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Vibes of Taraba Day Celebration in Abuja

Kudos must be given to the organizers of the Abuja Taraba Day celebrations which took place on Sunday December 12, 2021. The event which took place at A-class events centre in the Wuse district of Abuja drew quite a number of Tarabans.

The dignitaries in attendance at the occasions included Distinguished Senator Yusuf A. Yusuf representing Taraba Central Senatorial Constituency, Chief David Sabo Kente, an All Progressive Congress (APC) chieftain, Chief Ezekiel Irmiya Afukunyo among others. Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku was represented at the occasion by the Commissioner for Tourism.

There were representatives from the religious faiths Islam and Christianity as well.

The idea behind the occasion which is to foster unity among the state indigenes was quite commendable. The dignitaries at the occasion and the speakers harped on the issue of unity and peaceful co-existence which Taraba desperately needs if it is to achieve the development that has eluded it since creation in 1991.

Speaker after speaker lamented that Taraba regarded as the most endowed state in the country lags behind in almost all facets of development. This they attributed to the lack of unity among the ethnic groups in the state and the manipulation of the differences of the people by elites for their selfish political and pecuniary ends. For the state to surmount its development challenges and achieve its potentials there was need for all and sundry to come together and salvage the situation.

For all the positive initiative in arranging the occasion, the vibes however were not too encouraging.

The first thing I noticed was that for an occasion that had unity and peace as its theme, some notable Tarabans were not in attendance. The Governor who is the father of the state and was expected to grace and lead the occasion was absent even though he sent a representative. I was told he was in town but that fact that he could not take time off to attend a once a year occasion where his presence would have meant a lot was a let-down. Was he not the one who exhorted Tarabans to give him peace and he will give the state development? Is he not the ''Rescue captain'' come to rescue Taraba out of its misery? Well here was an occasion in which his fellow Tarabans were expressing their desire to bury the hatchet and embrace peace, but the Governor was not there to witness the positive declaration. This was an opportunity for our father the Governor to come and give us the message of hope about our state. Nobody else in the state can give us that but him. To the best of my knowledge our Governor has hardly organized a town hall meeting with Tarabans in Abuja to discuss frankly and constructively about resolving issues in our state.

Then of course Taraba grandees like Distinguished Senators Shuaibu Isa Lau and Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba North and South respectively were conspicuously absent. I did not for that matter see Honourable members of the House of Representatives from Taraba as well as Taraba Assembly members.

There was no Victor Bala Kona and some of the known PDP stalwarts.

Somebody advanced the reason for their absence was that the occasion looked suspiciously like an APC thing and that most of them being members of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) chose to stay away ON account of that.

Well then what about APC grandees like Senator Dalhatu Sangari, Ahmed Yusuf, Uba Maigari, Abubakar Armayau, Abubakar Tutare, Sani Abubakar Danladi, Umar Garba, Ambassador Buba Ardo, Engr. Saleh Mamman etc? Can one ever imagine a gathering of Tarabans without such personalities present?

My enquiries revealed that many of them were not formally invited to the occasion by the organization as befitting their status. And a good number too I was told were not informed about the arrangements a priori so they could not key in to the event and lend their needed support.

Indeed the story of the event was not really who was there but who was not there. And this speaks a lot about the situation among elites of Taraba. Going by the vibes at the Abuja Taraba day celebrations a lot more needs to be done by our elites to rekindle hope among Tarabans that they will close ranks and lead us to the needed path of development. 

This is indeed an imperative because the political season is upon us and Taraba will not be left out in the political activities that will be taking place in the country.

Good move by Governor Ishaku on Security

Governor Darius Ishaku was at the Aso Villa this week to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss the security challenges facing Taraba state especially from Cameroonian rebels and government forces.

About a couple of months ago rebels of the Ambazonian separatist movement had infiltrated into Takum Local Government area and killed 11 persons including a traditional ruler in the village of Manya.

The Governor was prompt in raising alarm on the incident and mobilized a high powered government delegation accompanied by security officials to the area.

This was highly commendable and pro-active considering that Taraba shares the longest stretch of border with Cameroon. And coupled with the fact that communities along the border with Cameroon share cultural and historical ties, there is always the possibility that the fighting in Cameroon will spill into Nigeria.

Nigeria has studiously stayed neutral in the fight knowing the security of implications of getting involved. It has however provided much needed humanitarian support to the refugees from the conflict.

In an article I wrote on the matter, I suggested that the Taraba state government engage the Federal Government with a view to seeking assistance to meet the challenges posed by the insurgents infiltrating into Taraba and other states bordering Cameroon. As Taraba has the longest stretch of border with Cameroon where the conflict is festering, our state should be the centre for monitoring and coordinating the necessary response to the threat coming from Cameroon.

I am glad to say that our Governor has taking that suggestion on board and the meeting with President Buhari was along those lines. It is not always that we criticise our leaders. When they do constructive things such as he did in meeting with President Buhari on this very important issue that borders on our collective security and well-being they deserve our commendation.

Enter Muazu Sambo Jaji

President Buhari has listened to the cries of Tarabans by nominating a replacement for Engr. Saleh Mamman in the Federal Executive Council. On this score we commend Mr President for doing the needful.

From snippets of information gleaned about the nominee Muazu Jaji, he seems to tick the right boxes per the position.

What remains is to call on our three Distinguished Senators Shuaibu Lau, Yusuf A. Yusuf and Emmanuel Bwacha to work towards his confirmation at the Senate. We will also plead with Mr President to give him a befitting portfolio to enable him impact effectively on Taraba state.   


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