By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
A vibes of social justice and agitations for equal resource sharing, inclusion in all affairs of governance, the Christians in Gombe under the banner of Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) are lamenting bitterly by the way and manner the state Government under the leadership of Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya is excluding and marginalising them in managing the affairs of the state.
The state CAN chairman,Pastor Joda Ibrahim during a telephone interview with our correspondent has stated that is a “deliberate” refusal of Aminu’s government to sponsor this year’s pilgrimage to Christians as against the back drop of what he has done to his Muslims Brothers.
He decried that the state government has sponsored Muslims Brothers to the holy pilgrimage,discarding the issue of this year’s (2019) Christians holy pilgrimage by not saying anything about it after many efforts to remind him to that effect.
“It is worrisome to say that this is the first time in the history of Gombe that a sitting Governor can do this kind of a thing,being his first tenure,we expect a lasting impression,we are calling on him to do an encompassing justice to all religions in Gombe weather Christians or Muslims,that’s what he has been sworn in to do.” Joda said
Ibrahim said the Governor style of leadership is clearly showing lack of interest in the things of Christians revealing that even the Christians Board in the state has not been appointed board Chairman and members to Mann its affairs.
“All struggles to meet the Governor on this issues suffered abortive,his less attention on the things of Christians is abundantly clear to tell us that his government is focusing on other issues and religion other than Christianity,unlike the previous government which ran an inclusive government to all Gombe people.
“I don’t just know what is actually making the government to be so silence and neglecting the things of Christians in Gombe state,if it is a matter of votes the Christians have massively voted for this government hundred percent.
“You can imagine the Deputy Governor is mute about it with no positive response after meeting him on the same issue. We are just watching the government at a very long distance in Gombe as justice and equity is working against us by the government that both Muslims and Christians brought to power.
“May I say that in Gombe state Christians and Muslims are like twins (Brothers) what you do for one,you must do for the other,this is to remind the government of the doctrine of social justice and inclusion has to play for all people” Ibrahim added
Another Christian stakeholders and a former CAN Chairman of the state who is presently the CAN Chairman of North Eastern states of the country,Rev Abare Kala when contacted to shed more light over what’s happening in the state,he based his reasons to be secondary but made deliberate and conscious efforts to wade on the matter.
Abare reason was a direct blame to the Deputy Governor,Dr Manasa Daniel Jatau who according to him before now met him and reminded him on the normal routine Christians pilgrimage of this year,2019, is running behind time schedules knowing the process involves but only gave a lip service to it.
Kala said he further pressurise Mr Jatau but replied him that the Governor said Christians holy pilgrimage has no specific time and when they have money
they will do it.
“For someone who has experience of all this things I concluded that they don’t have the interest to do it,and for the Governor we voted into Power for the sake of equity and justice to say there is no money when it is time for Christians but there is money for the Muslims to go for their holy pilgrimage has really shown less interest on things of Christians in the state.
“For me the Government of Gombe is classical saying that they don’t have the interest to do that which is good for the Christians. He actually don’t have a good reason not to do that,he would have even sponsored less than what the previous government had sponsored and tell us why he has done so,for him to say that there is no money he is bluntly telling us he is a Governor of the Muslims and because he control the resources of the state he can do what fit him good to do.” Abare said
Abare continue to say that Christians always conduct their holy pilgrimage exercise by December and Easter period and Governor Aminu cannot decide when the Christians can perform their pilgrimage.
“No matter the excuses of the Governor,no matter their own complains as the deputy Governor is trying to portray that they have change the executive secretary,i dont think changing the executive secretary of the board will affect the issue of a whole community,this issue has been there before any other thing. Base on my experience, my position is that they practically and intentionally don’t want us to go.
“Whatever they have internally as an issue that will warrant them not to sponsor Christians I want to classically say that they are wrong considering the fact that our Muslims Brothers have gone and come back believing that our own will also come next December period not depending on excuses that will not hold water.
“I will love a government that will sincerely say they will no longer sponsor pilgrimage,it will then give the church a second thought of what to do next.”Abare added
Kala was resolute to say that he is bend on saying the truth,staking in his neck to die for the truth that the present Government in Gombe state is short changing the Christians who have also played a significant role that brought it to be.
“I’m begging the Government of Gombe to stop using structural violence to undermine some people,it our state,the resources of the state belongs to all of us.” Kala further stressed.
On countless efforts by our correspondent to speak with the Senior Special Aide (SSA) on media and publicity and stands in as the spokesman of Governor Yahaya,Alhaji Samaila Uba Misili failed.
At exactly 5:45 an SMS send to him thus “Let’s talk pls,it’s important” on the 30th December,2019 there was still no reply. To the filling in this report another SMS send thus:”Good morning and Compliments of the season Sir,Pls let’s talk,I’m a journalist,its about Gombe state this year’s pilgrimage” also with no response.
Our reporter further through phone call contacted all the media aide to the Governor and they simply referred him back to Samaila as according to them is the only person assigned to speak on issues relating to governance.
Extra efforts were made by our correspondent through another telephone chat with the Executive Deputy Governor,Dr Manasa Daniel Jatau he however said he never said there is no money for the sponsorship but there is no secretary in the board to properly handle the affairs.
“The whole issue of the Christian board is under the office of the secretary of the state Government,and I know there is a new Executive Secretary who is barely three weeks in office and arrangement is on ground to kick start the process.” Daniel said