FEMALE CHIEFS IN THE GAMTU CLAN

By Fati Mohammed Yola

FEMALE CHIEFS IN THE GAMTU CLAN

Human history has shown that womenfolk have always been relegated to the background in the scheme of things by their men counterparts because of the indiscriminate notion that, they are the weaker sex. But, in this 21st century, a traditional Gamtu clan of Chamba speaking extraction in Adamawa state, Nigeria is experiencing a new narrative where women are selected as kings who oversee the administration of their chiefdom.

The Gamtu clan in Dingibe village in Ganye local government Area of Adamawa State, Nigeria has an established leadership tradition where only females over the age of 60 are allowed to rule as chiefs.

The history of the Gamtu clan shows that this leadership format originated as a result of the instant passing of their first and second male chiefs which happened right after coronations about 271 years ago. The situation forced the Gamtu clan elder’s forum to suggest the trial of a female chief, which was accepted by all and has been the practice for many decades now.

Ishaku Ahmed Bididi, a native of the clan said in an interview that the emergence of females as chiefs in the area has given the people a sense of belonging and satisfaction stressing that the present rule of HRH Elizbeth is the 17th to be on the throne in the chronological order of their chiefdom.

Babidi explained that, though the people in the village are of different faiths including Muslims, Christian, and traditionalists, the chief has been administering governance through their traditional norms without hindrance.

He cited cases of religious and farmland disputes among her subjects to be major issues that she handles smoothly with the backing of the elder forum.

He however listed challenges facing the area to be the lack of basic amenities such as good road networks, hospitals, schools, electricity supply as well as portable drinking water. He called on the Adamawa State Government, Ganye Local Gov’t Area, and other international or local donor organizations to assist the community.

Another native of the village, Mr. Idris Miza shared that community youths usually come together to resolve issues or challenges at hand, what they termed “Gibson” meaning “youth” unite and cooperate in problem-solving.

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