In the past couple of weeks, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Taraba State, had orchestrated a campaign of hate and acrimony against the person and the administration of His Excellency, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku, Executive Governor of Taraba State, taking advantage of the Governor’s prolonged stay in Abuja which was necessitated by an unfortunate domestic accident he had earlier suffered. As a result, His Excellency has had to stay back in Abuja to receive medical attention.
But rather than show sympathy for the Governor, APC leaders have taken advantage of this unfortunate development to invent and promote all kinds of inanities and outright falsehood against him.
Some of them have even gone to the ridiculously extent of suggesting that by staying behind in Abuja for medical attention, Governor Ishaku should be impeached. This is proof of how callous APC leaders in the state can be and the extent they can go in their quest for political power.
We urge the good people of Taraba State, their friends and admirers in and outside the state to ignore the campaign of falsehood being orchestrated by APC leaders led by Barr. Ibrahim El-Sudi, APC APC chairman in Taraba State. His Excellency is desirous to return to the state and will do so when he has sufficiently recovered.
But it is also necessary for me to state with emphasis that, contrary to claims by Barr El-Sudi, Governor Ishaku’s stay in Abuja has not in any negative way affected the delivery of democracy dividends by his administration. No aspect of governmental activities has suffered a setback as a result.
All government projects are going on smoothly and the government has continued to meet its obligations to contractors handling its projects while progress is being monitored by appropriate government ministries and officials.
For example, the dualisation of the Airport road in Jalingo which comes with an overhead bridge has started and has made steady progress even in the absence of the Governor. So also is the Mararaba- Baissa-Abong-Kan-Iyaka-Nguroje road which is the shortest road to the Mambilla Dam Project.
This road is the initiative of the Ishaku administration and was openly acknowledged and commended by the Hon Minister of Power, Eng. Saleh Mamman during the Sensitization Flag off on the Mambilla Dam project, an event hosted by Governor Ishaku in Abuja on Tuesday, February 11,2020.
All APC stakeholders present at the NICON Hilton Hotel venue of the flag-off openly applauded Governor Ishaku’s initiative and drive.
The Sensitization flag off itself was seen by the Minister of Power and all other stakeholders as a major milestone step towards the implementation of the Mambilla Dam Project.
It is therefore a gross display of ignorance for Barr. Ibrahim El-Sudi to say that Gov Ishaku’s absence has delayed the implementation of the Dam Project.
The Wukari Tsokundi road and Yoro-Pantisawa road projects have also been going on smoothly and progress reports (including pictorial evidence) are sent out constantly to the Governor.
The 2020 budget bill has since been signed into law and it is being implemented with vigour while salaries of workers, pensions and gratuities are also being paid promptly. In various parts of the state, classrooms are being constructed and others renovated while the construction of Model Basic Education schools are currently on-going in Takum and Gembu, both in advanced stages of completion.
It is therefore wrong and misleading to suggest that the Governor’s absence has affected morale of civil servants and governance in the state.
In the same vein, APC leaders displayed unpardonable ignorance and mischief when they also suggested that Gov Ishaku has breached Section 190 of the 1999 Constitution(as Amended} by not transmitting power to his Deputy.
The said section of the Constitution speaks of transmission of power only when the Governor proceeds on vacation or is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office. (See Section 190(2).
In this case, the Governor is not on vacation and he is not unable to discharge the duties of his office. He has been conducting his official duties diligently. Recently, in Abuja, he visited the offices of the World Bank in search of the Bank’s assistance for development projects of the state government.
He also visited the Japanese Embassy where he witnessed the signing of a loan agreement with Hope Afresh Foundation, an organization founded by his wife. The loan is for boosting Sesame seed production in Taraba State. The official sensitization flag-off of the Mambilla Dam project is yet another major recent official outing for Gov Ishaku in Abuja.
Government activities are not at a standstill as El-Sudi wanted the public to believe. For the sake of the general public who are being misinformed and misled on this matter, Governor Ishaku has not breached any part of the Constitution.He remains focused and irrevocably committed to peace and the socio-economic development of Taraba State.
What the people expected is for APC leaders to acknowledge and praise Gov Ishaku for diligently ensuring the smooth running of the affairs of the state despite his accident.
Those who work closely with the Governor know that he works more than 18 hours daily and are amazed at his display of energy, zeal and patriotism in the pursuit of his vision for the state.
We have learned a lot of useful lessons from him and request Barr. El-Sudi to come and spend even one day with the Governor and to see how he works, and thereafter take a tour round the state to see what the Ishaku administration has achieved for the state.
In case El-Sudi is not aware since he may not have been to Taraba in several years, there is now a daily flight direct from Abuja to Jalingo. This is also part of the democratic dividends delivered long ago by the Ishaku administration. He can take advantage of these flights to visit his state to see other great things the administration has done.
BALA DAN ABU
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity