According to Bala Umsan (2005), every people who are where they are today were once settlers. The usual question is who comes first. We are all product of movements, migration, integration and assimilation. The issue of who is an indigenous member of a community or a settler is gradually losing meaning, relevance, and special recognition in a globalizing world with digital economy drive. The role of state in such an economy is becoming more insignificant on daily basis. Boundaries and barriers are gradually withering away and any claim to being original inhabitants or settlers are no longer of any important to addressing issue of economic prosperity, reducing the widening gab between the rich and the poor, achieving peace and security of lives and property.
There is nothing spectacular in being a Khimpyi man, Khinboggom man, Tankwal man, Badawa, Kantana or Garga man. All these division are for some certain political exigencies meant for manipulation and the continued subjugation of the masses and conditioning them to feel secured if it is their kinsman that is holding this position or that. This kind of division is primarily meant to spark unnecessary sentiments and becloud the thinking and sensibility of the disadvantaged members of the society from raising critical question of how to get good governance and effective representation, how to tackle issue of poverty, illiteracy, hunger and diseases.
This section is only interested in knowing the people of Kanam for the sake of understanding our diversity as one of the important factor in which the unification of the land was achieved and for which our generation and that yet to come should reflect upon to forge ahead.
The present day Kanam is a product of many forces and factors. However, the UNIFICATION of the area by PYOKPANG brought about the transformation of the various independent clans to a more organized authority through which today the world viewed us an entity. Revisiting our past does not in any way and means denote that we should go back to the death past. It means to let us look at the past to understand ourselves as a basis for our continued coexistence as a people if we truly mean to pursue the greater goal of a prosperous and strong community where growth and development in all aspects of human lives would be achieved.
In this section, our concern is not about who first settled in the place today called Kanam LGA, who is, and who is not an indigenous member or a settler. We will only take graphic account of the the people who inhabit Kanam yesterday and today. Doing this is very important factor that will enable us to harness the human resources upon which the land can be transformed for the common good of all in this era of knowledge base economy that transcend the shores of enclaves.
We will therefore visit every part of the Local Government Area to know exactly the inhabitants, their rich culture, their environment and indeed their agriculture and economic activities. To be specific, we will not focus on historical origin of these people. What is very crucial is that, today we are all occupying a territory called Kanam LGA.
In our next episodes, we will explore the following areas with the view to know the inhabitants of the areas, major issues of interest that would bring us to limelight as a people, and potentials as it relates to material resources and our wellbeing:
i. KHIMPYI AREA:
We will under study the Khinang, Dal, Gilong, Bunwur and Mun areas.
ii. KHINBOGGHOM AREA:
We will visit the following communities; Gyambar, Gwamlar, Yugur and Gumshar areas.
iii. TANGKWAL AREA:
We will reach out to; Gar, Kass, Namwang, Yuan, Kunkyam, Kyamkurum, Bigyai, Wakat, Jarmai and Bawas.
iv. BALEAM AREA:
Consisting of Bangyom, Bazai and Khinkyam areas would be brought to fore.
v. KANTANA AREA:
We will reach out to critical stakeholders of the area to come out with the rich heritage of the people of the area including the Kantana, Takzul, Waan and Yangkam respectively.
vi. GARGA AREA:
We will study Garga town and surroundings, Kyaram, Munbutbo and Kyansar areas respectively.
vii. BADAWA AREA:
Special emphasis would be placed on YAM because of its central place in any discuss about the people who found themselves in Central Plateau today. We will also look at Gagdi, Dugub, Kam, Mbat, and Gidgid areas respectively.
The essence of this study is to expose our potentials as a people and reemphasize the basis of our coming together irrespective of our diversities.
Necessary observations, advice and recommendations would be gladly welcome towards making this project a reality.
ND Shehu Kanam
Community and Rural Development Student.