Jonathan Nda-Isaiah wrote an article. Title: 2015: WHEN ZONING BECOMES AN ISSUE IN TARABA STATE. The article was posted on Leadership news paper website (opinion) On February 14, 2014.
In that article among other things, he mention that; “Taraba is a predominantly Christian State and this was unequivocally proved during the SDP/NRC era, as Jolly Nyame and his deputy, both Christians, ruled the state at the creation of the state” he said. “It was only in 1999 that Nyame decided to run a Christian/muslim ticket.
When I read the article, I just wondered if this guy have ever been to Taraba State Before. Because if he really knows Taraba state as he claim, he won’t have made that beamiodic statement or may be he have been there but he was drunk at the time he was writting this creaxe called “article”
Going by the above speculation, if somebodyfor instance, put it to Mr. Jonathan Nda-Isiah, that Nigeria is a predominantly Muslim nation simply because Late M.K.O Abiola, a muslim, won the 1993 presidential election under SDP with a muslim running mate, Alhaji Baba Gana kingibe, will he agree with that? If he disagreed, then why the double standard? After all, he cannot postulate the former argument and reject the latter one. He must either accept them both or reject them both, because, the two arguments share similar premises so they must share a similar conclusion. And, if he must evaluate the population strength of members of a particular faith in Taraba within the parameter he established above, then he should know that objectivity demands that you must not select facts that suit your hypothesis and ignore other relevant facts that would help you arrive at a right and valid conclusion, otherwise you will end up falling prey to woeful fallacies and blunders.
In addition to his consideration of the fact that Jolly Nyame has ruled Taraba State under a Christian/Christian ticket in 1993, Jonathan must also consider other material facts. Had he considered those facts in his argument, he wouldn’t have arrived at this “inconclusive” conclusion. He should consider the fact that in 2003, the senators who represented the three political zones in the state were all Muslims. Alhaji Abdullahi Bala Adamu, Alhaji A.A Ibrahim jnr. and Alhaji Dalhatu Sangari for the northern, central and the southern political zones respectively; he should also consider the fact that the central senatorial zone of Taraba has never produced a christian senator, while each of the three senatorial zones has produced at least more than one Muslim senator in its political history. He should further consider the fact that the majority of the incumbent senators and members that are currently representing the state at the National Assembly are Muslims – two out of the three senators are Muslims while four out of the six members are Muslims. Had he considered these facts, he wouldn’t have attributed to himself, neither would he have undermined the integrity of leadership newspapers by posting this whimsical argument.
In case he doesn’t know, the christian/christian gubernatorial ticket that he is talking about was single-handedly sponsored by a Muslim politician from the neighbouring Adamawa state and a former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. He could have supported a Muslim/Muslim candidature had he so wished, and a Muslim could have been elected as a governor. I mean, if the three political zones in the state could produce Muslim senators simultaneously, then what’s the big deal in the whole state producing a Muslim governor?
The truth is that religion is alien to Taraba politics. What matters as at the early times of Taraba politics was region rather than religion. And that was why Rev. Jolly Nyame with Mr Samuel Danjuma Gani ruled Taraba under Christian/Christian ticket and no Muslim had ever complained, likewise three Muslims represented the three political zones in the state pari passu and no christian had ever complained. And this is where Jonathan Nda-Isaiah got it wrong: he confused the cause with the effect thereby failing to identify the actual cause, and thereby falling prey to what Dr. Michael Labossiere calls the fallacy of confusing cause and effect.
Certainly the cause of Taraba having the governor and his deputy both Christians was as a result of a consideration of zonal representation rather than religion. Thus, they being members of the same faith was not the cause of their success neither was it because of their religion was the dominant in the state. In fact, it wasn’t and it isn’t.
Evidently, Religion has been hauled into Taraba politics under the watch of Jolly Nyame at the end of his last tenure where the former governor deliberately refused to replace Danladi Baidu (a christian), who won the PDP primaries in 2007, with senator A.A Ibrahim (Muslim), who was the second in the primaries, after the former’s disqualification; and shamelessly proceded to handpick Danbaba Suntai (Christian) who had not even participated in the primaries, and used his power and the state’s resources to impose the latter on Taraba people.
This bad legacy sprouted widely in the Danbaba’s regime. The composition of his commissioners and other political appointments especially in his last tenure are facts that speak for themselves. This is also the prelude of all the political stunts in the state being perpetrated by senator Bwacha & Co. under the guise of the clamour for zoning. This bad precedent invented by Jolly Nyame shall not continue in our beloved state.
Taraba state with its capital at Jalingo was propagated and lobbied by some well known, prominent citizens other than the chauvinistic “clamourers”, and same was so created by the Babangida administration in 1991 for the benefits of all indigenes of that area irrespective of their ethnicity or religion.
Abdoulrasheed H. Tapheeda is a MD of Technotronic Company Nig. Ltd