Taraba pensioners fast, pray against Ishaku’s senatorial ambition
Journalists advocate increased allocation to AIDS agency
The face-off between Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku and pensioners has taken a different turn, as the latter have resolved to embark on seven days fasting and prayer to thwart the governor’s political ambition.
Retirees spread across the state had been at loggerheads with the governor over unpaid pensions and gratuities, as well as exclusion of local council retirees.
Claiming to have explored all legitimate means to persuade the governor to attend to their plights, to know avail, they believe going spiritual has become necessary.
Addressing newsmen, yesterday, in Jalingo, Chairman of Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), Taraba chapter, Silas Jafta, said the prayer and fasting were to ensure that the governor “does not smell the National Assembly,” which has become retirement benefit for most ex-governors.
“We, the entire pensioners in the state, have collectively resolved to embark on a seven-day prayer to appeal to God to ensure that Governor Ishaku loses the Senate position.
“The rationale behind the spiritual exercise is the governor’s deliberate refusal to attend to our plight,” he said.
The governor is contesting the Taraba South senate seat in the coming general elections.
Participants at a recent capacity building workshop organised for media practitioners in Taraba have called on the state government to increase the budgetary allocation to Taraba State Aids Control Agency (TACA).
The participants from various media organisations in the state believe that the call, if adhered to, will go a long way in aiding the agency in the implementation of HIV/AIDS programmes in Taraba.
The event, organised by TACA, with support from Reaching Impact Saturation and Epidemic Control (RISE) for members of the State HIV Advocacy Media Team, was to improve journalists’ knowledge on effective dissemination of HIV/AIDS information.
A communiqué jointly signed by Rinyiputen Boshi, Thomas Samuel, Helen Agabus and Femi Bolaji urged the government to fast-track the passage of the anti-stigmatisation bill.
The bill, if passed into law by the House of Assembly and assented to by the governor, will help protect persons living with HIV/AIDS from stigmatisation and discrimination, they noted.
While expressing satisfaction with the knowledge gained from the exercise, the participants beckoned the public to support the agency in its quest to meet the global target of eliminating HIV/AIDS by 2030.
This, they believed, could be achieved if the people present themselves for HIV testing and treatment in the state.