|c. 1500–c. 1840
|Jukun Takum language
Quite worried about the hugely diminished status of a once powerful people, a socio-cultural organisation, the Kwararafa Peoples’ Assembly (KPA), has passionately appealed to the people to embrace peace and unity to enable them to uphold the defunct Kwararafa Empire’s legacies.
The organisation’s interim National President, Professor Emmanuel Oloja- Ejeikwu, made the appeal at a news briefing on Friday in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), where he and other KPA Executives briefed journalists on the theme: The Kwararafa Empire: The Journey, The History, The People, Their Tribulations and Their Future in Nigeria.
“We have been neglected and ignored over the years, referred to, and treated as minorities, which we are not.
“The solution to this is for us to reunite and come together as one family, imbibe the spirit of strong brotherhood and the spirit of being our brothers’ keepers.
“The essence of the movement, KPA, is to pull the people of the Kwararafa Empire together ideologically, so that we can tell the world that we are no longer a willing tool, neither are we a conquered territory.
“We are the majority, not minorities as we are referred to in Nigeria; we intend to overcome this battle peacefully using our PVCs (Permanent Voter’s Cards) through our electoral strength,” he said.
The erstwhile Kwararafa Empire, according to Oloja- Ejeikwu, occupied at least 27 of the present 36 states, including the FCT.
He said that the people constituted about 25 per cent of Nigeria’s population and had over the years “determined who emerged winner of presidential elections in the country”.
Oloja-Ejeikwu said that the organisation would embark on sensitisation of its communities, villages, elders, women, youth groups, and market women on the need for peace and unity.
“The Kwararafa people need to be given the due recognition in the political space and socioeconomic development,’’ he said.
Oloja-Ejeikwu said that it was important for the people of the old Kwararafa Empire to remain united as part of one indivisible Nigeria.
The holder of the traditional title of Turakin Gari, Langtang North Local Government Area, Plateau State, North-Central Nigerai, Dr. Nanchak Nirizing, called on Nigerians to elect leaders with the capabilities to revive the nation’s economy, promote peace and unity.
Nirizing said: “It is imperative for Nigerians to know that without peace nothing works.
“A peaceful environment can only be sustained with a ruler that is determined, knows the people and their problems and can solve them.
“We advise every Nigerian that this time around, it should not be money inducements, tribe or religion, but it should be about who will deliver us.”
The Osekalago of Benue, North-Central Nigeria, Alhaji Ali Na-Ali, enjoined the people to unite in order to attract development.
He said: “I advise my followers to elect credible leaders, that will lead us very well and take us to the promise land.”
He called on the citizens to shun material and monetary inducements and vote based on capabilities for the good of all.
The Aku-gyogo of Agyogo, Mr. Omale Tanko, said that the conference was meant to bring together the people to chart the way forward for peace and progress.
“We have to join hands together so that the old Kwararafa Empire can be sustained,” he said.
Wikipedia stated: “Kororofa (Kwararafa in Hausa) was a multiethnic state and/or confederacy centered along the Benue River valley in what is today central Nigeria. It was southwest of the Bornu Empire and south of the Hausa States. They rose to prominence before 1500, were in conflict with their more powerful neighbours in the 17th century, and reduced to a small tribute state by the 18th century. It is believed that Kwararafa was either a confederacy conquest state, led by the modern Jukun people or perhaps a collective name given by their Muslim foes for a number of pagan peoples to their south.”
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