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Published On: Sun, May 18th, 2014

Nasarawa: The sabre-rattling over Jonathan’s planned visit

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By Rogers Edor Ochela

For the umpteenth time, Ali Abare Abubakar, the correspondent of Peoples Daily newspaper in Nasarawa, was at his incendiary best when he decided to stir the hornet’s nest with his provocative write-up ‘’Jonathan’s planned visit to Nasarawa: dancing on the graves of slain operatives’’ (Peoples Daily, Wednesday, May 7, 2014).

In that highly inflammatory article, Abubakar, who has over ntime cultivated the uncanny proclivity for stoking the embers of disunity, went ahead to dress the national leader of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), President Goodluck Jonathan, in the borrowed robe of an uncaring leader.

The author sounded as if his fast vanishing tribe of bootlickers cum sponsors care about the calamity that has befallen the state since the APC took over the reins of power in 2011. If not, he would have been a little bit circumspect in leveling baseless accusations against the president nay PDP, at least, considering the current volatile nature of the state. Because what Abubakar did in that write-up amounted to pouring gasoline on the conflagration that is raging in the state.

The author simply threw caution to the wind when he described the proposed visit of the president to Nasarawa state, initially scheduled for Saturday, May 10, but now postponed indefinitely due to the exigencies of crucial state matters, as ‘’a confirmation of the alleged insensitivity of the president to the plight of the citizens’’. Haba Abubakar! That he found it expedient to quote former Governor Abdullahi Adamu’s allegation that the federal government is behind the incessant communal crises rocking the state is preposterous and shows where his own accusation is coming from. It is simply the voice of Jacob, but the hands are obviously Esau’s.

That the Ombatse group has been unleashing mayhem on the state is an indication of Governor Tanko al-Makura’s inability to handle the situation as the chief security officer of the state. So, accusing the presidency of insensitivity to the happenings in the state and refusing to act on the recommendations of the Justice Gbadeyan Commission of Inquiry is neither here nor there. It is akin to giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it. And the reasons for my conclusion are not far-fetched.

It would be recalled that the legal adviser of Ombatse, Mr. Zachary Zamani Allumaga, while testifying before the commission alleged that Governor Al-Makura was a financier of the group. This is a weighty allegation that cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand. And this may have been responsible for the allegations flying all over the place that the report of the commission has been tampered with, ostensibly to implicate those who have fallen out with his government. So, how are we sure that Sen. Solomon Ewuga, Hon. Haruna Joseph Kigbu and Nathaniel Agyo Mesa are not victims of high wire politicking that is being cruelly played out in the state?

It might interest the likes of Abubakar to know that Governor AL-Makura in a paper delivered on October 29, 2013 to participants of the Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) 6 of the Institute of Security Studies of the Department of State Security Services, Bwari, Abuja, admitted that he planned the tragic operation that failed and eventually led to the killing of scores of security operatives, for which he (Abare) would want the president to pay the price.

The point must also be stressed that the crises that are gradually swallowing Nasarawa state up would have been nipped in the bud if the governor had lived up to his responsibility. If the governor as chief security officer of the state is helpless in the face of the rampaging Ombatse militia, why blame the president? In the same vein, if the governor had dealt decisively with the high profile personalities implicated by the panel of inquiry he personally set up to probe the Assakio crisis, probably the state would have been spared the avoidable agony it is currently experiencing. In the light of this unfolding saga,Abubakar’s red-herring is akin to the action of football fans, who because their team is losing a game, would tell them not to miss the leg, even if they miss the ball.

For the writer to have concluded that ‘’Jonathan will come to Nasarawa not to bring succor to the widows and children of the murdered security operatives, or even order immediate prosecution of all those indicted but to fraternize with the alleged killers and to dance on the graves of the slain operatives as well as hundred others killed by the Ombatse’’, is to gloss over the reality of the situation on the ground.

Rogers Ochela is a commentator on national issues based in Abuja

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