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Desperate Politicians Playing Dangerous Games In Taraba


 



As we enter the political season proper, the tempo of political activities is noticeably getting higher. Permutations and various scenarios are being analysed on the chances of this or that politician and the political parties they belong to.

At the centre of it all are the political actors. These the time of reckoning for our politicians in their bid to secure the mandate of the electorate to either retain the positions they presently occupy or seek other positions.

By all considerations the 2023 elections promises to be a humdinger. Unlike the 2019 elections where most of the occupants of elective positions enjoyed a certain degree of incumbency, the 2023 elections however will statutorily see many governors leaving after the completion of their mandatory two terms. Predictably this has set the ground for aspirants who intend to vie for the governorship position to step up their game.

Taraba is not left out of this political scramble. Top political figures in both the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition All Progressive Congress party (APC) are currently oiling their political machines for the game ahead.

As expected this jostling by our politicians often results in some among them being desperate in their bid to win. And this lead to acts like thuggery, smear campaigns and even resort to harm identified opponents.

Last week this paper reported the case of one very senior Taraba politician who the paper says is a federal lawmaker allegedly arranging along with his associates the kidnapping and eventual murder of the publisher of the paper. The lawmaker apparently is not happy that the paper has been on to his case with the ant-corruption agencies over the alleged non delivery of constituency projects for which the lawmaker allegedly collected billions. 

The lawmaker feels that continued reporting of the issue will jeopardise his political ambitions for which he has prepared well and is poised to pursue to its logical end.

But the lawmaker did not reckon with the fact that not everybody even in his inner circle is enamoured on this sort of political skulduggery. And so the graphic details of the plan to eliminate the publisher was revealed and reported widely in the media all over the country.

When I read the detailed account of how the lawmaker and his associates were taking pains to elaborately plan their dastardly act I was neither surprised nor disbelieving. Acts like this are meat and grind for the Nigerian politician. It is nothing new for desperate politicians to try and employ strong arm tactics in their political quest.

But it is necessary to caution politicians not resort to these sorts of tactics in order to advance their political ambitions.

For one in these days of improved communication and vigilance the chances of being found out is great. In fact the chances of such acts remaining untraceable to the perpetrators are slim. Somehow and in some way somebody will be caught and the beans will be spilled.

Secondly any politician that would contemplate employing such tactics to silence an opponent is not worth his position. If he had to kill and maim in order to get ahead then such a politician has betrayed the oath of public service which he sore to upheld.

In any case what will profit a politician who is supposed to frown on such acts to want to commit it all because he is not happy with his dark deeds being exposed?

In the world of the internet and the social media which we now live in, matters such as this are soon exposed and shared around the world. The consequences of such behaviour will draw the ire of many people around the world not just in the locality where this takes place. Not only will the person be beamed all over the world, he may find himself being denied visa to some countries as his name will be logged in their blacklist. He may also find his finances and properties under some kind of lock and key his position notwithstanding.

This cautionary note comes timely as the political season gets under way. Some politicians who lose out in the political process might be tempted to seek self- help through a variety of ways which will add to the tension in the country. This will certainly not favour politicians who would want to embark on such activities as it could result in a serious blow back.            

No to terrorism in Taraba

The gruesome, mangled bodies made stomach churning viewing. Entrails of bombed out bodies lying blood drenched.

This was the gory situation of the bombing sight in Iware in Ardo Kola local government where many souls lost their lives.

This dastardly act was reportedly claimed by the ISWAP group, the notorious and murderous terrorist outfit which has been operating mostly in the Borno and Yobe states in the North east of Nigeria. Although a North east state too, Taraba has until now been thankfully spared the activities of this group.

Whatever grievances they may claim to have, it does not justify the killing of innocent people who have nothing to do with their grouse. Among the victims of their misplaced anger are children, women and the aged. Most of these people don't even know who they are and what they represent. And they could not even be bothered about them anyway.

The decision by this group to extend their murderous, homicidal activities to Taraba state signifies a widening of the scope.

The question is why Taraba?

Is it because our state is accommodating and tolerant of all who seek to live and earn their keep here? Or is it because they want to create an operational base at the southernmost part of the Northeast from where they intend to launch their nefarious activities in the middle belt part and southern part of the country?

Whatever it is they hope to achieve with their activities, they are better advised to look past Taraba state. They will not be allowed to disturb the state. Taraba cannot be a sanctuary for them. They will be chased out by the vigilant Taraba folks and their infrastructure of terror will be dismantled and destroyed along with them.

Already the authorities have responded promptly to this by seeking and taking out their camps in parts of the state. The Nigeria Air Force have identified their operating bases and sent them a message from the air destroying their infrastructure. And the state government has commendably moved swiftly to introduce a security cordon in Ardo Kola, Jalingo and other neighbouring local governments. And elsewhere in the state, the authorities have stepped up their vigilance against strange and suspicious persons and their activities.

I trust my Taraba folks that they will smoke out such elements from their midst and hand them over to the authorities for thorough investigation to establish their mission.

If such groups think Taraba is a soft touch and they can have their way then they should think again. There will be zero tolerance of their presence and activities in our state.

For now while we mourn the ones we have lost in the bomb blast, the perpetrators of this murderous act should be rest assured that they will be apprehended and eventually brought to justice.                

As we are coping with the issue of poor governance in the state, we cannot add terrorism to our bag of woes.

 


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