Taraba: A state forgotten by APC
Sir: One of the states that is being controlled by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and fared well in its support for All Progressives Congress (APC) is Taraba State.
In the last 2019 general election, when APC controlled states were fighting tooth and nail to defend the party and its candidacy of President Muhammadu Buhari, Taraba, despite being a PDP state right from the return of democracy gave the APC an unimaginable 48 per cent of the total votes cast to return Buhari re-elected. Prior to 2019, it is worthy of note that Taraba people always supports the Buhari aspiration dating back 2003, the rigging machinery in the state has always find it difficult because the love for Buhari in Taraba is glaring.
Evident of this was shown at the APC campaign rally held at the Jolly Nyame stadium in February this year. Large crowd started arriving the stadium immediately after the Subhi (Morning prayer), the turnout was one of the largest of all APC rallies held for Buhari re-election across the country. If not for unflinching support for APC, there is no reason that will justify the mammoth crowd witnessed at the Jalingo campaign rally.
Outcome of the election saw Buhari poll 324,906 votes despite alleged voter intimidation by the ruling PDP in the state, leaving Atiku Abubakar to win the state with just 49837 votes. It is a rule of life that support and loyalty must be rewarded even at death but this is not binding on the National Working Congress of the APC. Even with the bloc vote and blind loyalty given to the ruling party by good people of Taraba State, active and loyal party men who have been contributing to the growth of APC since 2014 have not been rewarded. Out of the 36 states of the federation, one of the states that has not been giving attention by the APC is Taraba State.
Of all the six North Eastern states in Nigeria, comprising Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe, Taraba remains the only one without proper representation in the APC led government. Since the exit of the former minister for women affairs, Aisha Jumai Alhassan from the APC, Taraba State has been neglected by the leadership of the APC and the Presidency.
Looking through the current administration, Secretary to the Government of the Federation is from Adamawa State with over six chief executives of government parastatals and agencies, Bauchi is having more than ten chief executives of government parastatals and agencies; the comptroller general of Nigeria Customs Service, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Air Force chief of staff among others.
Borno has just produced the GMD of NNPC, adding to its over eight juicy offices like National Security Adviser, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Staff to the President among others.
Yobe has just produced the Senate President alongside over five chief executives of government parastatals and agencies, Gombe is also represented in the government with four chief executives of government parastatals and agencies.
Taraba is the only state in the country without proper representation in governance. The state does not have a single chief executive of government parastatals and agencies. As at today, Taraba State is not represented in any leadership position of the party at the national and zonal level.
Despite these level of negligence faced by the state, APC stalwarts in the state are not relenting in their unflinching support for the party. Members of the APC in the state have never gone against the wish of the national leadership of the party. Instead of acting against the party, they have resorted to many peaceful way of appealing to the leadership of the party through private communication. They are asking for one thing, inclusion into positions that can make them relevant in the affairs of the party and governance in the country.
Since the position of the National Secretary of the APC is already zoned to the Northeast, it will be a good move in the right direction if the leadership of the Northeast zone particularly the Senate President will consider Taraba State as the most deserving state in the region and allow them produce the National Secretary as this will not only reward the loyalists of the party in the state but also make them take the party to the next level of achievement.
Oloye Ayodele Samuel, publisher, Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper, wrote from Jalingo, Taraba State.
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