor, who is a senior lecturer and a lawyer. Today, they are conducting interviews for the applicants at the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.
“Our catchment areas are University of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State University and the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education. Those are universities in Rivers State so that little money we will give will be of immense benefit to them.”
Earlier in his remarks, Chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the NUJ, Amaechi Okonkwo, assured the Council Chairman of the support of journalists throughout duration of his tenure in office.
Okonkwo said: “We have had a relationship with you before now and we are happy with that relationship because we were getting quality service and advise from you.
“So, we deemed it fit and necessary to come to say congratulations to you and to assure you of our support through your stay as Chairman of Council.”

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Insecurity: Address Nigeria’s Descent Into Chaos, Nigerians Tell UN Assembly

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The Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance (NINAS), yesterday, urged the United Nations General Assembly to take urgent steps to address the country’s alleged descent into chaos, saying that Nigeria has failed as a state.
This was contained in a letter addressed to United Nations Security Council, the Trusteeship Council and the General Assembly by NINAS at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
The letter was signed by Chairman of NINAS and Ilana Omo Oodua, Prof Banji Akintoye; Prof Yusuf Turaki of Middle-Belt Movement; and Secretary-General, NINAS and Lower Niger Congress, Tony Nnadi.
The letter reads, “We, the Indigenous Peoples of Nigeria at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York to alert the United Nations, and the rest of the global community that the union of Nigeria has failed irredeemably; and is now at the verge of a violent disintegration with catastrophic consequences for global peace, and security as our population of over 200million would become an instant global refugee nightmare.
“Amidst the extraordinary difficulties inflicted by the imposition and enforcement of Sharia by a section of Nigeria in a supposedly secular union, the immediate reason for this looming catastrophe is the cocktail of mass killing, kidnapping and general banditry being orchestrated against the indigenous peoples of Nigeria by an invading Fulani militia masquerading as herdsmen in an undisguised ethnic cleansing campaign that progressively demonstrate the complicity of the Federal Government of Nigeria headed by President Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani man, who as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria is also the Life Grand Patron of the notorious Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), that proudly takes responsibility for the murderous exploits of the Fulani herdsmen militia designated the fourth most deadly terror group.
“Compounding their impunity, the same Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association at a recent press conference organised to mock the planned NINAS million-man freedom march to the UN boasted to be in control of the UN through their daughter, the Deputy Secretary-General at the UN, Amina Mohammed.
“An indication that (Amina Mohammed) nominated to that exalted UN position by President of Buhari, is in some way a part of the grand protection design for the Fulani herdsmen in their bloody, onslaught against the indigenous peoples of Nigeria.
“It will be recalled that following widespread extrajudicial killings in Nigeria, the UN in August of 2019, dispatched a Special Rapporteur Mission to Nigeria led by Agnes Callamard. The damning verdict of that Rapporteur Mission was that the widespread extrajudicial killings were flowing from the unitary constitutional arrangements of Nigeria, which operates as a pressure-cooker for injustice and that Nigeria under that Constitution is a danger to global peace and security.
“The report warned that unless something is done urgently, Nigeria would snap, plunging its 200million population into turmoil that will trigger a large-scale refugee crisis of unprecedented magnitude at a time the global terror networks, ISIS, ISWAP and AL-Qaeda are already converging in Nigeria.
“That Nigeria has failed as a State is no longer a subject for debate, having emerged the global poverty capital, and playing host to two of the world’s top four most deadly terrorists’ organisation, with three-quarters of the constituent components (South and Middle-Belt), seeking urgent extrication by way of referendums from what has become a union of death.
“Looking back at the recent turn of events in Afghanistan, this freedom march to the United Nations Headquarters in New York, is to alert the global community of the rapidly degenerating situation of Nigeria, and to invite United Nations, particularly the Security Council, and Trusteeship Council, to initiate urgent steps to arrest Nigeria’s descent into chaos, as besieged communities drift dangerously to self-help.”

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Power Sector Revenue Declines By 4.54% In Q2’21

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Gross revenue of Nigeria’s electricity market declined by 4.45per cent in the second quarter of 2021, Q2’21, to N176.27billion against N184.27billion generated in the first quarter, Q1’21, latest data from the sector has shown.
The data from the Power Sector Working Group, however, showed that the N360.54billion generated in the first half of this year was 24.57per cent higher than the N271.96billion generated in the last six months of 2020.
A monthly analysis of the power sector financials in the first six months of 2021 showed that revenue has been fluctuating month-on-month.
A total of N64.98billion was generated in January, but revenue, however, fell by 13.30per cent in February to N57.35billion.
Further analysis showed that revenue in March rose by 7.41 per cent to N61.94billion but declined again in April by 8.76 per cent to N56.955billion.
In May, revenue rose by 8.24 per cent to N62.07billion.
It, however fell in June to N57.25billion, a drop of 8.42 per cent.
The Power Sector Working Group blamed poor power supply as well as glitches for the fall in revenue in the second quarter, especially in the month of June.
“June is a bit short due to glitches in the sweep mechanism and a low energy supply (there were gas payment challenges we have been working on).
“Through the collection discipline via CBN there is full visibility to DisCos collections. Collections over the past six months have stabilized at between N57billion to N65billion.
“The regulator and policymakers are focusing in the second half of the year on boosting electricity and rolling out phase 1 of Mass Metering to boost supply to reduce tariff and increase collections.
“Procurement is being completed for most of the CAPEX interventions that will help boost supply”, the group added.
Earlier, the group disclosed that the Federal Government has concluded arrangements for the commencement of the second phase of its metering program tagged National Mass Metering Program which it expects to drastically reduce estimated billing by DisCos, that will ensure consumers are billed appropriately for the electricity they consume by installing meters free of charge in household and business premises that are currently unmetered.
The Federal Government provided funding for the program through loans from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to DisCos.
“Meters are provided to customers free of charge. This is indeed unprecedented and has so far led to the tremendous success recorded so far”.
Speaking on how to grow the electricity market, a leading power sector expert and Managing Director of Target Energy Ltd, Abdullahi Umar, harped on the need to review some of the policies that may be hampering growth and development in the power sector.
Umar said at the weekend that the new Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, needs to conduct a thorough review of the sector.
“I am part of those stakeholders who are of the view that the declaration of the transitional electricity market (TEM) in February 2015 was too ambitious and premature.
“What should have been was a phased transition into TEM or at the minimum a testing of the market before the full declaration of TEM.
“The errors of such declaration have continued to plague the power sector with a heightened liquidity crisis in 2016 and 2017, that saw a drastic decline of the revenue flows in the power sector, DisCos remittance went from 70 per cent to a sharp decline averaging about 28 per cent – 30 per cent for that period,” he said.
He pointed out that July, 2021, saw the end of Eligible Customer Regulation in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), adding that the decision by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to rescind the ECR, has sent mixed signals across the board.
Umar further stated that “we have seen the accusations and counter-accusations between the generating companies (GenCos) and distribution companies on the issue. The action by NERC has signalled the lack of preparedness of the market to accommodate direct sale between market players.
“It is a case of willing seller, willing buyer and an unwilling infrastructure; the market cannot accommodate any distortion at this time especially as the grid still operates at average capacity.”
The ECR allows GenCos and Independent Power Producers to bypass the Bulk Trader for excess un-contracted capacity within their portfolio and sell directly to eligible customers who can take a minimum of 2MW of power monthly.
“The ECR was issued on the 6th of November, 2017 by the then Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Barrister Babatunde Fashola”, Umar also averred that the “recent repeal of the ECR further demonstrates the weakness in the NESI and the need for more effective and consistent regulation.”
He further advised, “With a new Minister of Power in the saddle, I suggest that a cue is borrowed from the former Minister of Power, Work, and Housing; who commenced his tenure with sector-wide stakeholder consultation and monthly review meetings, it is important that new Minister of Power gets a proper briefing with all market participants in the same room to curtail self-serving suggestions and recommendations.”
“The frequent policy conflict is fast eroding the little gains of the NESI since the declaration of TEM and plunging the sector deeper into uncertainty.
“The new Minister of Power must pursue sector-wide collaboration and effective corporate governance to move the sector forward.
“It is time to go back to the drawing board,” he concluded.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has, however, denied that it has ended or suspended the Eligible Customer Regulations which allowed power generation companies, GenCos, to supply electricity directly to large demand customers.
NERC, in a statement by its General Manager, Public Affairs Department, Dr. Usman Abba Arabi, stated that the Eligible Customer Regulations has not been suspended and at no time has the commission issued a directive for discontinuation of service to any customer.
The commission explained that what it suspended was the unauthorized direct supply by GenCos to big consumers.

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