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Court Stops 'Peace Committee' From Mounting Roadblocks, Extorting Motorists In Donga

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Column: Gov Ishaku, It Is Time To Take A Rest

Iliyasu Gadu

Dear Governor Darius Ishaku,

This is a message from especially the kindred folks in southern Taraba, from Ussa, Takum, Donga, Wukari and Ibbi. I have within the past couple of weeks been cross crossing the zone and discussing with various groups.

And the overwhelmingly message which they have asked me to convey to you without any equivocation whatsoever, is that you should go and take a deserved rest after serving your constitutional two terms of eight years as Governor of Taraba state. They are emphatic you should not go for any other elective position as you are now contemplating.

As my sunu and Governor I cannot agree more with them and below are the reasons;


1. By next year after serving your mandatory two terms as a governor you would have spent ten uninterrupted years in public representative position for Taraba state and the southern zone especially. First as Minister of state Power and Niger Delta for two years in the Goodluck administration. Add those two years to the eight years you would have spent next year as Governor that makes it ten years you would have served in public position representing the state and the zone.

The question is are you the only one personality in the zone? Aren't there other deserving persons in the zone?

Even by your sense of self entitlement this is taking it too far. You must consider that there are other deserving persons who should also be given the chance to aspire to lead the zone.


2. Allied to the above reason is the fact that both you and Senator Emmanuel  Bwacha who represent the zone in the Senate are from the same axis of the zone. You are from Takum and the Senator is from Donga all from the same axis. Both of you have been representing the zone for seven years going on eight in your case for the Senator more than that.

The question to ask is what about the Wukari/Ibbi axis of the zone? Don't they deserve a shot of the Senate seat as well? Are they just there to make up the numbers or provide their massive votes only and not partake in the representation of the zone too?



3. Now to the brass tacks. Most of our folks say you have performed woefully as Governor. Yes this is the discussion point in virtually everywhere I went to. As I write this pensions and gratuity to retirees of the state civil service have not been paid for months and in some cases years. As for salaries it is better left unsaid.

But suffice it to say that as the Taraba state civil service is dominated by people from our zone they are the worst hit. These are our kindred from across the zone who depend on emoluments from government to attend to critical domestic issues.

The question then is having been responsible for their plight can you in all good conscience look them in the face and say they should give you their votes? In any case they have said to me that your intention to go to the Senate is dead on arrival. They said that they are waiting for the day when you will stand before them and ask for their votes and then you will know to the difference between day and night.


4. Where are the projects and programmes you were supposed to deliver to the zone?

The mere 78 kilometre road of about an hour journey to Takum from Wukari is a hellish death trap. Terribly bad road and a Haven for kidnappers, bandits and all sorts of criminal elements. Many have been kidnapped for ransom and killed on that road till today. It is the road that cuts through the entire zone from Ibbi at one end to Ussa at the other end. Yet for all the eight years you would have spent as Governor and as prominent son of the soil you have found it difficult to do that road.

This road leads to your hometown of Takum. But you have not done anything to rehabilitate it.

This is not to talk about interventions in health, education and general welfare and uplift of our people which have been virtually non existent during your tenure as Governor of the state from our zone.

The question then is if you could not do these needful interventions as Executive governor with all the powers how then can you do it as Senator when you are devoid of such powers?


5. Your people skills and relation is abysmally low. Our folks say you are not accessible. You are more or less an absentee governor spending most of your time outside the state. In many instances civil servants have to take files to you in your place of hibernation. Indeed you were at one time on the verge of impeachment for absenting yourself for office for almost ninety days which would breached the constitutional requirements. You are haughty and aloof. And you have developed the habit of behaving like a dictator and an emperor. You show very little empathy to the plight you subject them to and also to the ones the face in their desperate and difficult lives. They say you hardly visit the area and when you do you shut yourself away from them and always in a hurry to depart. I do know for sure that during the last two Easter period when you visited Takum after an absence of two years, the youths of the town blocked you from leaving back to Jalingo. Until they were pacified by a paltry 50k after so much pleading by elders before they let you go. They were ready to be killed by your security people because they were rightly annoyed that you were only visiting them after two years of absence.

The question to ask is that if as Governor you are not accessible and you don't visit your constituents as often as you should how possible can they reach you in far away Abuja and Kaduna where you will be as Senator? When issues occur as frequently as they do in the zone can our people be able to reach you and get your prompt response and necessary assistance? With your track record of inaccessibility, aloofness and lack of empathy can you be an effective representation in the Senate especially now that Nigeria is undergoing critical existential challenges?


6. Your health. We all pray to have good health and none of us is immune from falling Ill. That is why our folks looking at your state of health have asked that you take a rest and attend to your health. You surely need to take care of your clearly not so Sterling health condition. By next year you would have been working for ten years without a major respite. The years have taken a toll on your body and you clearly need time off.

The Senate where you are angling to go if not like government house where you have a phalanx of aides and flunkeys to help you out on everything. In the Senate you will have a much reduced retinue of aides and to a large extent you will be required to do things by yourself. You will be required to contribute to vigorous debates and to travel extensively within and outside the country.

The question to ask is that all things considered can you cope with the hefty demands of being a Senator or are you just going there as a retirement nest egg.


The above reasons are by no means the only reasons why our people are asking you to shelve your quest for the Senate seat. Indeed there are more reasons but these constitute the major ones.

All things said and done consider it even a good wish for you from people who despite your abysmal treatment of them while in office, they are nevertheless kind and considerate enough to offer you their honest advice all in your best interest.

Of course you may chose to decline and go ahead to contest despite all the kind, solicitous advice given to you by your kindred. You may do that thinking you have the power and the means to go ahead anyway.

But as for me, either way you decide to go, it's no skin off my nose. I am just conveying a message from them to you. If you have been engaging them constructively all these years as you should have done you would have heard it from them directly and saved yourself hassles. But you haven't and the chasm gas grown to such an extent that they have written you off and needed my coming to see them for this message to get to you.


As your opponent in the race for the Senate seat for southern Taraba I am gung-ho to give you a run for your money. If I were you with the these negative vibes coming from my folks which I know for sure I will know that I don't have a cat's puke of a chance in heaven of making it to the Senate. Even a goat in Kuru Sati knows this for a fact. Your aides who fawn over you in their bid to ingratiate themselves and do eye service to you don't like you. They are just hanging around you to get what they can out of your government. They say you are stingy, covetuous and generally all for yourself. Have you not noticed that your closest associates who started this political journey with you and who first sold you to the electorate of Taraba as an unknown political quantity have virtually deserted you? Don't you think that is the handwriting on the wall for you to do the needful to yourself and Tarabans?


If you think I am making up all of these you are free to go and sit down with our kindred in all the five local governments and Yangtu. Only that you should go directly to them with very little security aides and not the army of gun rotting ones that will intimidate them not to tell you what they think of you and your administration.


And for me I challenge you to a public debate in any of the localities in the zone you may wish to chose. Let's go there and meet our people and before them say what we have for them. I assure that I am ever willing and ready to do so anytime.


And indeed we owe it a duty to present ourselves to them for this as people who we want to want to seek their mandates for representation at the highest legislative body in the country.


For now though I have done what they asked me to do in reaching out to you to let you know about their feelings for you.


The rest is up to you.




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