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Regional News of Wednesday, 22 December 2021


Disquiet in Nasarawa over appointment of commissioners

Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State

Igbawase Ukumba writes that alleged lopsidedness in appointment of commissioners by Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State may pitch him against the Migili ethnic group

Critical stakeholders of the Migili ethnic nationality I Nasarawa State are at war either based on different ideological perception or for their individual self-aggrandizement, the moment Governor Sule announced his 15 commissioner nominees that would form members of the State Executive Council.

The Migilis with an ethnic nationality called Koro, is predominantly found in Obi, Lafia and Doma Local Goverment Areas of Nasarawa State. They claim to have suffered serial marginalisation and exclusion from the State Executive Council since the advent of the present administration of Governor Abdullahi Sule.

Nevertheless, findings by THISDAY showed that during the previous administration of Governors Abdullahi Adamu, Late Aliyu Akwe Doma and Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, the Migili ethnic group was always conspicuous in the State Executive Council of Nasarawa.

Governor Sule had on December 9, 2021 submitted a list of 15 commissioner nominees to the Nasarawa State House of Assembly for screening and confirmation as members of the State Executive Council. There was no nominee of Migili extraction on the list. The Speaker of the House, Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, announced this after the House Leader, Umar Tanko Tunga, read the Governor’s letter during the House proceedings in Lafia.

The nominees as presented by the governor were: Hon Yakubu Kwanta – Akwanga; Yusuf Aliyu Turakib – Awe; Hajiya Aishatu Rufai Ibrahim – Awe;
Salihu Enah – Doma; Professor Umar Mika’il Gurku – Karu; Nuhu Ibrahim Oshafu – Keana; Idris Mohammed Idris – Keffi; Abdulkareem Kana – Kokona.

Other nominees included: Mohammed Tanimu Sarki – Lafia; Abimiku Hannatu Balav- Lafia; Hajiya Fatu Jemita Sabo – Nasarawa; Yakubu Mohammed Lawal – Nassarawa Eggon; Daniel Agyeno – Obi; Ahmed Baba Yahaya – Toto and Lucky Isaac Yargwa – Wamba.

Consequently, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly screened and confirmed all the commissioner-nominees sent to it by Governor Sule in one day. House Speaker, Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi, announced confirmation of the commissioner nominees after their screening.

But a group called Migili Cultural Development Association (MCDA) raised the alarm that the appointments made by the state governor were lopsided. The group raised the alarm in a press statement that was signed by its national president, Dr. Philip Ajeh.

The statement read in part: “The Migili nation has suffered serial marginalisation and exclusion in the State Executive Council since the advent of the present administration of Governor Sule. This has given rise to several interpretations and concerns within the Migili nation and the entire state since this is happening for the first time after the creation of Nasarawa State in 1996.

“The MCDA is deeply worried about this development and we believe that there must be reason for such exclusion which the Migili nation deserved to be informed by the state government instead of allowing the public to rely on assumptions or speculations. The Migili association is also worried that there is serious communication gap between the governor and the association given the fact that our earlier request to visit the governor didn’t see the light of day.”

The association also recalled that when the Migili nation was excluded in the first cabinet by Governor Sule, there was an outcry amongst the Migili nation. Hence the group further lamented that the new cabinet has been formed and again the Migili nation, who were enjoying the slot of commissionership since the creation of the state, has been excluded.

Dr. Ajeh maintained: “The group, however, regretted the unfriendly disposition and treatment the tribe has suffered since Governor Sule took over the mantle of leadership of the state. The Migili people would decide their fate in the 2023 general election if urgent action is not taken to redress the scenario by the governor.

But in a counter move, Migili All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders of Nasarawa State apologised to Governor Sule for the embarrassment caused by what it described as “purported statement made by Dr. Ajeh, the MCDA president.”

The Director General of Nasarawa Geographic Information Service (NAGIS), Mr. Sonny Agassi, at a press conference in Lafia apologised to Governor Sule, on behalf of the Migili APC stakeholders, when reacting to claims made by MCDA of political marginalisation of the Migili nation by the administration of Abdullahi Sule.

Agassi continued: “His Excellency should note that it is not in the character of our people to defame and denigrate a leader who works tirelessly to run an inclusive and equitable government, rather an attempt by a desperate individual with an inordinate ambition to get into the cabinet through blackmail.

“We wish to pledge our loyalty and support to His Excellency’s administration in its quest to exceed all expectations in Nasarawa State.”