COLONIAL POLITICAL ORGANIZATION IN BEROM LAND AND THE CREATION OF THE GBONG GWOM STOOL FROM 1935-2009
After the paciﬁcation of Northern Nigeria by the British in 1906, Provinces were created with the Berom being part of the former Bauchi Province. It became apparent to the colonial authority that it would be difficult to administer the over seventy three Berom village units without a paramount Chief. Beside, the development of Tin Mining in the Berom area also brought a large stranger population which the Berom Chiefs could not control with their limited autonomous powers.
Consequently, the ﬁrst step taken by the colonial authority was the political reorganization of the units by Mr. H. G. Synge into Eleven Districts and since sixty one of the political units claimed to have originated from Riyom, Riyom became the political and Spiritual centre of the Berom. After much debate by the colonial authority, the Gbong Gwom Stool was created in 1935.
Da Dachung Gyang 1935 – 1941
He was the ls‘ Gbong Gwom who ruled for six years at Riyom, but was later removed. He encouraged the establishment of forest reserves, the building of schools and encouraged parents to send their children to school.
System of rotation from 1941 – 1947
After the reign of Dachung Gyang, the colonial authority experimented with a system of rotation where the chairmanship of the stool was rotated during meetings and court proceedings at Riyom. That each of the eleven Districts Chiefs acted as president to the council for each monthly meeting.
Da Rwang Pam (MBE) 1947 – 1969
Rwang Pam was selected as the second Gbong Gwom in 1947. When Rwang Pam was unanimously appointed, appropriate important changes occurred which repositioned and strengthened the stool. When all the senior chiefs recommended Rwang Pam to the full council meeting chaired by acting Resident, Mr. C.K Wreford, it was agreed that not only should Rwang Pam be President of the Council, but also “Chief Executive” and should advise upon and supervise the general administration of the area; thus his ofﬁce was to be moved to Jos. Furthermore, Rwang Pam became the Sarkin Jos and Jos Town was given a Town Council headed by a President known as the Magajin Gari and each of the three principal groups of settlers in the Town, the Hausa, the Ibos and Yorubas was given a Wakili. This was theculmination of a long standing policy of separate stranger settlements administration being brought under the Berom Native Authority.
The movement of the Gbong Gwom stool to Jos was not only for administrative convenience but for the fact that the colonial authority also discovered that Jos was Berom land and did not only have villages such as Kabong with a grade “D” court since 1936, Laranto, Jishe (Tudun Wada) Chwelnyap all located in Jos but also sacred and hunting areas of Gufwagachik (Dogon Dutse) Behwol and Mado all owned by the Berom.
The stool was upgraded during his reign as he was made the Chief in.Council, a Third Class Chief in 1949 and a Second Class Chief in 1957. He recorded sterling achievements and was a member of the British Empire.
Dr. Fom Bot CON 1970 – 2002
He reigned for thirty two years and did his best in forestalling challengies to the stool from other tribes. His era witnessed the emergence of Berom Asociations such as Berom Elders Council (BEC), Berom Educational and Cultural Organization (BECO) Berom Women Association (BWA) and Berom Youth Movement (BYM) also know as Berom Youth Moulders-Association (BYM). It was during his reign that the famous Nzem Berom Festival was started which was meant to foster unity amongst the Berom. The Gbong Gwom Stool was given 1st Class status during his reign.
Da Dr. Victor D. Pam, NPM, mni, JP 2004 – 2009
He reigned for four years. He fought against the sale of the illicit gin popularly known as “Goskolo” and advised the youth in strong terms to shun the intake of the killer drink. It was during his time that security in Jos town and its environs became better enhanced. While at the time encouraged the differnt different ethnic groups in the state to live peacefully with one another.
Da Jacob Gyang Buba, OFR
The aphorism that some men are born great, some achieve greatness and others have greatness thrust upon them is applicable in all aspects to Da Jacob Gyang Buba. He was born into the Royal Family of Lo Du in Du, rose by dint of hard work through the ranks to the pinnacle of his career, retiring as the Comptroller General of Customs only to be entrusted with the Traditional Leadership of his people as the 5TH Gbong Gwom Jos.