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Rage, counter-fury over Ishaku’s performance

By Charles Akpeji, Jalingo
05 October 2016   |   4:04 am
Citizens of Taraba State are gradually becoming disturbed by the unending blame game between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the rival All Progressives Congress (APC) since the governorship election last year.
Darius Dickson Ishaku

Darius Dickson Ishaku

• Opposition asks governor to resign over poor governance
• They’re a bunch of frustrated, mischief makers, says govt

Citizens of Taraba State are gradually becoming disturbed by the unending blame game between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the rival All Progressives Congress (APC) since the governorship election last year.

In particular, both parties have been contending over the administrative style and performance of Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku.

The opposition party has not seen anything commendable that the government has done to improve the living conditions of the people or facilitate the growth of the state; while the ruling party believes the government has succeeded in adding value to Taraba and the people.

Worried by the unending vituperations between the parties, which political pundits argued was impacting negatively on the state, some aggrieved citizens said it is necessary for the leadership of both parties to place their personal interests aside and settle down to ensure the state moves forward.

The ongoing faceoff recently assumed a different dimension when the state chairman of APC, Alhaji Hassan Ardo Jika called on the governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku to resign for failing to meet the expectations of the electorate as promised during the campaigns.

Jika flayed the government for lack of focus, saying: “Over 12,000 workers in the state have been languishing in abject poverty since he (Ishaku) came on board. It has become necessary for the governor, to as a matter of urgency, bow out in the interest of the state.

“If the governor actually has the interest of the people at heart, he should solve the problems confronting the state, pay teachers, local government workers and as well address the problems of pensions.”

Besides, he condemned the decision of the State House of Assembly to reduce the tenure of the local government council chairmen from three years to two year saying, “All the policies and programmes of this administration has no direct bearing on the people.

Wondering why the governor has not deemed it pertinent to borrow leaves from his counterparts, the APC chairman claimed that the two-years term for council chairmen was not only selfish but also negates the tenets of genuine democracy.

To Jika and others who have been critical of Governor Ishaku’s administrative style, “it is true there is a governor in Taraba State but there is no governance in the state.”

He accused the PDP-controlled government of factionalizing the citizens of the state along religious line contending, “this is inimical to the development of our state. Without mincing words the governor should just resign; what we want is a governor that can carry everybody along.”

He indicated that Taraba needs leaders that would not discriminate, leaders that are willing to develop the state and not a leader that will go and commission a project that was done by someone many years ago.

He stated that some of the projects the administration was currently boasting of were actually done by past governors of the state querying, “where are the progress that we are talking about? He was not telling you journalists the truth; he was lying to the people. Give me peace, I will give you progress, where is the progress? It is for me to give you peace.”

Also, the APC governorship candidate in the 2015 election and presently minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Jumai Alhassan accused Ishaku of victimising perceived members of APC in the state’s civil service.

Citing a recent development which she alleged informed the state government refusal to make available to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) twenty-trucks of grains from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhassa said if the governor had “the interest of the people at heart, the current plight of IDPs in the state, would have long been addressed.”

Similarly, another chieftain of APC, Alhaji Danjuma Isa Munga accused the governor of mere window dressing “because most of the projects he is now laying claim to were not executed by his administration.”

But the PDP, which noted that it was saddened by the baseless attacks on the governor, said it was obliged to set the records straight so that Nigerians would not have the impression the government was not working.

The state chairman of the party, Victor Bala Kona, who spoke through the party’s Public Relation Officer, Alhaji Inuwa Bakari, said APC couldn’t substantiate the various allegations leveled against the governor.

Bakari listed several achievements of the Governor, wondered if the APC leadership places premium on the interest of the people above their selfish purpose, “otherwise the blind can also feel the efforts so far put in place by this governor to lift the state.”

He said contrary to APC’s claim on the workers, Taraba is one of the states in the country that does not toy the issue of workers salary. “Our state is not owing civil servants; there is need for APC to sheathe their sword and give the much needed helping hands to the governor to succeed in taking the state to greater heights and bring about peace and tranquility in Taraba.”

Likewise, a public affairs analyst, Ahmed Suleiman Karim disagreed with the negative perceptions the APC holds about Ishaku’s performance saying.

According to him, “In Taraba State, the government and the legislators have critically synergised by taking far reaching decisions to improve the lots of the people. There is no civil servant that is not paid in the state and the local governments except where measures are being put in place to block salary leakages, which had led to the over blotted staff strength, leading to the ever increasing salary.”

He said it was sad that instead of joining forces with the government to develop Taraba, APC was busy pitching the people against the ruling party.

He, therefore, admonished the leadership of the APC to “visit other states to hear their stories of salary payment. The governor is on course and is not prepared to give listening ears to detractors and those who are interested in the pull down syndrome.

Similarly, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the governor, Mr. Sylvanus Yakubu Giwa charged Jika to be constructive in his criticisms of the administration.

Giwa lamented that some people have constituted themselves into a reservoir of mischief-makers that are bent on rubbishing the successes recorded by the present administration.

He said the issues raised by APC were based on falsehood, parochial reasoning and criminally intended to cause confusion and as well score cheap popularity among the gullible people of the State.

He stressed that the people of the State are blessed with high spirit of discernment most especially now that the country is faced with many difficulties and maintained that the outburst of the APC Chairman clearly shows that he is frustrated because he was unable to deliver his party at the 2015 general elections in the State.

Speaking further, Giwa said APC should be informed that, the governor was rated sixth in the country for good performance and development arising from initiated policies and programmes that have direct impact on the people.

In addition, he argued that the present administration in Taraba has not only ensured steady progress in terms of payment of workers salaries, provision of basic infrastructures, but also succeeded in tackling the security challenges that have ravaged some parts of the State in the past, asserting that the magnanimity of Ishaku during this period of economic recession should be commended because most States are owing workers several months of salary arrears.

He held that it is laughable that the APC is condemning actions taken by the Executive and the Legislative arms of Government to reduce the tenure of Local Government Council Chairmen to two years, arguing that, any Council Chairman that was determined to perform can do something tangible within one year.