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Interview: It’s wrong to Politicize Implementation of Taraba Poly Visitation Panel Report- Comrade Jirgi

Comrade Mansur Munkaila Jirgi is a Jalingo based human right activist and coordinator, of Taraba Concerned Citizens Forum. In this interview with Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper, Jirgi warns the state government to  shun all political sentiments and  implement the recommendations of the 2020 Visitation Panel to Taraba State Polytechnic in interest of developing the institution.


 It's believed that the former Bursar of the Taraba State Polytechnic, Mr David Fouh who's now a member representing Sardauna, Gashaka, Kurmi, Federal Constituency at the National Assembly left the PDP for the APC and he's been politically witch-hunt.


We don't want this issue to be Politicize at all. This is about activities of the former management of the Taraba State Polytechnic between 2015 and 2019. Everyone irrespective of the party they belong must answer for their actions while holding public office. The revelation as reported by Taraba Truth and Fact must  not be allowed to go down the drain.


The former Bursar was elected under the platform of the PDP, the PDP Government in the state set up this panel while Mr David Fuoh was still a member of the PDP, the report of the panel was submitted while he was still in PDP, infact despite joining APC, the PDP Government has been shielding him and his cronies.

So this is about governance and administration, normally when a new management takes over an institution, the Government audit activities of the previous management, so I don't see any witch-hunting here. Infact the Government is deliberately not interested in making the report  serious because of political interests and this we will fight. The report and its recommendations must be implemented. There must be no cover up.


Why are you coming out now, since the report has been submitted to the state government since October?


We didn't know this was happening until it was reported in the local media and till now nobody has come out to refute the report. The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but if you missed it 20 years ago, the time to plant is now. We are coming out now because want Government to act now. We have been waiting everyday for actions on the Visitation Panel Report but it wasn't forthcoming until Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper reported that it was been swept under the carpet. We want the government to make the report public and ensure everyone involved is prosecuted. Justice must be served here. A visit to the State Polytechnic campuses in Jalingo and Suntai will show you the rots between 2015 to 2019 as  exposed by the Visitation Panel Report, which powerful forces in the state are battling hard to cover up.


The Polytechnic was in these years, deprived of the opportunity to grow and become a world class institution. We are not proud of the Polytechnic because of how it was mismanaged. Imagine if these money were not looted how will the polytechnic look like today, it's the children of the ordinary people that are going to the polytechnic. Those who looted it have their children in choice institutions across the world




 Who's bankrolling you and your group because you recently held a press conference on this matter, you are sending petition to anti-graft agencies where are you getting your funding from?


Well, we are here for a good cause, a fight for a better Taraba State Polytechnic, a fight for justice and a better society. Nobody is funding us, we are here for a just cause and spirit minded people like us and many are supporting our activities in many various ways not necessary with funding. We are a civil society group that believes in promoting good governance, social justice and better a Taraba State, today we are talking about the State Polytechnic, tomorrow it would be any other agency or sector. Its time our people should wake up and fight for Taraba State, this state belongs to us and we must unite with every strength in us to develop and defend our collective wealth. We don't need anyone to bankroll us before doing what is right. This is our humble contribution to the growth of our dear state.  You don't need huge money to take a petition to Gombe or Abuja. What we want to achieve is that the polytechnic which belongs to the people get justice, all these looted monies should not go invain because 


  If Government does not take action on the report, what will be your next move?


We will use everything in the law to get that report and send it to anti-graft agencies. We will also mount pressure for the prosecution of anyone who has part took in the sharing of Taraba State Polytechnic future. We will go to the streets and cripple Government activities if the report is not made public and implemented. We will also go to the National Assembly, where a principal actor in the case is now a Federal Lawmaker and submit our petition, we will also petition the APC in Taraba State and the National level,  we believe the APC is known for fighting corruption so they won't shield anyone indicted of looting in his last place of employment. We want our people to know that this struggle is just part of many decry in Taraba State and we will not be quite, government will not also test the will of the people. Students and Staff of the Polytechnic are angry seeing those who looted  their school enjoying the looted wealth without any recourse. Government must take action because it will serve as deterrent to others in managerial positions across the state that surely one day nemesis will catch up with them if they stole public funds.


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