From Francis Nansak, Lafia
The unity of Nasarawa as a state at this material time demands that citizens of all hue must eschew their sentiments. This is especially so under the present administration of Engr. Abdullahi Sule led government that is deploying so many efforts towards cementing broken relations among the various ethnics groups in the state.
This mission has, in recent times , received a boost by the continuous visits on the governor at the Government House, Lafia, by concerned stakeholders to pledge not only their support to the government, but vowing to coexist with others in peace for the betterment of the state.
Among such visits were that of Alago, Fulani, Tiv, Mada ,Eggon and some political groups, seeking that the governor focuses mending broken fences among the diverse tribes in the state.
But regrettably, some elements with primordial sentiments are working against this drive to unite the people and that is almost threatening this noble mission of the governor.
For me, the areas where Engineer Sule must guard against if his quest to unite the state must bear fruit and leave a legacy after him includes, political, religious and vendetta factors.
A typical attempt to sharply fan the embers of division was the report that emerged from an online medium which asserted that the governor, like his other colleagues from the northern states are working against the nomination of the immediate past deputy governor ,Silas Agara, ,for the position of chairman ,National Population Commission(NPC)by president Muhammadu Buhari.
This has triggered reactions from various quarters in the state and is capable of deepening sentiments ,as the online report specifically in a paragraph, highlighted that the move against Silas by governor Sule and others was in preference for one Kura from kano given the fact that he is a Muslim while Silas a Christian. So, Muhammadu Buhari ought not to give such a sensitive position to a Christian.
Shocked by the report which went viral last week Sunday, reactions to this unthinkable plans, which were never anticipated to have come from Governor Sule, by citizens of the state who, at different for a, have kicked against taking sides with any section for the mere fact that he belongs to such category, if truly the report by the online medium was anything to go by, have been wide.
Some of the reactions that trended over the report, were that of the northern groups who threw their weight in support of the president’s choice of Agara , describing him as a detribalized Nigerian,who is very qualified given his pedigree in politics.
However, the governor through his chief press Secretary, Mallam Ibrahim Addra, swiftly responded against the media publication on Monday through a statement he signed and issued to newsmen in Lafia, the state capital.
According to the statement, the report by the online medium was false.
”And for the avoidance of doubt, there is absolutely no iota of truth in the claims and as such we condemn the piece in its entirety.
“We are equally appalled by the religious slant being introduced at a time all well-meaning citizens are working to build bridges across divides, especially in Nasarawa State
”Governor Sule’s antecedents, predisposition, exposure and world view do not cast him in the mould of a bigot that is being speculated. The recent appointment of Mr. Henry Omaku a Christian, as ambassador representing the state negates the impression that the story seeks to create.
“Matters of appointment of individuals into positions such as the one in question are the preserve of President Muhammadu Buhari, so to suggest pressure from Governor Abdullahi Sule in that respect or an alleged plan is laughable,” the statement reads.
The AUTHORITY observes that if not carefully curtailed, the peace and unity the governor is at the moment pursuing to establish in the state could slip off the shoulders as the polity is beginning to be heated by primordial sentiments and political interests.
This could have an adverse impact on the state ahead of 2023. It therefore means that governor Sule must shun those who may want to pit him against others in the state. He must rise against this dangerous tide.