The Directorate of Strategic Communication and Press Affairs to Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura continues to read with growing concern a litany of negative comments circulating in the social media which were triggered by an illogical write-up; “AL-MAKURA UNDER INTENSE PRESSURE TO IMPOSE ENGR. A.A. SULE!”
The piece was purportedly written by JOSEPH IKPAN where he alleged that Aliko Dangote, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, Atiku Abubakar and Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan “are the pillars and brains behind the effort to pressurize Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura to IMPOSE Engineer A.A. Sule as the sole gubernatorial candidate of the APC in Nasarawa State!” The nonexistent Ikpan alleged that: “the deal is not about what will profit the APC or the average Nasarawa man, but centered on self- interest….so as to “mortgage the future of Nasarawa State for personal, business and religious reasons!”
To begin with, even in the realm of conjecture, it makes no sense to allege that former President Goodluck Jonathan and Atiku Abubakar who belong to the PDP will “conspire” across party lines with Distinguished Senator Abdullahi Adamu of the APC to pursue a “religious or political agenda!” But this malicious propaganda continues to gain traction on social media, as a new twist is being peddled that these “conspirators” have even bought a shopping mall in Dubai for the governor’s wife so that she can to mount pressure on her husband!
The Directorate of Press Affairs wish to affirm with all sense of responsibility that it is most uncharitable to smear the reputation of the Governor’s wife merely for the purpose of adding texture to fictitious political propaganda. We find it mind boggling that any rational person will conceive a ludicrous and fictitious propaganda that “citizen” Umaru Tanko Al-makura who defeated a sitting governor in 2011 and has “visibly” steered the affairs of Nasarawa State to the frontiers of economic advancement for seven whole years, can meekly fall flat and submit to being held hostage or pinned down, as if in a wrestling match and be “forced” to adopt a candidate against his choice among those who are contending to succeed him as Governor. “Is this analogy logical?”
Indeed it is worrying that as the 2019 Election campaign picks up, we are beginning to see the concoction of tawdry and uncivil campaigns against the person and family of His Excellency, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura. This ugly scenario reminds us of President Muhammadu Buhari who suffered the most stridently scurrilous attacks by his political detractors during the buildup to the 2015 elections, where the tired propaganda of falsehood that Buhari was a military dictator was thrown at him before it graduated into a more vicious and well-coordinated campaign of calumny which was targeted at his late wife and his person including the claim that the President did not even have a school certificate!
Umaru Tanko Al-makura is a hardworking, self-effacing and unquestionably humble politician, but it doesn’t mean His Excellency does not have a mind of his own. In fact it is simply because the Governor is a quintessential democrat in action, words and at heart that he has maintained a mature and discreet distance from the jostling for whoever wishes to succeed him!
The sense of restraint and quiet disposition of His Excellency Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura is to provide a level playing ground for ALL the contestants because he believes that democracy allows the flourishing of ideas and the unhindered opportunity for collective participation. It is the peace loving nature and humble disposition of the Governor that has fostered a rancor free atmosphere where all interested aspirants in the APC can go about their campaigns on a basis of freedom of choice and issue based campaign. But like any other citizen, the Governor is closely studying the moral rectitude, maturity, vision and patriotism of each of these contenders to ascertain whom he believes will BEST carry on his legacy. So until such a time that the Governor makes an official pronouncement, all aspersions and toxic conspiracy theories being bandied around by mischief makers as to pressure being mounted on the Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura by either ghosts or mortals remain purely in the realm of acrid propaganda and conjecture!
The very first manifesto of HE Umaru Tanko Al-makura when he was seeking the office of governor of Nasarawa state in 2011 was titled: “FOR THE SAKE OF NASARAWA” and in the past 7 years, he has proven to friends and foe alike that no political force or cluster of godfathers can force him to act in a way as to imperil the prosperity of Nasarawa State. The Directorate of Strategic Communication and Press Affairs wish to assure all citizens that “when Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura wants to speak, he will make a formal pronouncement!” Neither fickle propaganda nor phantom godfathers can distract the Governor’s good intensions for Nasarawa State!
Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura is an astute political avatar but he is also a God fearing leader who hearkens to the injunctions of the holy books which preach that the best among men are leaders who are humble. Going by the lessons of history, we have seen how Jesus Christ washed the feet of his disciples and as for the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (SAW); he would sit in the masjid with his companions and if a stranger came, he wouldn’t know who the Prophet was until he asked; “which one of you is Muhammad?” This is because he would not sit, dress or be treated in a way that distinguished him from the people, unlike the way we treat our big men and even religious leaders. In fact when Aisha the prophet’s wife was asked what he does when he is in the privacy of his home, she replied: “He used to repair his sandals, sew and patch his own robe and he would milk the sheep!” According to Mahatma Gandhi: “The seeker after the truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes the dust under its feet, but the seeker after truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him. Only then and not till then, will he have a glimpse of truth!” It is to follow in these prophetic traditions that Umaru Tanko Al-makura even as governor drives himself sometimes, goes to teach in the classroom, carried a basin of alebo on his head round Lafia market, spent his birthday with lepers in the lepers’ colony of Lafia, and enters culverts and gutters and treks for kilometers to enjoin peace!
During the buildup to any election as what is happening now, Nigeria goes through volatile and troubling times because of the unguarded utterances and shenanigans of politicians; but as always it is the abiding grace of God and precepts like “in brotherhood we stand” and “politics without bitterness” that have always held us back from tipping over the cliff and going our separate ways. At times of political campaigns like this, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura believes that elections are one of the defining events of modern democracies and each election brings with it a huge responsibility that requires citizens to make a choice between individuals, parties, and policy options.
This is why as voters in Nasarawa state consider the options before them, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura implores citizens to express their political choice within the limits of decorum and sobriety, and for members of the APC, which is a party that champions a message of decency and hope over vitriolic commentaries of hate; not to allow the political space to be riddled with suspicion and prejudice.
Right-now a section of the followers of particular candidates in Nasarawa State gubernatorial race have panicked and begun to ignite petty squabbles and instigate a militant campaign of insults, blackmail and propaganda! These ardent supporters of governorship aspirants must strive to present their candidates as statesmen and peacemakers, and not as peddlers of prejudice or purveyors of do or die politics!
Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura believes in and has championed one central message all through his seven years of stewardship that is: “Nasarawa State belongs to all and we must strive to create an inclusive society that is just and tolerant, and respects diversity, equal opportunity and participation of ALL PEOPLE!!”.