The Kuteb people, a Jukunoid tribe situated in Southern Taraba, Nigeria, recently concluded a 28-year-long period of vacancy by appointing a new paramount ruler, the Ukwe Takum. The formal announcement was made through a press statement signed by Fili, a prominent Kuteb leader, marking a momentous occasion in the tribe’s historical narrative.
Adherence to the rich tapestry of Kuteb tradition played a pivotal role in the selection process of the Ukwe Takum. The cultural and traditional norms of the Kuteb community, considered sacrosanct, were meticulously followed, incorporating specific rites of ascension. These traditions, deeply rooted in ancestral guidance, guided the selection of the Ukwe Takum from the esteemed ruling Kuteb families.
Beyond being a symbolic figurehead, the Ukwe Takum assumes a role of profound significance. As the spiritual leader and paramount ruler, the Ukwe Takum shoulders substantial responsibilities, primarily as the custodian of the tribe’s cultural heritage and traditions—a position left unoccupied for nearly three decades. The Kuteb tribe, with historical ties to the ancient Kwarrarafa Kingdom, entrusts the Ukwe Takum with the preservation and upholding of their rich heritage.
The prolonged vacancy of the throne, attributed to perceived lack of commitment from successive governors of Taraba State, has now been brought to a joyous conclusion with the enthronement of the new Ukwe Takum. This development has evoked a sense of jubilation among the inhabitants of Takum and its environs, who have eagerly awaited this significant moment in their cultural history.
In the next phase, the new Ukwe Takum will undergo the formal process of presentation to the state government for recognition and the official bestowment of the staff of office. This procedural step aligns with the established practices for other first-class monarchs in the region, such as the Aku Uka of Wukari and the Gara of Donga.
As the new Ukwe Takum assumes his responsibilities, the Kuteb people anticipate a rejuvenated era of leadership, firmly grounded in their time-honored traditions and cultural legacy.
IMAGE: Periscope Nigeria