Taraba State of General Danjuma’s Dream


Taraba State of General Danjuma’s Dream

Williams Ayooso

By this time, next year, Damian Dodo would be warming up for his swearing in as the Executive Governor of Taraba State.

That is, if the dream of our General TY Danjuma cruises into the form of reality. He would take over from Senator Darius Ishaku, his kinsman from the Southern Senatorial zone.

It will be another reason for TY to come to Jalingo, where he will grace the swearing in event at the Jolly Nyame stadium, savour the encomiums from the event’s masters of ceremony, which will be punctuated with clapping of hands by poor Tarabans.

In his inaugural speech, Damian Dodo will stretch his oratory prowess to convince the world that TY Danjuma is a god in human form. The atmosphere will be deafened with encomiums and celebration of our legendary General.

At the end of the ceremony, the airport road will experience another gridlock. Governor Damian Dodo and Senator Darius Dickson Ishaku, together with Abuja based senior lawyers, businessmen and local royalists will accompany the General to Danbaba Suntai Airport, where his private Jet will be waiting.

For the state’s engagement, TY is done for the season, until when another time for anointing the next Governor has come. Of course, transiting a Godson Governor to Senate and installing yet another, as Governor in one political season, is a feat with no small value.  It’s very fulfilling.

Thus, our TY will go back a fulfilled man.How other Tarabans, who have toiled and sacrificed their hard earned resources to also have a share of the governorship slot will feel does not matter. It doesn’t also matter to TY, how politicians of other zones will feel about the arrangement. It does not matter whether this arrangement further divides the state along zonal and ethnic lines, provided General TY is satisfied.

Meanwhile, Taraba remains an agrarian state with over 99% dependent on Federal Allocation. State owned infrastructures, such as the Jolly Nyame stadium, Jalingo Motel, etc, which successive administrations toiled and constructed have collapsed.

There is stockpile of pension and local government wages arrears, even as staffs of the Taraba state University are still groaning over unpaid salary and unfavourable working conditions. The state’s security situation is getting worse by the day.

Few weeks before he breezed into Jalingo town to declare his governorship choice, the Commanding Officer of 93 Battalion, Takum, TY’s town, and six other soldiers were killed by bandits.

At least, they were not colluding with bandits this time. They were killed trying to defend the locals. Before then, the bandits were said to have killed not less than 40 people in Ussa LGA of the Southern state.

On the security situation of the state, one cannot accuse TY of insensitivity. Two years ago, at the Taraba University convocation ceremony, he advised that Taraba should start defending themselves; else, they would die one by one.

Unfortunately, Tarabans are dying more, trying to defend themselves from the marauding bandits than when they surrendered to fate. Farmlands are no longer safe, espousing a looming food crisis. With these factors, the socio-political ligament of Taraba State population is seriously assailed and broken. A hungry and weak population cannot muster the needed capacity for self-defense.

At present, the social fiber of the southern Taraba is tearing in between the seams. Politics has divided the people of Southern Taraba than never before. The zone is Balkanized into DSK, DDI, EB camps, a development that concern Tarabans now wait with a bated breath on what next will play out.

One will expect that the same TY, who gathered eggheads of southern political leadership, seven years ago, impressed on them to forfeit their ambition in favour of DDI, will intervene in this political stalemate that the same actors have found themselves. But this did not happen.Dodo will go to work in the full swing of his ego. After all, he is also a Taraban.

He need not apologize to anybody for being a governor, irrespective of any formula that brought him to office. He will deploy his intellectualism, international connections and weight of exposure to rule the state in a manner that fits him, without minding whose ox is goaled, except for TY.That is the Taraba governor of TY’s dream.

The Bwachas, Joel Ikenyas, DSKs, Afukunyos, all of whom are from the TY’s preferred Southern Taraba, though consistent with the people, do not fit into his choice for Taraba Governor. What is the fate of other zones in the state? If the crocodile eats its offspring, what do you expect a Frog to do? The Kotolos, Bala konas, Albasu Kuninis, etc, have no choice than scamper for safety.

TY’s godsons would continue to blossom, in wealth and politics, to his admiration, while Poor Tarabans linger in penury, with an eerie feeling of foreboding. This is a Taraba of General TY Danjuma’s dream.

The poor people of Taraba state have no choice than to let it be, but God may not allow him. Already, he is said to have jettisoned the Dodo idea. He sensed some ominous signs that Damian Dodo will not sell, even in the “TY’s shop”.

Unfortunately, TY is not deterred by the voice of destiny. He is said to be insisting on Col. Agbu Kefas as the next governor of his state.

One cannot blame TY for anointing a candidate, but should one chooses to interrogate his conscience, there is hardly a space where a person of General Danjuma’s mould, a national leader at that, should continually drape himself with a toga of zonal leadership and tribal jingoism.

When he stood up at the Taraba University convocation event, two years ago, the event that he made his famous colluding statement, he emphasized on the inculcation of a technology driven education curriculum, even as he expressed his displeasure on his role as the Chief Launcher of the university’s Sports Complex.

“I would have preferred launching a project that has to do with artificial intelligence.” He told the University authority.

Artificial intelligence in such an institution will no doubt explore students’ robotic skills and open their knowledge on inventions and far reaching technological ideas.

This is a proof of the general’s versatility on the evolving global economic trends. No doubt that he is one of the country’s richest persons. It is not to the knowledge of this writer, if TY ever promotes, facilitates or subscribes to any idea that will reposition the state on the path of such technological advancement.

Societies are never developed with brazen imposition of leadership; but deliberate policies, innovative ideas that are imbedded with linen of patriotism do. But a Hausa proverb says it all.

“It is the right of the bride to be transported at least on a donkey to the groom’s house. But if she is left to walk, she should be left alone and not be given her luggage to carry.”

If our own TY, with all his wealth and influence, cannot assist Taraba to grow, he should leave us alone to manage our problems.

Williams Ayooso is a Jalingo based Media Practitioner


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