Adamawa community writes Fintiri, decries over 150-year ostracization
The people of Vomni community in Jada local government of Adamawa State have decried the ethnic ostracization and exclusion being meted to them by Damti people whom they reportedly accommodated and gave succor in the past.
A statement by Mr. Talmon Jatau on behalf of the Vomni concerned elders noted that the community has been reeling under excruciating marginalization as strangers are now appointed to take charge of their traditional institutions.
In an open letter to governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri sighted by our reporter, the community sought the governor’s intervention in order to stave off an imminent confrontation as the community vows to resist the incursion of strangers as their rulers.
Jatau noted that Vomni tribe has over 50,000 descendants cutting across Jada and Fufoure local governments of the state noting that regrettably, despite their numerical strength, fifth columnists will not allow them to enjoy rights of self determination.
“Vomni tribe/people with a population of over 50,000 living in Jada local Government with spread into Fufore Local Government area are peace loving people who have been in bondage in their land under Ganye Chiefdom for over 150 years.
“From the old Ganye local Government formally known as Koma District was the only District that was split into two Districts only of recent under the fresh air Government, while her counterparts like Yelwa District, Sugu District, Mbulo District etc. have developed into two or three Districts except Koma because of persistent and deliberate insistence of un-democratic elements who vow to keep the Vomni people in perpetual bondage.
“It was the height when the Vomni People in particular Tuli Village lost her village head in 2021 July, instead of appointing a Vomni man in Acting Capacity, a tenant in their land was imposed on them. Vomni people are truly peace-loving people when they took their complain to the authorities no one was willing to listen to them instead were promised that they will be given the substantive Village Head that they are aware it is Vomni entitlement.
“When Vomni District was created, an Acting District Head who was not a Vomni man was appointed again and our people complain to the authorities but they were not given listening ear, again another promise that a Vomni man will surely be appointed as substantive. Deliberately there was no any plan for fairness and justice,” Jatau said.
Jatau noted that the marginalization of Vomni people could be traced to the era of Late Yohana Madaki who appealed on them to accommodate Koma Damti people when they were brought down from mountain top for rehabilitation.
He noted that as people with high level of compassion, accommodation and milk of human kind they accepted Koma Damti people and gave them farmlands in order to settle down to farm.
“When Late Yohana Madaki visited Koma with the mindset of rehabilitating the people, the Vomni people were approached to allow the Koma Damti from mountain top people access to Vomni land for farming and settlement.
“The Vomni people without hesitation consented and gave the Damti people lands for farming etc. Over time the Damti people who came down from the mountains started claiming ownership of Vomni land and were creating and fomenting trouble but Vomni people refused their provocations.
“When their troubles became too much, one of the Vomni Elder Statesman in the land had to take legal action and secured documents for some of the lands, while others boundary with Samlo and many other lands, the conflict is still unsettled.
“Additionally, Vomni District was created and the headquarters was sited at Komni deliberately to enslave and provoke the Vomni people instead of Tuli the headquarters of Vomni.
“Vomni Elders were not consulted for any inputs, the authorities was misled by those who wanted to create seed of discord and communal crises in Vomni land to site the headquarters at Komni. Our people complained for the third time but we’re denied listening ears.
“Finally, the process of the appointment of the district head was stage managed and hurriedly done because as at the time the process commenced, the Tuli village head was not appointed after series of applications interview and screening.
“When the Vomni District was created, it had 4 village heads under it which are Tuli, Deggi, Samlo and Konglo. Only Deggi and Konglo had substantive Village heads while Tuli and Samlo had Acting Village heads, meaning elections cannot be held for only two people, and one of them was contesting for the position.
“The guidelines were that those Acting will not vote or be voted for, meaning only Deggi and Konglo who are substantive appointees can vote.
“Vomni people complain the unfair treatment and injustices they have suffered over the years been ruled by strangers in their land, but as usual, no one was willing to listen to our plea and cry for fairness and justice.
“The authorities against the guidelines went ahead by screening and held elections for two people. The two substantive District heads, one out of the two was even contesting for the position.
“This observation was made but the authorities did not give listening ear to the complains but elections were carried out against the guidelines and appointment was done in hurry with no recourse to the guidelines and complains tabled by the Vomni people.
“The Vomni people on hearing the news about the announcement of the appointment, organized themselves and travelled to Ganye to see the Royal Father His Royal Highness but we’re denied access by those around him.
“Thereafter a written complaint was forwarded to His Royal Highest the Gangwari on the matter and copied to relevant stakeholders and Government agencies.
“It was after the written complain that the Vomni people were invited and were persuaded to accept the appointment and decision. This was the height of injustice for the Vomni and the people can no longer accept the decision to enslave them after over 150 years of bondage in our land.
Since the announcement, there have been tension and distrust in Vomni District that requires urgent intervention of His EXCELLENCY the Executive Governor, the Fresh Air Governor, the Vomni people can experience fresh Air under your able leadership before the situation deteriorate to communal clashes,” he said.