By Gimbiya Togor Passa
Come Saturday, November 27t 2021, Adamawa State and indeed the great Ganye Chiefdom will stand still as six illustrious sons and daughters of the chiefdom will be turbaned by the paramount ruler of the Chiefdom, His Royal Highness Dr. Adamu Umaru Sanda OON, FIAN, the Gangwari Ganye II.
Among the six notable persons to be conferred with different titles that day are two illustrious sons of Adamawa State – Alhaji Adamu Atiku Abubakar, the Honorable Commissioner of the Adamawa State Ministry of Works and Energy Development, who also sits on the Board of Trustees of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), and Prof. Maxwell Gidado, the Chief of Staff to the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri. Professor Gidado, a distinguished academic and legal authority, is a member of the AUN Governing Council.
These titles hold great significance to the holders, the chiefdom, the traditional council, and the state. For a society in search of role models, the turbanning ceremony on Saturday must be situated in its proper context. Both Alhaji Adamu and Professor Gidado are men of great accomplishment and have distinguished themselves in public and private service. It is, therefore, a case of the worthy sons receiving the recognition and honor they richly deserved.
The title of Sardauna traditionally translates to the Defender of the Gangwari and Commander of his Army. The Ganye Chiefdom’s Sardauna title was first held by the former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Waziri Adamawa and father to Adamu Atiku. Atiku Abubakar relinquished the title to his son in 2020, making him the second Sardauna.
The Ganye Sarduana title has an interesting anecdote. Some years back, while Atiku Abubakar was serving as VP, and the Gangwari’s throne was threatened, Atiku fought valiantly for him to retain the throne; he is often noted as one of the people who played very crucial roles in defending the Gangwari’s throne and title. This act led to the creation of the title for him by the then Gangwari Ganye I, father to the present Gangwari.
Before his appointment as Commissioner for Works & Energy Development by the Fintiri led administration in 2019, Alhaji Adamu distinguished himself with INTELS for over 18 years and rose to the rank of Ag. Deputy Managing Director.
He expertly handled diversified roles in supply base activities, Terminal base operations, shipping activities, stevedoring services, business development, and client relations.
In his current role as the Commissioner for Works and Energy Development in Adamawa State, he has supervised the urban renewal agenda of the Gov. Umaru Fintiri administration, which has led to the construction of many roads and bridges, not just in urban areas but in various local governments of the state.
His sterling performance as the chief supervisor and driver of Adamawa’s Urban Renewal Agenda of the Fintiri-led administration has fetched him the recognition of the Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers, which inducted him into the body as a Fellow (FNICE).
Triple-A (as he is known to his admirers) is not just an accomplished administrator and public servant; he is also a philanthropist. He is the Founder and President of the Adamu Atiku Foundation (AAF), a community-based non-profit organization focused on healthcare, Education for All (EFA), Good Governance, and Community Development, among others.
The New Sardaunan Ganye obtained his first degree (B. A. Marketing & Management) and Masters’ degree (M.Sc. Supply Chain & Logistics) from Irwin College Leicester Middlesex University, Hendon, United Kingdom Central England, and Birmingham, United Kingdom, respectively. He belongs to many professional bodies like the Nigerian Institute of Management and the Institute of Transport & Logistics.
He also sits on many company boards as a member and Chairman, including the Priam Group of Companies.
The title of Danmasanin Ganye II traditionally means someone who has excellent knowledge of the environment and its happenings. The first Danmasanin Ganye, who is now deceased, also worked hard in helping to retain the Gangwari title and throne. Among other committee members, he worked and produced documents to prove why the title should remain with the then paramount ruler. In Professor Maxwell Gidado, the title is being bequeathed on an erudite and accomplished legal luminary, a scholar of repute, a thoughtful and calm administrator with a proven track record.
Professor Maxwell Gidado was conferred with the prestigious rank of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 2015 in the academic category. He was a member of the Legal Expert Team, which successfully untangled the internal boundary dispute case between the Republic of Cameroun and the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the International Court of Justice, Hague. The famous Bakassi Peninsula Case is remembered for many things but often not mentioned is the fact that Nigeria won a lot of land area in the northern border of the country.
A former Senior Special Assistant to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Danmasanin Ganye II has helped establish five Faculties of Law in Nigeria and nurtured them to attain partial and full accreditation. He has also taught and mentored over 1000 law students in some of Nigeria’s top universities, including AUN, University of Jos, and Bingham. Some of his students are now court of appeal justices, high court judges, magistrates, and khadis.
Professor Maxwell Gidado has authored many books, notably “Province of Legal Methods in Nigeria,” a book of reading in all faculties of Law in Nigeria. He has served as a member of notable committees, including the Oil & Gas Reform and Review of the 1999 Constitution.
To be presented for turbaning also are Rt. Hon Abdulmumuni Mapindi as 1st Durbin Ganye, Alhaji Aliyu abubakar as 1st Jakadan Ganye, Barr. Lilian Stephen Nabe as Mi Woba Ganye, and Hajia Rasheeda A. Mustapha as Jakadiyar Ganye.
The Ganye Chiefdom comprises three local governments, namely: Ganye, Jada, and Toungo.
The chiefdom is located in the southern part of Adamawa State. It is bounded by Gashaka, Bali, Jalingo, and Zing Local Government Area of Taraba State in the west; the republic of Cameroun to the south; Fufore LGA of Adamawa in the east, and Mayo Belwa LGA of Adamawa State to the North.
Ganye Chiefdom has eighteen districts inhabited by many tribes, the majority of which are Chamba, Hausa, and Fulani. Each district is headed by a District head who all report to the Gangwari Ganye, the first-class traditional ruler and Chairman of the Ganye traditional Council – made up of four permanent members and twenty-five title holders.
The chiefdom is one of the agricultural hubs of the state with fertile soil for produce like maize, sorghum, yam, rice, groundnut, beans, sesame seeds, sugarcane, mangoes, cocoa, and so much more, which are cultivated in commercial quantities. It is regarded as the ‘Food Basket of Adamawa State.’ Ganye is richly blessed in solid mineral deposits, the most common being beryl, gypsum, kaolin, magnesite, gold, and gemstones, among others.
As friends and associates of Alhaji Adamu Atiku and Professor Maxwell Gidado converge on the Ganye Chiefdom this weekend to honor their friends, the beauty and security of Adamawa state come into focus. Adamawa is indeed the land of beauty, blessed with natural scenery and resources and a hospitable people. Adamawa’s relative security and safety must also be appreciated by all visitors going into Ganye this weekend. Compared with most other states in Nigeria, north or south, east of west, Adamawa comes tops as the safest state in the country. Credit must go to the Government of His Excellency Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri for finding Alhaji Adamu Atiku and Professor Maxwell Gidado worthy of appointment into prominent positions and providing the ambiance for the peace and security which the state currently enjoys.