1st August 2016
TARABA STATE GOVERNMENT
The Taraba state government is dismayed by the attitude of the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Aisha Jummai Alhassan who arrived Jalingo, the State Capital on the 29th of July, 2016 on official assignment without formally communicating to the State government which is a breach of protocol and disregard for constituted authority.
The State government is the custodian of the principal subjects of her visit, the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the relief materials delivered by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to the State government for safe-keeping.
After receiving hints of the Minister’s visit from unofficial sources, the state government made concerted efforts to get details but to no avail. Similarly, her five (5) day programme in the State did not include the state government.
It therefore beats our imagination that an officer of the status of Minister and an indigene of the state can come into the state even on a private visit and will not inform the governor who is the Chief Security Officer of the State.
No prior information had been given for her visit which requires the government of Taraba state to accord her necessary protocols like assigning security and protocol officers to her and, if need be, providing her or the entourage with accommodation.
Of course, as minister representing Taraba state, she is expected to pay a courtesy visit to the governor to intimate him of her activities and possible areas of collaboration in the interest of Taraba state. But she did not do all this which we promptly reported to Mr. President via a letter dated 28th of July, 2016.
Under this administration, two Ministers have visited Taraba State and were received by the state government and accorded full protocols because they adequately communicated to the state governor.
However, on the second day of her arrival being the 30th July 2016, she addressed a Press Conference accusing the Taraba state government of a witch hunt campaign being systematically perpetrated against All Progressives Congress (APC) members who are her supporters.
We received this information with dismay because His Excellency, Gov. Darius Dickson Ishaku has consistently proven that his government is for all citizens irrespective of political inclination or social class.
Also, we faintly remember that Aisha Jummai Alhassan was an APC candidate for the governorship election, but that is way back in 2015, and so much water has passed under the bridge. For instance, we, again, remember that when she lost the election to our amiable governor Architect Darius Dickson Ishaku, she took the matter to court, and finally the Supreme Court decided the case in favour of Governor Ishaku whom the people had given their mandate to.
We thought that in the best democratic practices the matter has been settled once and for all, so that we can work to bring dividends of democracy at individual levels to the good people of Taraba state. But how wrong we have been!
We are equally dismayed that the Honourable Minister of the Federal Republic summoned the Permanent Secretary of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to produce the materials sent to the state by the Federal government for distribution to beneficiaries.
This is another breach of protocol because the officer down the line cannot release those materials without due process. Besides, the Permanent Secretary does not operate under her authority.
The Taraba state government is disturbed by this attitude being exhibited by a very senior official of the Federal Republic. Elections have been contested and concluded. We have no reason to grind the axe when we have so much to do for the good people of Taraba State. We still remember that Mrs. Alhassan was one of us when she won the Taraba North Senatorial election in 2011. Nothing stops another political shift. Though parties may differ, in Taraba we abide.
We also wish to advise her not to listen to any drums of witch-hunt. Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku’s vision is for all Tarabans and has no intention to ride on hatred to achieve his RESCUE MISSION for Taraba state.
Sylvanus Y. Giwa
SSA Media and Publicity to the Governor