The Etsu Bassa Nge, in Bassa Local Government Area of Kogi State has cried out over the purported changes of his peoples name from Bassa Nge to Nupe.
It could be recalled that a group under the auspices of Bassa Nge Development Union (BNDU) on 4th of December 2021 at a news conference renamed Bassa Nge people to Nupe in Kogi State.
Addressing a press conference in his palace in Gboloko on Thursday, the Etsu Bassa Nge, Brig. Gen. Alh. (Dr) Abu Ali Rtd., said the purported name reversal is null and void and of no consequence.
The monarch noted that the challenges of his kingdom is development, and not name reversal, adding that, the purported name reversal has caused a lot of unrest and disunity among his subjects both at home and in the diaspora.
He explained that the name reversal was done to destabilize the peaceful coexistence of his people, stressing that the group (BNDU) are not legally mandated to carry out such name reversal as majority of Bassa Nges are not in support and were not properly sensitized.
Continuing, the monarch said “It has become expedient for me to make a few clarifications in order for the public not to be misled by some of my subjects, who, in the exercise of their freedom of expression have offended the sensibilities of a larger majority of my kingdom, both at home and in the diaspora.
“Many of your media houses had reported a purported name reversal by BNDU. Unfortunately, such development, for all intents and purposes, can’t be as simplistic as it was made to appear and I wish to state categorically, as the custodian of the culture and tradition of Bassanges worldwide , that the purported name reversal is null and void and of no consequence whatsoever.
“Neither is it the wish and will of the people of Bassange Kingdom. The conspicuous absence of all the members of the Bassange traditional council attests to this. The wish of BNDU is to impose it on the good people of BASSA Nge and BASSA Nge Council of Chiefs and also to ridicule the paramount Traditional ruler before his subjects.
“Due process was not followed in carrying out the name reversal, as majority of BASSA Nge voice were not heard, including BASSA Nge Council of Chiefs and millions of BASSA Nges and no section of the constitution of BNDU that give mandate to BoT to set up a committee for the association that can even lead to reversal of name.”
Ali called on the Federal Government, Kogi State Government, Speaker and members of Kogi State House of Assembly, BASSA Local Government Authority, all security agencies and the public to disregard the purported name reversal by BNDU adding that their action is illegal and has no place in law.
“There is no doubts that we, the Bassanges, have both historical and dialectical relationship with the Nupes, like the Etulos and the Tivs in Benue, or the Okuns and the Yorubas in Kogi or the Igedes and the Idomas in Benue, but tribal reversal have never been an option. We are BASSA-NGES. It was the language of my forefathers and it will be our language till the end of time,” he added.
We are not Nupe – Kogi Monarch cries out over name reversal