By Comrade Yakubu Meshack
The task of nation building has long held been the responsibility of all and sundry. Indeed, our Constitution is equally emphatic about the need to bring all sections of the country to the collective task of nation building. Constitutionally, this has been regarded ‘federal character’.
Realistically, the Constitution stipulates the various impacts that could be created on our togetherness as a nation. Beyond the mere entitlement of each State to a position at the federal executive council anchored on the federal character principle is the awareness of democratic principle of the power of the majority. Hence, in its entirety, federal character should in this instance favour the wisdom of the Constitution to include major ethnic divides in the affairs of the nation – perhaps as they exist in each State.
That the word “marginalisation” has continued to be prominent in the political lexicon of Gombe State before the 2019 general elections remains an incontrovertible statement of the fact.
The Tangale-Waja constitutes about fifty-six percent (56%) of the total population of the State with nearly ten ethnic groups. In other words, the people of Gombe South are predominant in the population index of Gombe State. This creates an obligation to treat them with diligence and reasonableness.
To also say that the impact of the menace has continued to be felt mostly by the people of Gombe South is to state the obvious despite the claim of change in the state by the present Inuwa-led administration where there has been absence of equitable distribution of political appointments so far rolled out by his government.
A close scrutiny of the political appointments so far made at Gombe State level and at the federal level under the present political dispensation will make political pundits to wonder if Gombe South is part of the state and Nigeria, going by the glaring lopsided appointments skewed to shut them out of relevance in the scheme of things at the two levels of governance.
Under the change mantra and the existence of the Federal Character Commission, it is expected that the marginalisation of the people of Gombe south at the federal level should have become a thing of the past but this is not to be. Rather, the marginalisation has continued to be tightened around the neck of the people in the area.
Going down memory lane, it remains glaring that all political appointments so far made by the federal government as far as Gombe State is concerned, came from two out of three senatorial districts in Gombe State namely Gombe Central and Gombe North, leaving out Gombe South Senatorial district, where the Tangale-Waja people with four out of the Eleven local government areas reside.
Such appointments include both career and non-career ambassadors, chairmen of boards of federal government parastatals, ministerial appointments. This lends credence to the cry of marginalisation of the people of the area at the federal level. It was with the hope that the Gombe State governor would, in the spirit of equity and justice under the change mantra and federal character, consider our people for political appointments both at state and at the federal levels as is being done for the other two ethnic groups in the state.
It is no gainsaying the fact that Tangale-Waja people who once stood out as the engine room of the defunct Northern region under the regional system of government in Nigeria are now being sidelined in spite of their past contributions to the development of the defunct Northern region and the country as a whole in various fields of human endeavour.
If this continues, the people of Tangale-Waja may not survive the force of conscience of the people in the long-run.
As a people and community of origin, Tangale-Waja is bigger than an individual. We are determined therefore not to allow ourselves to be consume by any deceit or political hush-up.
The APC under Inuwa administration have done their worst to us. We have been marginalized in all spheres of life, from the setup of his cabinet and his recommendations for federal appointments and a lot more.
The present administration’s promises to us in Gombe South are all Kept in View, KIV. Even lawful positions we supposed to have obtained have been denied and our right and freedom to speak against the injustice has been hacked.
This article is concluding with a call to the good people of Gombe South – let us shine our eyes and open our hearts to contribute to the progress of our people. Let us not allow ourselves to be deceived again by the shallow-minded politicians.
Comrade Yakubu Meshack writes from Billiri Local Government Area of Gombe State. (viaMBE)