Atyap Chiefdom: Passing On The Baton


The installation ceremony and presentation of Staff of Office to the Agwatyap lll, His Royal Highness, Dominic Gambo Yahaya, took place recently, with Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai of Kaduna State leading top government officials to grace the occasion. AMOS TAUNA, who witnessed the occasion, reports on the highlights of yet another memorable event.

Saturday, November 12, 2016, can best be described as a day to be remembered by sons, daughters and friends of the Atyap Chiefdom in Zangon Kataf Local government Area of Kaduna State. After about seven months of having lived without a paramount ruler, following the death of Agwatyap ll, His Royal Highest, Late Dr. Harrison Yusuf Bungwon, on Wednesday, April 6, 2016, a new ruler was sworn to take over the traditional reins of power. Leading other traditional rulers to welcome their own and express joy over the choice of the new monarch was Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, and others from Kaduna State, including monarchs from neighbouring states. Representatives of the Federal Government and some members of the National Assembly were equally present to accord the ceremony the required recognition. Significantly, Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai-led members of the Kaduna State Executive Council, House of Assembly members and chairmen of the Interim Management Committee of Local Government Councils in the state. It was indeed a moment of joy as the Atyap people expressed joy at witnessing such an event. The mammoth crowd that attended the occasion was an indication that the ceremony was a testimony of the people’s acceptance of the new Agwatyap, Chief Dominic Gambo Yahaya who has been appointed to lead the Atyap Chiefdom. Presenting the Staff of Office to the new Agwatyap, Governor El-Rufai noted with concern that hatred and division were causing incessant insecurity being experienced in the state, especially in the southern axis of the state. Calling for peace and understanding among the people, the governor urged the traditional institutions to join hands with the state government and security agencies to ensure peace and security of lives and property just as he urged traditional rulers to take control of their domains by ensuring security and unity among the diverse ethnic groups in their chiefdoms. He explained that the state needs everyone in formal and informal positions of leadership to speak up for and uphold common humanity that is beyond ethnic and religious divide. The newly installed Agwatyap, Chief Yahaya, known for his peaceful disposition, assured of his support for government and security organisations towards peace, just as he expressed his readiness to build on the legacy left behind by his predecessor in maintaining peace and unity among the diverse ethnic groups in his domain. Chief Yahaya also expressed the support and willingness of his people to fully support the state government thus promised to listen to all shades of opinion with the view of carrying everyone along in the task of keeping the entire domain in peace, tranquility and with a common vision of protecting lives and property. Peace, according to the new monarch is a product of unity of purpose among people who are related in sharing similar values and committed to the attaining of common goals. He promised to ensure that every segment of his chiefdom will be carried along on all issues. The new monarch did not stop at that, as he also assured Governor El-Rufai that he would not rest on his oars to ensure that peace does not only reign in his kingdom for the development of the Atyap people, but also in the entire Zangon Kataf Local Government Area, Kaduna State and the country at large. Born on January 10, 1950 in Magamiya, Zangon Kataf LGA of Kaduna State, Chief Dominic Gambo Yahaya attended LEA Primary School, Magamiya and Government Secondary School, Fadan Kaje before proceeding to Barewa College, Zaria, for his Advanced levels. He graduated with a B.A (Hon) Second Class Upper Division, Geography in 1975 from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and obtained his M. Sc Urban and Regional Planning in 1979 from the same University. A member of the Town Planning Registration Council since 1989, His Royal Highest is a Registered Town Planner and member, Nigerian Institute of Town Planner (MNITP). His career as a civil servant commenced in 1976 after the compulsory National Youth Service Corps scheme. He got appointed as a Town Planning Officer ll with the Kaduna State Government where he rose to the position of Chief Town Planning Officer in 1987. He became the General Manager, Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Authority (KAPSUDA), from 1990-1993 and was appointed the caretaker Chairman of Kaduna North Local Government where he served from April 1994 to March 1996 during the regime of Colonel Ja’afaru Lawal Isah (rtd.) as the State military administrator after which he returned to the Bureau for Lands, Surveys and Country Planning, Kaduna State, as Director, Town and Country Planning from 1996 to 1998. His Royal Highness reached the peak of his public service career when he was appointed Permanent Secretary and posted to the Ministry of Water Resources from January 1999 to January 2000. He also served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport from February 2000 to November 2001, Civil Service Commission, Kaduna State from December, 2001 to September, 2003, Public Service Office, Office of the Head of Service, State House, Kawo, from October 2003 to 10th January, 2010 from where he retired from the Civil Service. The Agwatyap lll was also appointed as the Chairman of the Interim Management Committee, Zangon Kataf Local Government Area from June 20, 2011 to November 2012 by late Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa. He also served on the Governing of Board of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) after his retirement from the Kaduna State Civil Service. A Knight of Saint Mulumba (KSM) and a recipient of the National Productivity Merit Award in 1991, this worthy natural ruler of the Atyap has organized, as well as attended several courses, workshops and seminars in Nigeria and abroad. An accomplished civil servant, who rose to the pinnacle of his career, retired to the world of business where he left success on footprints of times. With his ascension as the monarch of the Atyap people, not a few are expressing hope that considering the legacies of excellence he demonstrated during his public service career, someone with the capacity to turn around the fortunes of his own people has finally arrived to spearhead a new era of development and peace.

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