The burial procession.
Kwararafa descendants pay last respect to departed monarch
By Janet Nyajon Audu
Friday October 14th, 2022 was unique in the history of the Jukuns and indeed the entire Kwararafa descendants. It was the day their late supreme leader, His Majesty, Dr. Shekarau Angyu Masa-Ibi Kuvyu 11 CON, was finally escorted to join his ancestors at the Aku-uka designated burial ground “Nando”.
Our correspondent, who was at the occasion, reports that Wukari, the headquarters of the Kwararafa Kingdom, stood still as there was no vehicular movement, both private and public schools and business places were closed to honour the Aku-uka, who passed away in October last year.
It was gathered that the last “Pankya,” which is the final traditional rite of a monarch, was observed over 50 years ago, as those who had never seen it before dazzled to their bones.
The Chairman of Ibi Local Government Area, Bala Bako Sungbadu, who is also the Taraba State ALGON chairman, said that he was witnessing “Pankya” for the second time in his life. “This is my second time of witnessing such an occasion. The last one took place in 1972; so the generation behind us are in high spirit to see for themselves and to be part of this event. If there is no event, there won’t be history. So this event has equally added colour to our reach culture because our culture is unique in the whole of this country.
“I believe that God after creating Adam and Eve, the next set of people He created were the “Apajukun” and all Kwararafa descendants. So we are here to pay our last respect to our Supreme Leader, who served us for 45 years. I said he served us because he has brought peace and development to us as a people. He was a leader with exceptional vertue that can’t be described in a sentence or a word,” he said.
Also, the Fagachin Keffi and district head of Keffi, who represented the Emir of Keffi, Alh. Shamsudeen Abubakar Maikasuwa, said that the late Aku-uka, his Majesty, Dr. Shekarau Angyu Masa-Ibi, was a great pillar that held the Kwararafa people together, describing him as a father, who led the Kingdom to greatness, saying that they came to Wukari to pay last respect to the monarch.
Alhaji Shamsudeen enjoined the next Aku-uka to emulate his predecessor, who against all odds, ensured that peace reigned supreme and uplifted the status of the Kwararafa kingdom, reiterating that he was a role model.
It was also observed that the procession known as “Akye” kicked off around 7.30am from the Aku-Uka Palace where all the male children of Dr. Shekarau Angyu Masa-Ibi matched bare footed with his official belongings to Puje, where mourners all converged and paid the last respect before they matched further to “Nando,” his final place of abode.
Present at the “Pankya” ceremony were traditional rulers from across the nation in the likes of Gara of Donga, Longomai of Shandam, representatives of Attah Igala, Ochi Idoma, Fagachin Keffi, Chief Mark Elayo Tutaki of Kiana among others.
Also present at the Pankya were prominent politicians from both local, state and the National Assembly members; National President, Jukun Development Association (JDA), Chief Bako Benjamin; tourists, citizens and residents of Taraba and mix of persons fŕom diverse walks of life attended the “Pankya,” while Hon. Istifanus Haruna Gbana represented Arch. Darius Dickson Ishaku, the governor of Taraba State.