Some residents of Zaria on Monday expressed divergent views on the sack of thousands of District and Village Heads by the Kaduna State Government.
The residents made their position known in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Zaria.
The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy, Jafaru Ibrahim-Sani, had on Sunday announced the sack of 313 district heads and 4,453 village heads across the state.
The commissioner said government would now recognise only 77 district heads and 1,429 village heads installed before 2001.
Ibrahim Lawal, Managing Director, MD Solar Nigeria Limited, PZ, Zaria, described the decision taken by the state government as a welcome development.
He said, “Most of the district heads and village heads are pensioners, yet they take the title and receive salaries.
“These people are too many and they don’t do anything in terms of rendering assistance to their subjects,” he said.
In his contribution, Habibu Zakari, an analyst said the sack would be a challenge to security because Nigeria’s population was increasing daily with new settlements.
“Many settlements emerge as a result of increase in population with growing security challenges. Remember, government is trying to harness the civil society and security agencies in curbing security challenges,” he said.
Zakari said since most of the district and village heads were pensioners, they should be allowed to continue without salary.
“Their position should remain with them because people are used to them they report disputes and other problems for settlement without necessarily going to court, he added.”
Muhammadu Kabir, another analyst, said the traditional chiefs were sometimes responsible for settling disputes among the populace.
He said they were very good at settling disputes regarding marriages, lands, theft and even fighting among the people.
On the negative side, he said some of them use their powers to forcefully appropriate land, women and other things from their subjects.
“These people are respected in the society, hence, they used that position to exploit people for their personal gains,” he claimed.
Also speaking, Suleiman Aliyu, a resident of Zaria-city said the sack was inappropriate, because the district and village heads have played significant role in ensuring peace in their domain.
“Their presence is highly important to security because they keep government informed about happenings around them.
“Their removal will now distance people from government thereby posing security threat.
“Whenever something happens, these traditional chiefs urgently come in to address the situation,” he noted.
All efforts to speak with the affected district and village heads failed as most of them declined comment.