BY MARK NETO
It appears some rabble rousers are not comfortable with the prevailing inter-party peace in Nasarawa State, hence their seemingly irrevocable resolve to puncture it though fair or foul means.
Or how else does one explain the rationale behind the provocative article titled ”Nasarawa: Putting the Devil to Shame” (Leadership Friday, January 18, 2013) authored by one Rayyanu Bala, a man that is gradually becoming an irritant in the landscape of Nasarawa state. In this article, I intend to respond appropriately to the series of lies Bala has been feeding the reading public with in the name of defending his paymasters at the Shendam Road Government House, Lafia.
It would be recalled that towards the end of 2012 (November 7th to be precise), Mallam Rayyanu Bala manifested this same character trait with a subjective article where he stood honesty on its head by saying that ”Umaru Tanko Al-Makura inherited virtually nothing from his predecessor (meaning Akwe Doma) except a catalogue of debt running into almost N32billion”.
In that same piece, Bala’s soft spot for CPC and Al-Makura stood ramrod like a totem pole when he tried to justify the CPC administration’s inability to deliver democracy dividends to the people of the state, attributing same to paucity of funds. Blatant lies! On the issue of the so-called N32bn debt, which the author claimed was inherited by the present CPC administration, the facts are very clear.
As at May 29, 2011, when Doma left office, he tentatively left behind a liability of N20bn, which included a loan of N4bn his administration took from Zenith Bank for counterpart funding of projects—N2.5bn to enable the state access UBEC fund and N1.5bn to finance the state’s counterpart funding for MDGs, all of which were in the state treasury when the present administration took over. This effectively reduces the total liability to N16bn, out of which N12bn was for various jobs done by contractors of which certificates had been issued for payment. So, what are these myopic critics talking about?
Sorry, I digress. In his latest diatribe under reference, Bala maliciously accused Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of fomenting ethnic crisis in Nasarawa state, saying that it was ”designed primarily to demonstrate to the people that the CPC-led administration lacked the capacity to protect the lives and properties of the people of the state”.
He went further to say that ”since PDP lost the governorship election in May 2011, as a party, they collectively vowed to make the state ungovernable for the in-coming CPC administration. Even the communal violence that we have experienced when they were in power was instigated by them to achieve one politically-motivated objective or the other”. What a convenient way to pool the wool over the faces of the people!
If the truth must be told, the incessant crisis between Farmers and Fulani Herdsmen in the Southern Senatorial District of the state; ethnic clashes in Assakio community in Lafia LGA; attack on Migili ethnic group in Jenkwe development area by Eggon ethnic group over a stolen motorcycle and the most recent one in Agyaragu community in Jenkwe Development Area in Obi LGA have nothing to do with PDP.
Investigations conducted have revealed that the attack on Alago ethnic community was instigated by an alleged marginalization of the Eggons by their Alago counterpart in an area where they are said to be the original owners of the land.
It is a well-known fact that before the eruption of the crisis, Eggon Cultural and Development Association through its legal representative, Barr. S.A Ayiwulu had petitioned the Paramount ruler of Assakio community, HRH Osula Inarigu, accusing him of illegal and unlawful seizure of farm lands as well as engaging in extortionist activities against his clients, the Eggons. In the petition to the Commissioner of Police and copied to Governor Tanko Al-Makura, Director State Security Services (SSS), Emir of Lafia, HRH Alh. (Dr) Isa Mustapha Agwai I and other security agencies in the state, the legal practitioner categorically called for a concerted action from the government to nip the crisis in the bud, a call Governor Al-Makura and the security agencies contumaciously ignored. The governor’s procrastination to assent to anti-thuggery bill and other resolutions on security matters passed by the State House of Assembly which drew the ire of legislators recently indeed fertilized the ground for the rise in ethnic crisis in the state. So, how does PDP come in? Why must PDP, as it is often said in the local parlance, be made to take Panadol for another person’s headache?
If Bala is saying that it is PDP that is fomenting the crisis, what has he to say concerning the grave allegation of the governor’s connivance with the Fulanis to unleash terror in PDP-dominated areas in the state? For it is a well-known fact that the governor had on several occasions either ignored security alert or sent in security agencies to areas where there are alerts of impending attack only for him to turn around and immediately withdraw them. And after the withdrawal, the Fulanis would strike with impunity. Such areas include Agbasi and Rutu in Doma LGA; Burum-burum in Mada Station and Yelwa Bassa in Kokona LGA.
The governor’s inability to deal decisively with high profile personalities indicted by the Panel of Inquiry set up by the state government into the Assakio crisis is another evidence of his monumental failure as chief security officer of the state. Allegations are rife that attempts are currently being made to sweep the commission’s report under the carpet to avoid hurting those indicted, especially governor’s political associates who were alleged to have been instrumental to his emergence as the governor of the state in the 2011 general elections. No wonder, the Legal Adviser of ‘Ombatse’, the CPC militia, Barr Alumaga clearly told the world that the group was instrumental to CPC’s ascension to power and nobody has the power to talk to them, a statement that earned him instant dismissal because the governor allegedly felt he would expose their illicit alliance to the world.
Judging from the foregoing, it is as clear as daylight that the governor’s inability (or is it refusal?) to swiftly respond to petition is an indication of his administrative incompetence in handling sensitive state matters and the fear that the militia would expose them the more, which in civilized climes would have attracted instant punishment by way of impeachment from office. That he is still sitting pretty in the office and calling the shots as the governor of the state is due to the magnanimity of the state legislators, majority of who are PDP members.
The author also went berserk when he declared that ”in any political contest in the state, the PDP cannot match the CPC in terms of performance. Against these backdrops, many believe that the only tool or instrument to be employed by the PDP in their campaign for 2015 is communal violence which they in the first place fomented. Otherwise, the PDP has nothing on ground to rely on in 2015”. What arrant nonsense! Nothing can be further from the truth!
The question to ask is: where are the so-called achievements of the CPC administration? Is it in the area of total disregard for fiscal prudence by engaging on a spending binge via painting of street lights in CPC colour for N500m? Lights which were installed by the Doma (PDP) administration at a paltry cost of N60m!
Or is it in the installation of just 5 traffic lights for N190m and the frittering away of N2.7bn on NAGIS, Karu, a project started by Abdullahi Adamu and completed by Doma? Or is it in patching few township roads in Lafia foran undisclosed outrageous sum? Or the financial hara-kiri the state is about to embark upon through the proposed airports at Lafia, the state capital and Karu? Governor Al-Makura’s insistence on going ahead with these airport projects could be likened to a man whose enemies have conspired to kill, who still went ahead to douse himself with petrol and sit by the fireside.
On the achievements of PDP, so much have been written on it the media that recounting them here would amount to belabouring the issue! That is why today, the people of Nasarawa state are so pissed off with the bumbling of this administration that they are remembering the immediate past PDP administration with nostalgia.
What else remains to be said of an administration that envisions Nasarawa state of our dream on its face value, but beneath the periphery of rhetoric, is hamstrung to put the first right foot to progress? Nothing can be sadder than this! As the CPC administration stumbles from one avoidable self-inflicted crisis to another, especially the ethnic crisis ravaging the state, it should leave PDP out of it and face same squarely. PDP is a self-respecting party that does not engage acts that run contrary to provisions of the law.
Mark Neto, Publicity Secretary of PDP, Nasarawa State chapter sent in this piece from Lafia