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Exclusive Interview: How Gov. Ishaku Betrayed Me- Senator Bwacha

In this no hold bare interview with Taraba Truth and Fact Newspaper, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba South at the National Assembly speaks on his relationship with Taraba State Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku. The Deputy Senate Minority Leader  also speaks on why Southern Taraba zone should produce the next governor


Prior to 2019 elections, you're an ardent supporter of Governor Darius Ishaku and few days to the election, there were speculations that the governor was supporting Senator Joel Ikenya, can you explained what actually happened?

Well, I did not start supporting the Governor in 2019; I have been supporting him since 2015. I was the one that actually insisted that our elderstateman should look at anyone he so pleases with and choose amongst us and we will obey his choice. So when he told us he has decided to pick Darius, we all fall in line and I was the first to pledge my loyalty. I did that because Taraba South was the last to get a shot at the governorship and I didn't want us to gamble so I had to lay my personal ambition aside. The election came, we were victorious and what happened between 2015 to 2019 as I speak to you, I have not recovered from it but it didn't weighed me down because I am a student of politics and I have spent some time in the corridor so I know how people behave when you give them power, especially when they are not God fearing people.

But being a child of God, I took it with stoic and I didn't bother and now the event that preceded the election of 2019 which is in the public domain is the one that appears to strike a lot of concern across the state and how suddenly the governor wanted me not to come to the senate which became a source of worry to many people. Between 2015-2019, let me be honest with you and be fair to the governor, he loves gossip a lot and a leader who listens to gossip will always have problem as he will not judge correctly as the science of jurisprudence presupposes that you must listen to both side of the story and that is why God asked to hear from Adam in the garden of Eden. God knew that Adam had eaten the fruits because he is an omniscient God but He sought to hear from Adam but when leaders don't do this, you know there is problem and I am not surprise about what is happening now in the state as a result of all these because those who matter from the original train are nowhere as they have all vanished.

So I am deeply concerned because as I speak to you, I can't remember one area where I have sinned against the governor, not even once. But I have decided to be quiet because there is a time for everything and there is a time to talk which is not even now because what I am telling you is just a synopsis of what is in the public domain as they are in no way a secret. But there are many things that people don't know.

…cuts in, at what point did you noticed all these things?

That's from the day one he was to constitute his cabinet after 2015 election and I knew he was up to something from day one but I have been patient because he is my governor and by practical consideration, he is our leader in the state and we should give it to me.

Do you at any point feel betrayed?

Sure, I feel betrayed by him and I don't want to be a subject of ridicule for people whom I fought and whom God used me to fight these victories and I don't want to be subject of ridicule and that is why I kept quiet. Otherwise, they would have said it serves him right.

In terms of developmental project in southern Taraba, expectations were high when you agitate and got a governor from Southern Taraba, but has those expectations been met now?  

Well, I told you that there is a time to talk and there is a time to keep quiet. But one thing I can say is that there is a hidden agenda from the southern part of the state to begin the zoning arrangement for the governorship. So what informed this heightened desire would be unfolded at the fullness of time and the quest to retain power and begin zoning from the South would be laid bare. What are the reasons? We will get to that at the fullness of time. But like I told you, there is time to talk and there is a time to keep quiet.

If you agitated for power shift in 2015, this coming 2023, there is a speculation that you are nursing a governorship ambition, would that not be against the principle of zoning which you fought for?

Well the principle of zoning I fought for was that we've never had a taste of the governorship from the past.

…Cuts in, but you've had eight years now?

Yeah, and every zone has had it shares of eight years each, now this principal presupposes that each zone must have a shot at it and now it has gone round. Now, which zone is to begin is the moral question.

But, the issue in the central zone is that the zone had six years owing to Senator Danbaba Suntai's inability to finish his term?

If I understand you very well, your point you are making is that the central zone is the more qualified to begin with? What about the northern zone that had about ten years? Jolly Nyame had two years from 1991-1993, and he had another eight years which is ten years altogether, so all this is just by providence. What happened in central zone is an accident of history and it was not manmade. Mind you, the allocation for central zone was two term.  Governor Suntai had his accident during his second term and in fairness to the central zone, they would even have a better claim to it but their claim to it is as equal to any other zone.

My point is that every of these zone has equal claim to begin the governorship in 2023 if the Lord tarry  bear in mind that I don't want to begin talking about 2023 because it still far and it offend my Christian sensibility because nobody has God in his pocket and nobody knows if he will be alive or not and I am saying that in the event where if it pleases God to delay the rapture so as to save many people, then, these is suppose to be the picture and the scenario because from all available science, the world appears to be in a position where you shouldn't be talking about event of three years to come and it would make you look foolish spiritually and in other ways. But I say these because Jesus in spiritual realm and flesh said the time and hour nobody knows when as it is reserved for the Lord  but the signs are there for us to see clearly and determine whether we are near there or not and it would be foolish spiritually to think we not there yet and but I am saying that in the event where it is delayed so that some more people would be save because those that are saved now are actually very few, so don't let us go into that, let save it for another day.

So this is my position and if there is anywhere deserving the zoning, it should be the south because we did it last and we are patient for other two zones so it should start from here and go up. North should be able to be patient because they had ten years. So, if we go from here in that order and it will go back, and then we will go and start from the north again, when they finish we will go and start from them and comes back if the world is still there.

Now, let's go back to local politics, the PDP in Taraba State is having its congress in 2020 and there are glaring indications that the governor and incumbent PDP Chairman are tilting towards Senator Joel Ikenya, what's your take on this?

You see, experience is the best teacher that you will have. As an experienced politician in the corridor of politics since the creation of Taraba State, no governor has ever emerged as a result of his hold on a party structure from Jolly Nyame to Danbaba Suntai and even Darius himself, none of them emerged because he has the party structure in his pocket. So, it takes only a foolish man in the street to begin to look at how the party is constituted, the structure and all that would aid anyone. It is naivety and it is people who are not rich in the history of the state. And I can tell you God loves Taraba a lot and from the spirit realm, we've had this revelation long ago that there is a state that is in the heart of God and that is why anybody that does anything in his own way will have judgment waiting for him. The state is supposed to be for he that cherishes righteousness and doing things the right way. So, if you don't understand what I am saying now, you will get to understand in the nearest future.

Coming back to Taraba politics, in your senatorial district, there's been a serious conflict between the Jukun and Tiv, what in your way do you think as the final way of getting peace in the area?

You see what the people call the Jukun and Tiv crises is the historical crises which we inherited and that the misunderstanding between the both has been there. But I would like to speak on the recent one, I have disagree with a lot of people on what is the cause of these crises and why people shouldn't call it a Tiv and Jukun crises which we uses to know because it is not it. I know how these started. I have said times without numbers that the elites from both sides of the divide and the traditional rulers are actually against this particular one. Both sides; the traditional ruler and the elites are necked deep in the crises.

This recent one is a different scenario which was propelled by criminal elements. It started by the way of kidnappings and the victims of kidnappings were largely from one ethic group. So, gradually there were billed up of anger and these things were precipitated by activities of criminal elements that operates between the borders of Benue and Taraba and they recruit quite a number of youths from both sides which are operating. Those involved in these kidnappings are from both sides, criminal young men from both sides and that is why I disagreed that this is not the normal one we used to know and because the criminals coloration is added to it, it has a way of spreading fast and followed by lootings and the criminals who did it always had a backlash. Essentially, this is all I can say about it. But on a general note, nobody will tolerate crisis and it is expected to be managed properly because I know how in the administration of governors Suntai and Gabriel Suswam, these crises were managed throughout their tenures and it wasn't that bad and it was crises that was quickly nipped on the bud. As much as I am not trying to apportioned blame to anybody, I am saying that this particular crisis was a handiwork of particular elements but again, it requires good governance to be able to restore peace. You don't sing the song of peace when you act avoidance of peace by your body language and then the world will understand.

On my governorship ambition?…

In fact, I contested in 2015 until when General TY Danjum said we should support Darius and I quickly queue behind him but which politician that has traversed the political landscape and at my stance that he has agitation for him to become governor but he refused. For example, I am a ranking senator and in a civilized democracies in the developed countries, I should be looking at the presidency and trying to have shot at the presidency so even if I become a governor, it is not a promotion and I keep telling people, I am principal officer of the senate and maybe when people look at leadership from the position of making money or stealing money then maybe somebody will look at it and say if I become a governor now, it will be better off. You know you will have access to dipping your hands in the public tilt and which I am not prepared to do, but if I become a governor today, it is not a promotion; it is a desire to serve that may propel me to go and become a governor.

How do you receive the news that some traditional ruler returned the car gift?

I have not heard that the traditional ruler returned the cars, so I wouldn't say anything. I heard it like you said and there was no official confirmation that any traditional ruler returned a car, otherwise I would comment on it and that is in the realm of speculations that I heard it too.

What's your driving force for the various developmental projects you delivered in your constituency?

My driving force is that we need to return to the people that which we have been given to give them and anything you see me giving to the people is their own and I am only a messenger and there is a social contract between me and those who elected me and my duty, the characters and contents of the contract is honesty, transparency to do that which I am expected to do meaning take this to your people and I take it and give it to them and I don't take it to my house because I don't think I need it because tomorrow, He that see over the affairs of men would ask me that these things that you were asked to take to your people which you kept in your custody under you but you betrayed the trust of the people and violated the contract. I am saying this shoulder high because intervention wise, if they tell you national assembly member mess around with constituency projects, not me. If you have, show me one. I have seen cases where anti-corruption agency was pursuing you and at the end of investigation, they tell you thank you sir, you types are few because I will take it to you because I don't need that money and not because of the government of the day but He that is above looking at me that knows what I do in secret. So, that is my driving force to be honest and transparent as as much as possible to the people that elected me.

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