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Published On: Mon, May 5th, 2014

Has truth gone on sabbatical in Nasarawa state?

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By Rogers Edor Ochela

Nasarawa, a state hitherto known for its fidelity to truth and its appurtenances, is losing that commodity on the altar of falsehood? Recent events in the state lend credence to those who are of the opinion that truth, that essential ligament that holds integrity intact in governance have taken flight from the state. Or how else does one react to some recent publications where falsehood was blatantly promoted as the gospel truth.

Some newspaper reports appear to be propaganda war being waged by the authors against the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on behalf of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the said reports deliberately ignored all those that defected from PDP to APC and instead descended on those who opted out from APC for PDP with the ferocity of a rampaging bull. They singled out the state’s deputy governor, Dameshi Barau Luka, for bashing, attributing his (Luka’s) decision to jump from APC’s ship to PDP as premised on selfishness. The late Bob Marley once sang that it is better to live on a rooftop than to live in a house full of confusion.

For the reporters to have accused those who left APC for PDP such as Sen. Solomon Ewuga; Dr. Haruna Kigbu; David Ombugadu; Ishaq Ahmed Kana and several other notable political figures in the state as lacking in ‘’principled ideology’’ and because ‘’they needed money as well as protection after they were allegedly found complicit in the brutal murder of over 100 security operatives as well as scores of others’’ is tantamount to giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it.

If those who defected from APC to PDP are lacking in ideology as the report claim, what of the former governor of the state now a serving senator; other state governors, senators and Reps members who dumped PDP for APC? Are they ideologically principled? The answer is a resounding NO!!!

Another intriguing article that exposed the fact that hypocrisy nay falsehood has taken centre stage in the state is the one titled: ‘Nasarawa: Between PDP, State Assembly and the rest of Us. The writer desperately tried to rubbish the integrity of the state legislators, ostensibly because of their temerity to question the elevation of impunity to derivative principle of state policy by the executive in Nasarawa state.

The writer talked glibly about corruption in the State House of Assembly, bandying figures of their emoluments and allowances. He even went to the ridiculous extent of copiously quoting an interview granted by one so-called rights activist, Mr. Lanry Suraj of the Civil Society Network against Corruption (CSNAC) on the earnings of the legislators, an attempt aimed at whipping up public sentiments against the legislators.

If the writer is talking about corruption in the legislature, what about the executive arm that is in charge of dispensing state funds? What of the several allegations of corruption leveled against the executive last year, among which is the N2billion local government fund allegedly misappropriated by the governor? If action is to be taken against impunity or corruption in the state, I don’t think the governor will be sitting pretty in office today. That he is still calling the shots in the state as its chief executive is because of the magnanimity of the state legislators, majority of who are PDP members.

Yhe writer stood honesty on its head when he wrote: ‘’clearly, our members in the State Assembly have indeed lost touch with not only the people but even their functions of making laws to uplift the living conditions of the people of the state’’. He was simply being disingenuous, if not he would have known that the legislators had passed several pro-masses resolutions/bills that the governor has failed (or is it refused?) to implement or assent to. And this is one of the reasons the relationship between the executive and the legislature has remained frosty till date.

If Mr. Lanry Suraj of CSNAC is indeed concerned about corruption in the state, where was he when the greatest form of corruption was perpetrated recently during the council polls? Because denying the people the right of electing who to represent them is the greatest form of corruption.

Where was Suraj’s network against corruption when allegations of corruption against the executive arm of government in the state were flying all over the place last year? If Suraj is indeed interested in fighting corruption in the interest of the people of the state, why did he not rise up to the occasion when the media was abuzz with reports of corruption allegations against the executive by petitioning EFCC/ICPC? From all intents and purposes, it has been established beyond reasonable doubt that Suraj is only interested in fighting selective war against corruption. How sad!

Rogers Ochela is a media consultant based in Abuja.


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