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  It is an Insult to Say I Control the Governor – Rebo Usman

  It is an Insult to Say I Control the Governor – Rebo Usman

Coming in contact with this gentleman, one is awed by his simplicity, courteousness and frankness which contradict the widely held perception of him. People perceive Rebo Usman, Chief of Staff, Government House Administration, as the ‘Iron Man’, who has an overwhelming influence on his boss, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku.

Chief of Staff - Government House

Chief of Staff – Government House

People believe he decides who sees the governor and who doesn’t including members of the State Executive Council. How true is that? However, the veteran accountant is among the four nationwide that benefitted from a distinguished ICAN award. Having served three governors in different capacities, he was at one time Chairman, Forum of Finance Commissioners and felt he was being limited by his current job in Taraba.

Taravoices’ Nick Dugba, took him on personal issues which he tackled well and which should convince everyone that ‘you don’t judge a book by its cover’.

Taravoices: You are generally believed to be a powerful Chief of Staff who call the shots in the Government House. People say you dictate things and decide who sees the governor and who doesn’t, is that true?

Hon. Rebo: Each time I hear this insinuation, I smile away the statement. I do that because the position of the Chief of Staff is a position that ideally serves as the governor’s clearing house. If it is so, then it is a very busy position.

Unfortunately for us, we live in an environment where gossips and even envy are the order of the day. Sometimes because you are occupying a particular position that brings you closer to the governor, in this environment you have that impression in the minds of the people that you are powerful.

I don’t understand what people mean by, I am powerful! I am a very busy person in government. If I am very busy and that busy schedule is now construed to mean that I am powerful, then it is most unfortunate.

Every Chief Executive has a Chief of Staff. Right from the biblical times till date. Unfortunately for us in our constitution and in our public sector structure, it is not something that is keyed in there. Why it is not keyed in there is because it is a position that is personal to the Chief Executive. He chooses who should be his backup brain.

The office of the Chief of Staff is a backup brain of the Chief Executive. I was giving you example of what I mean by Chief of Staff, even in biblical times.

Even in the time of King Pharaoh, we had the Josephs of those days. During the time of King Darius and the three other Kings that Daniel served under, we had the Daniels of those days. If you come to the American system, you have the Chief of Staff.

As a Christian, during the time of Jesus Christ, you have the Peters of those days. So there is no Chief Executive that does not have a Chief of Staff. Unfortunately for us here, instead of people to sympathise with me for being such a busy person, they see my schedule as being a controlling position on the governor which is most unfortunate. To me, it is an insult on our governor. If somebody tells me I am controlling the governor, I feel insulted, because we did not vote a ‘dead wood’ to be governor of Taraba state.

This is somebody who for one is older than me by age, is highly educated, more exposed than myself, he came with a mandate from God and you sit here and refer to such a person as a ‘dead wood’, as somebody who is being controlled by somebody else. I think we should stop insulting the governor.

He only uses me to actualize his mission. I was in the church one day and the pastor, after praising the governor, then insinuated that I was the one spoiling the government. Now, for goodness sake, if it is not hypocrisy, why would you praise the governor and say somebody is spoiling his government? Why not tell him to his face that his government is bad and then back it up by saying you are bad because you have your Chief of Staff who is bad?

Now let me tell you something for you to know that our people have a lot of mischief. In one of the churches, some people were saying that I was responsible for the salary problem. I am not the Commissioner of Finance or Permanent Secretary, Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs or the Head of Service and above all I am not the Federations Account from where we don’t get enough money again. So why am I the problem?

Some have even gone to say that I control the commissioners, I don’t allow the commissioners do there work! But I want you to understand something, that the governor decides what I do and if I don’t do it very well, he tells it to my face.

He is somebody who would ask you questions about everything you have done. I have worked with governors, he is the third I would be working with. I see him as somebody who is thorough to the core. Unfortunately, we have educated people who live in Abuja, who say the same things. It’s a shame! I think we should know that we have grown beyond that.

Taravoices: Sir! Successive Taraba governors were in the habit of engaging in frequent trips outside the State and to some extent governance has suffered as a result of such trips. Now, it seems your boss has continued with this ‘tradition’. Can you justify such trips considering that the state needs greater attention now than ever before?

Hon. Rebo: I think on the other way round, I would say our governor is one who hates travelling out of Taraba state. He hates it badly!

One thing our people must understand is that we operate a system in Nigeria where activities of States are interwoven with one another and the Federal Government and so each time you see our Governor traveling out of Taraba state, it is as a result of meetings that have to do with either the federal government or with other states for the progress of this state and of course Nigeria.   -+Anytime a situation arises for him to travel out of Taraba, I know how he grumbles.

There are things that cannot be done if he doesn’t travel out of Taraba. There are times he goes to follow up on issues that have to do with the interest of our state. As a politician, he belongs to a political party. There are times he needed to travel to attend political meetings. It is politics that brought him to this position.

Mind you we live in an ICT age. He communicates every now and then. If there are issues, he gives directives and things are done. There are times urgent letters have to be scanned and sent to him. Sometimes when we follow him to Abuja, we don’t go to sleep until 12 or 1 am, because of series of meetings that have to do with the interest of the state. So, we shouldn’t say his work should be restricted to staying in Taraba state. He is not a civil servant, he is the Chief Executive of the state who is involved in a lot of interactive meetings and those activities mostly take place outside the state. If he doesn’t participate, Taraba loses.

So, we shouldn’t say his work should be restricted to staying in Taraba state. He is not a civil servant, he is the Chief Executive of the state who is involved in a lot of interactive meetings and those activities mostly take place outside the state. If he doesn’t participate, Taraba loses.

Taravoices: We are all witnesses of history. At one time, the State was alleged to be controlled by a cabal. To what extent would you say the governor has a full grip of governance in the state without any interference from the so-called cabal?

Hon. Rebo: I don’t think in Taraba now, we are talking about anything called cabal. It is people who want to have a full grip of Taraba state by all means. So they felt that some people including our present governor who stood against that move were cabal.

If you are talking about the cabal in the sense of what we have in those days, our governor was one of the cabal. So when you talk about infiltrations, I don’t know what you are talking about because our governor was one of those who stood for fairness and justice.

He was one of the leading members of the so-called cabal. Whoever did not agree with that thinking was regarded as a cabal, especially those of us who were at the forefront of the struggle to ensure that fair play was brought to bear in the politics of Taraba state…

Taravoices: …Cuts in. You know the cabal is a set of people who act outside the government. It happened in the past in Anambra. We have godfatherism and the elite system. They would still want to have control of government..

Hon. ReboWell, if you are talking about whether a new cabal has come up against this government, then that is a different question because I was seeing it from the point of view of those people that used to be called cabal in Taraba state, disturbing him.

Now, if you are talking in that sense, I want to tell you that our governor is highly educated, exposed and he has a mission and his mission is to actualize that vision he has for the people of Taraba state and for one who understands that he has the capacity to do it.

I don’t think any distraction from outside would be of anything to him. I don’t see him complaining of anybody from outside trying to control him. I see him being focused in his job, that is why some of us are always under pressure because he would want you to achieve one thing or the other in line with his vision for Taraba state.

If there are distractions here and there, he didn’t care because distractions are normal in politics. He is one person that cannot be given to that kind of thing easily because he understands that it is God’s calling for his life for Taraba.

Taravoice: Thank you sir for your time.

Hon. Rebo: You are welcome!

Late Elder Jibrin Amfani Laid to Rest Amidst Showers of Encomiums.

Late Elder Jibrin Amfani Laid to Rest Amidst Showers of Encomiums.

Gov. Ishaku during Late Amfani's burial“Here lies the great son of Kwararafa Empire who fought her course, a man that had vision, wisdom and humility, a man who served humanity, an insatiable treasure to the community and to the Kingdom, ‘’ this were the exact words of Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku during the burial of late Jibrin Abdullahi Amfani.

Governor Ishaku  described late elder Jibrin Amfani as rare gift to the Kwararafa kingdom who lived a life worthy of emulation and rendered unequalled and selfless service to his people and humanity, explaining that no one has defended the Kwararafa Empire as the deceased

Continuing, the Governor said Elder Amfani has written his name in the sands of history  asserting that, late Elder Amfani used his wisdom and intelligence at any given time to render services that involved mediating for the interest of his people, giving cogent advises that has contributed positively to what the present Kwararafa kingdom is today.

Governor Ishaku then used the opportunity to call on people of Kwararafa Empire to emulate the sterling legacies of late Amfani, which was built on selflessness, patriotism, and visionary, with a sincere call to work diligently to key into his vision of a greater Wukari which the Elder statesman desires, particularly making Wukari a capital of Knowledge in Taraba State and the entire Kwararafa Kingdom.      

The Governor likened the death of late Jibrin Amfani as an archive totally burnt down to ashes and challenged all jukuns to work assiduously towards ensuring that someone steps into the shoes of late Jibrin Amfani in order to continue from where he stopped.

In his speech, the former Minister of Defense, General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma who is the Abonta of Wukari described late Elder Jibrin Amfani as a man of peace who worked tirelessly for the unity of the entire Jukun Kingdom, particularly facilitating the peace process between the Tivs and the jukuns.

Represented by the former Minister of Water Resources, Obadiah Ando said late Jibrin Amfani was an arsenal, saying that, Taraba state has lost a reservoir of knowledge, beacon of peace and a grassroots mobilizer of unimaginable character and ability.

He maintained that time has come to look at the possibility of finding a worthy replacement, which involves critically looking at the man’s history with a view to finding a worthy successor.

“Where can we get another, we need to go through the man’s history and try to live the life that he led, because with him alive as a Kwararafa Nation we have no fear, with him death, the Library has actually burnt down, those that knows a lot like him and are keeping quiet should please come out, we have many boys in the universities let them go back to the books and recreate the history for the future,” he appealed.

 Similarly, the Aku Uka of Wukari, Dr. Shekarau Angyu Masa Ibi Kuvyon II, who is the Chairman Taraba State Council of Chiefs extolled the virtues of Late Jibrin Amfani describing him as a precious gem to Wukari and indeed the whole of Kwararafa kingdom, a mentor, technocrat and a philanthropist par excellence.

The tribute of late Jibrin Amfani who worked with the Aku as Chairman Advisory committee was read by Dr. John Kaukam an alumnus of the famous Katsina Ala Old boy Association who maintained that late Elder Amfani was a wonderful mobilizer who dedicated his life for truth and for the betterment of humanity.

Dr. Kaukam lamented that Wukari local council will greatly miss his counsel and fatherly advice and direction, most especially the palace of the Aku where he contributed immensely in giving germane advises that affect the peace and progress of the entire council.  

Late Jibrin Abdullahi Amfani was born on 15th January 1936 to Mallam Abdullahi Amfani and had his early education in SUM Lupwe between 1943 to 1949, between 1951 to 1952 he was admitted into the famous Benue Middle school Katsina Ala and later proceeded to prestigious Keffi Government college in the present Nasarawa State and former Benue plateau Region where he graduated in 1962 with Cambridge School Certificate.

He was a pioneer student of Ahmadu Bello University and graduated with BA Hons in Public Administration in 1965 and started his civil service career with Northern State Government on 1st July 1965 as a District Officer which was then referred to as D.O at that time and he was in charged of the present day Nguru of the then Borno province.

Late Jibrin Amfani also was seconded to the Nigerian Police and successfully retired from civil service after reaching the pinnacle of his carrier as Permanent Secretary with Gongola State Government in month of April, 1980.

Late Jibrin Abdullahi Amfani is survived by his aged wife, Mrs. Sarah Nwuda Amfani, his sister Hajiya Fulani Fika, 8 children and 19 grandchildren.

He has since been buried according to Christian rites in his compound led by the CRC-N President, Rev. Dr. Caleb Osheka Solomon Ahima     

Gov. Ishaku Inspects Wukari Skills Acquisition Centre.

Gov. Ishaku Inspects Wukari Skills Acquisition Centre.

Rescue MissionTaraba State Governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku has expressed satisfaction with the speedy results of his Rescue Mission, as a result of what he witnessed at the Skills Acquisition Training Center in Wukari Local Government Area.

Darius Ishaku who paid an unscheduled visit to the center on which was dedicated for the training of women and youths in traditional dress weaving, marvelled at the pace which the trainers and trainees have reached within the short period of the commencement of the training.

Governor Darius Ishaku who was visibly happy with what he saw on ground, praised the trainers for working hard to meet the stipulated time frame of three months and added that he is very passionate about the programme, saying he will do everything possible to revive the trade that has almost gone into extinction.

He spoke more on his impression on the ongoing skills acquisition training currently in progress in the three Senatorial zones of the state with over 300 women and youths benefitting from the on going the training.

“I am happy to revive it and keep the people busy, and I am confident that it will reduce the tension in the society when they are busy. I am very impressed with the little beginning they have started, we will keep forging ahead to make things better for our people,” he emphasised.

Governor Darius Ishaku in company of the coordinator of the Rescue Watch and who is also the Chief of Staff Government, Hon. Rebo Usman and Special Adviser on Manifestor and Implementation, Hon Sadiq Mbulo was later decorated with a muffler woven by one of the trainees at the Wukari centre.

The women and youths skills acquisition training started early last month with centers in Kurmi for the central zone, with specialty in soap making, Wukari and Zing in southern and northern zones of the state are for traditional dress weaving while Jalingo the state Capital will carter for hairdressing, carpentry, shoemaking, tailoring and metal works which includes welding and fabrication.

The training is expected to last for three months.