On March 26, 2019, Justice of the Supreme Court, Sidi Bage, emerged as the 17th Emir of Lafia Emirate following the demise of his predecessor, Mustapha Agwai I, on January 10, 2019.
The kingmakers selected a bona fide prince and a successful law officer in the person of Justice Sidi Dauda Bage to mount the throne of his forefathers.
At the official turbaning ceremony in 2019, former Governor of Nasarawa State, Umaru Tanko Al-makura, said the government was happy with the selection exercise and called on the people of Lafia emirate and the entire State to support the Supreme Court Justice turned traditional ruler.
A good start of his job as Emir, Justice Bage, on ascension to the throne, said: “We are one, we must unite to develop the emirate and I pledge to be just in my dealings with all.”
This apt opening speech from the Emir is one of the qualities of a good leader as he promised to be ‘’fair to all“ irrespective of tribe, religion or political affiliation.
Now that Emir Bage is on the throne, he should look back at history and the chronological ascension to the throne of Lafia emirate and the footprints of the past royal fathers and make his positive contribution that would add value to the Emirate.
All he needs is support of all and sundry to enable him succeed.
Justice Dauda Bage took the reins of power when Lafia, the capital of the emirate is no longer a glorified local government headquarters but a fast growing city of a state capital.
Considering that the population of Lafia, the state capital is growing at a geometric rate due to the influx of people into the town in search of greener pasture and those coming in due to security challenges, the seat of the Emir of Lafia is no longer an easy one.
The needs of the people of Lafia in the area of social amenities are increasing on a daily basis. These and many others, are issues the Emir and the government of the day need to squarely address.
Personal problems of what to eat , family squabbles are brought before the palace for solution on a daily basis.
This is the hot seat Justice Bage now finds himself and will continue to occupy for the rest of his life.
Luckily enough, the royal father rose through ranks to become a Justice of the supreme court which gave him the opportunity to acquire a lot of life experiences all these years. This, no doubt, will help him in handling issues that come before him in the palace.
The royal father believes in working for the people and doing so without much bureaucracy or protocol for all categories of people who want to see him .
With the grace and wisdom of God together with the support of all residents of the state, he will overcome the challenges that followed his ascension to the powerful seat of Lafia emirate.
Taking Lafia emirate to the next desired level is a collective leadership responsibility. In achieving this, an equalitarian society must be promoted and defended by the subjects of the emirate and the entire state.
Good enough, Emir Bage will continue to preach, promote and defend the cause of justice coming from a constituency that frown at injustice.
As a retired supreme court judge, the Emir has a critical role to play in ensuring that things are done right.
With his wealth of experience and exposure, no doubt, Lafia Emirate Council has gotten the best at its Emir.
He will sure ensure fairness, justice and equity in his reign. That way there will be greater peace, togetherness and understanding among the people of the Emirate. Almost on a daily basis, for the past one year on the throne, individuals and groups have been visiting the palace to pay homage, pledge loyalty and pray for God’s wisdom and protection as he carries out his roles and responsibilities as a revered royal father, both as Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs.
It is our hope and prayer that there will be greater development and peace during the reign of the 17th Emir of Lafia, Justice Sidi Dauda Bage.
May this turning point in the life of Justice Bage brings transformation to Lafia Emirate Council, Nasarawa State and traditional institution in Nigeria.
May Allah continue to give him good health, strength and wisdom.
Tukura, former Secretary, Nasarawa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, writes from Lafia.