In the northern League of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji (Barrister) Muhammed S. Haliro Dantoro, Kitoro 1V, Mai Borgu, Emir of Borgu stands out as one of the most respected monarchs on account of his sterling attributes. Back at his Borgu Kingdom, he similarly enjoys a great deal of respect, affection and adoration from his subjects, and this explains the maximum cooperation being extended to him by sons and daughters of Borgu Kingdom.
Apart from been a consummate lawyer, Barrister Haliro Dantoro knows the Nitty-gritty of what traditional institution entails, this according to him was achieved under his late father’s tutelage
At his coronation ceremony in 2015 Governor Abubakar Sanni Bello aptly captured the immense humanity, kindness, integrity and total submission to the will of Allah qualities of Alhaji Muhammed Sani Dantoro when he described him thus: ” The new Emir is a learned gentleman, a man of integrity and honour whose life personifies perseverance and faith in the will of almighty Allah as the ultimate determinant of what happens all the the times.”
Last Thursday evening at his Maitama Abuja palatial home, Emir Haliro Dantoro granted an exclusive interview to the team of PRESS GALLERY led by its Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, ISIAKA MUSTAPHA
How has life been on the throne.?
l must say that for years l have been conversant with the workings of the palace. Over the years l have acquired lots of experiences. Fortunately enough, l was the Secretary of the emirate council when my father, the late emir of Borgu was the Chairman of the emirate council.
l saw it as a challenge when lwas chosen to succeed him after his demise, but l believe l’m equal to the task, because l have learnt a lot from my father the late emir. l share his vision and dream in the realization of the well being of our people. My father’s life was full of service for his people and Nigeria at large. Till he breathed his last he was so passionate about his service and strong desire for the economic emancipation. l believe in his vision for his people and Nigeria at large.
Let me also emphasize that my task as traditional ruler of Borgu is made much more convenient for me on the strength of the cooperation and support of my people; because there is nothing you can really achieve without the support and backing of your people.
My people have shown me tremendous love and affection, and l must state that l really appreciate this king gesture, it has really kept me going and also help in discharging my responsibilities as Emir of Borgu.The whole kingdom went agog with massive attendance of my coronation, and this to me was a reflection and evidence of my people’s affection and love for me. lt really showed their absolute confidence in me.
They were happy to have selected somebody like me who share aspiration and vision with the late emir whom they so much love, and ever since the love and affection have been transferred to me, all these explain why l have found my job so much easier.
What is the situation now as it concerns your youth empowerment programme which you promised during your coronation to be one of your cardinal responsibilities.?
So far so good, and l give thanks to God that my people can easily testify to this when you go round to ask them. We must move forward from where the late emir stopped. We should make sure that his ideas and what he started are sustained. l have been trying my best with the support of my state and Mr President. l think we’re moving forward.
l strongly believe that education is cardinal task that must be achieved.We need to offer our youths sound and qualitative education, because education is the bedrock of any development. lt is my belief that when you are educated you can easily key into so many things that will better your life, and this is what we are striving to achieve.
Ordinarily, the issue of security challenges would not have gotten to this horrible state, iof the youths had been sufficiently empowered, it’s not as if it won’t exist but it would have been at its lowest ebb, obviously we could not have prevented security challenges in its totality; but it won’t be as terrible as it is today. So it is pertinent for traditional institution to see that people are well educated.
l believe very strongly that with all the supports from both my state and the federal governments we shall get there.We are also very unrelenting in efforts at increasing infrastructural development; and I’m happy we are getting the attention of the relevant government agencies.
It will interest you to know that the federal government has just approved the reconstruction of our road to the tune of about N24 billion; the said road had been neglected for decades, but the federal government has taken upon itself the responsibility of fixing the road, the works minister will be coming to Borgu next week to extent of work on the road. Similarly there are lot of road rehabilitation within the town.
Only of recent our efforts at empowering youths paid off when we sought the assistance of science and technology minister, and he approved for our community the establishment of Centre For Leather Research, already contractors had been mobilized to the site of the proposed Research Centre; and lots more are to come.
lt’s a relief that our efforts are paying off. l must stress that we have a lot of friends both within and outside Nigeria who share in our dream and ambition, and they have been quite supportive of our efforts, by the grace of God we’re getting there
Your Emirate is known to have been blessed with enormous natural resources which has brought about immense mining activities. How do you take best advantage of this for the betterment of your subjects.?
Certainly yes, we are blessed with numerous natural resources. Remember we celebrated our 50th movement from Old Bussa to New Bussa, and that was when we presented our mission documents.
My late father had a mission known as vision 2015; but unfortunately he died in 2015, the vision highlighted our potentials such as mining and other resources. But the emir’s demise in 2015 does mean, that the vision should die with him. Fortunately l was part of the document, so we have to roll out a development plan covering 20 years which we call vision 2038.
The key highlights of the 2028 vision include: empowerment of youths; education as a priority; infrastructural development; professionalism, in the next 20 years we want to establish the number of professionals we can produce, so that we can assess the situation and our level of development.l believe within these 20 years we’re getting there because our vision is gradually being realized, and we’re unrelenting.
The mining project is being given attention, and we are out looking for investors to come. Fortunately, we are expecting between February and March some investors whom we have signed MoU with.
As we speak mining is alternative to our oil which Nigeria has depended on for decades, there should be diversification.l call on my state and federal governments to support us. It’s our ambition that Borgu should be Dubai of Nigeria