Rational Nigerians may agree with this writer that what is currently happening in Taraba State is akin to what happened in Aso –Rock, the seat of power not too long ago. It will be recalled that when late President Umaru Musa Yar”Adua went to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment and stayed beyond what could be termed as reasonable time in the hospital, Nigerians became restless and agitated as to why the President of the Nation could stay long in the hospital without his deputy taken over power in Acting capacity.
A assembly called Save Nigeria Group[SNG], led by the duo of Professor Wole Soyinka and Pastor Tunde Bakare, marched down to Abuja from Lagos to demand in strong terms, the immediate installation of Vice President Goodluck Jonaathan, as he then was, the Acting President of Nigeria. Their demand was so strong and persistent that millions of ordinary Nigerians, who could not speak out, found their voices in support of the position of Save Nigeria Group. As the agitation for the installation of Vice President Jonathan grew then, there was panic and apprehension in the camp of the cabal that was holding Nigeria to ransom became palpable.
This cabal employed different tactics to arm twist the Save Nigeria Group, to no avail. Just as the duo of Professor Wole Soyinka and Pastor Tunde Bakare were busy mobilizing support for the installation of the then Vice President Good-luck Ebele Jonathan, the media, both print and electronic was also busy mobilizing support for the Vice President. Instead of doing what was needful, the cabal stock to their guns and refused to allow the Vice President to act in place of sick late President Yar”Adua.
When the pressure from the Save Nigeria Group became unbearable, couple with obvious restlessness from the military occasioned by the nonchalant attitude exhibited by the cabal that was holding the country down or so it seemed; the Senate, via “doctrine of necessity”, pronounced Vice President Jonathan as he then was, the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In a nutshell, the Save Nigeria Group [SNG] played vital role in ending the deadlock that occasioned the prolonged absence of late President Yar”Adua. SNG ensured POLITICAL JUSTICE was served in Yar’Adua’s saga; this is what Nigerians expect from them in Taraba State’s case.
Similar situation is playing out in Taraba State today; the Save Nigeria Group has suddenly gone quite, a situation that appears to have prompted rational Nigerians to ask: has the Save Nigeria Group lost its voice? If so, why or is SNG seeing what is happening in Taraba State different from what happened in Aso-Rock under Yar’Adua’s regime? Are the actors in Save Nigeria Group now lethargic because of religion deferential in both cases? These and more are posers for SNG on Taraba State quagmire. One would have thought that with the ugly experience Nigerians had in late Yar”Adua sickness saga, such will not repeat itself anywhere in Nigeria, but Taraba State conundrum is not telling a good story of the SNG puritanical position on the issue of flagrant violation of Nigeria Constitution which they fought against in Yar’Adua’s case. Only recently the cabal in Taraba State smuggled the ailing Governor Dambaba Suntai back to Nigeria through the back door, ostensibly to take over power. The drama in bringing back the governor to Nigeria was akin to that of Yar’ Adua’s home coming during his days.
The Acting Governor was tactically prevented from welcoming him [Suntai]. But what the cabal was trying to hide in not allowing Alhaji Umar Garba to see governor Suntai came out in the open like a cat let out of a bag. When Suntai was asked how he felt coming back home, he responded by saying that he was glad to be back from Abuja. This was a Governor who has just been brought back from London, where he still undergoing treatment. Although, the Save Nigeria Group may come up with excuse that the situation in Yar’Adua’s case was different from what is happening in Taraba Sate. SNG may smile home with what they believe in Taraba State case, but the fact remains that the incumbent Governor, Dambaba Suntai is incapacitated for now and surely not fit to rule the State. On the basis of this fact, the Acting Governor should be confirmed as the Governor of the State. What is good for the goose is equally good for the gander.
When we, as country start playing politics with what should not, then we are collectively preparing ourselves for doom. For now, the duo of Professor Wole Soyinka and Pastor Tunde Bakari, can keep quite with their Save Nigeria Group probably because Taraba State is small in the mix to create problems for Nigeria. In a multi ethnic, religious and cultural society likes Nigeria, maintaining double standard on political crisis as SNG is by error of commission or omission on Taraba State, encouraging will not be of any benefit to Nigeria as a country in the long run. SNG, the ball is in your court with respect to Taraba State.