Yakubu Busari Speaks with senator John Nanzip Shagaya who bares his mind on the challenges and development of Plateau state @ 40 and the need to shun tribal ,religion sentiment and Lalong government to rebuild the lost glory of the state.
The price for achieving peace is sometimes more than the perceived results but its absence has wrecked havoc on many a family, turning kinsmen against each other and setting brothers at daggers drawn, yet peace is one experience that everyone strives to enjoy, the former minister for internal affairs during General Ibrahim Babagida ,General John Nanzip Shagaya described 40 years of Plateau creation as loveable approach to development in 1976 military junta .
There is no gainsaying the fact that the creation of the state by the military has remains a great source of developmental strives ,especially when state was under Benue/Plateau attracted federal present in the area of colleges , research institute vom ,UNIJOS, ministries and parastatals .
The general lamented, the plight of down trodden masses and the true apologists of a sound, vibrant and genuine democratic dispensation are the ones expecting much from the government of the people by the people, and for the people.
when the voice of Sen John Nanzip Shagaya in the 6th Assembly viewed the neglect and abandonment of Plateau people he left PDP to address the problem of millions citizens who cannot see themselves as comrades in the struggle.
The senator asked “where is the political pendulum or centre of gravity go berserk ,according to Shagaya democracy is on a tenterhooks and crisis its being posted a few ,is bound to smoulder to the extent that those who are saddled with the task of injecting sanity into the system are the ones fanning the embers of dissention .
Plateau State is 40 years how will you describe the progress so far recorded, are we moving forward or backward?
Plateau at 40 is that not great? we have every reason to celebrate considering the fact that before 1967 the whole Northern Nigeria was a sub-region of 12 out of 24 province of Nigeria ,for the purpose of creating basic units of administration in the name of state thereby breaking them into four big region ,mid -west ,south east ,south west,Northern which is manageable estates or entity to less hectic problems which had brought out Benue /Plateau .
So by that stroke of link in 1976 a new state was break into existence as a result of creation ,looking at the British documents of 1924 Plateau existed prior to the creation of state the northern entity of bringing that creation of the state ,a self governed people were raised meaning therefore that lot of political vacancies were created both in the legislative arms and appointments in the civil service to the present of federal might which began to surface like federal government girls college were upgraded , universities teaching hospital ,creation of federal agencies like the FRSC ,Police, NIPSS and others leading to the building of the mighty federal secretariat in Jos that really shows the presence of the state.
So it is a big gain and we have been closer to the federal government. Since the creation of the state 40 years ago against the inhabitants has been enjoying peaceful coexistence amongst diverse ethnic tribes.
Then again by that arrangement we have increase members of the national assembly and I believed also that the state was wide open and people eyes were exposed through the representation of many of our sons and daughters whom this brought a lot because of the expansion and certain constitutional arrangement was involved in agencies down to parastatals meaning then that the economy of the state was yearning better through this individuals who spent within the state but for the minor intervention of crisis witnessed in the state from 2001 to 2011 ,Plateau state became a hope for lots of the northern eastern states who would have preferred Plateau state either for holiday or guest .
Considering the journey but due to that crisis we now thank God that peace has returned to the state and these have brought some level of stability in the level of things in the state. For the traditional institution until the creation of the state there were few first class traditional institution, local governments, it’s a gain as local government are the basic administrative units under the constitutional arrangement Of not for crisis that the state went through some were created internationally and other by external forces or agencies outside the control of the government but the challenge have made us stronger.
As Plateau Is Celebrating 40 Years In This Period Of Lalong Rescue Mission What Is Your Assessment?
well, we have the cause to celebrate here, if not for anything nothing, at least we are among the few surviving states of the federation ,with the over dependent on the federal power ,the Governor has called on the people to take alternative routes in the economy as it will focus more on agriculture ,mining ,tourism, as a state manager of our internal revenue, but the next to celebrate is that we are alive ,that in the whole of the political journey from 1979 till date Plateau state has not witnessed so much political rascality that is leading to assassination or to mayhem like you have witnessed in other states meaning that we are very tolerant human being and we give our leadership fair hearing through the war against corruption so it’s a big gain.
Critics have expressed concern that the anti-corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari is only targeting at certain individuals especially the PDP past leaders. What is your take on its?
I don’t think so, those making such accession have not really analyse the situation in the country as it exist, the corruption crusade is targeted against all these individuals who had the privileges of holding offices as provided by the constitution and taken oath of office to add and join but it’s unfortunate that for the last 16 yesterday majority of ministers and heads of parastatals and agencies, Governors has been from one political party.
All the government is trying to say is that sorry there have been mismanagement of funds ,I don’t think it’s with political party but certain public office holders and besides its not all public office holders in the last 16 years that are been prosecuted and so I will because of this plead with Nigerian to look at the positive side, then the negative side as well because none of the traditional institutions encourage corruption ,so the positive side of this campaign is that there is always day for the quarrelling.
I strongly believe that fighting against corruption is not something to create impression rather let us look at this fight against corruption in a positive light as something that has destroyed Nigeria’s image in the international community.
Remember before now once your passport is seen at any country the security becomes alert but today things are gradually changing for good. The extension of this now is that this little cleaning that is ongoing Mr President will bring out a good trust to Nigeria, remember we lost one UN seat to a small country due to corrupt tendency and I believe that with the fight against bad leadership Nigeria will stand tall among committee of nations.
Infact secretly, a lot of Nigerians are refunding money recently a Brigadier general refunded a 100 million in the arms deal ,but because it’s not a committee of investigation of inquiry that was made public people will not really appreciate the fight but I think Mr president is being careful so as not to attract more negative comments.
You were a member of the 6th assembly that fought for the true democracy and now the PDP spokesman Olisa Metuh was brought with handcuff in court don’t you think that is an embarrassment to Nigeria democracy?
It has two angles to that ,there is the moral angle ,respect to the law enforcement agency by a man or woman who respect themselves and also there is the violence aspect from whoever .
If you offer violence you have lost your respect that is what happened to Olisa Metuh ,e.g. when you are asked enter the black Maria and then you turn around to box or push the security agent what do you expect, the question is may be this man has a mental problem and besides anybody can be handcuff.
There seem to be series of crack in APC as a result of change of leadership with various groups and camps have emerge within the party do you think is healthy before 2019 ?
You could be right, there is no family that will exist in this world without crisis .I think crisis is the beginning from the small entity of a family is to appreciate the views of others on certain thing the leaders of the family have not, things that are best is for the family to sit together and resolve its problem.
Remember the teeth and the tongue even though they don’t quarrel they fought and injured themselves that is not to say that the tongue doesn’t recognized the presence or the existence of the teeth or tongue that help food to be pushed down, but it is good for every society to understand to help understand itself there is nothing criminal about it even in the existence of nations Britain and America of over 200 years its continue to review their constitution as they can quarrel due to the dynamic changing of events so for APC that is barely few months old of one year in May 29th.
APC is a collection of so many individuals with different school of thoughts and were never in politics before and many of us got tired of misrule of certain administration, take for example since the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 there have never been a situation of only an ethnic group dominating in Plateau state.
Infact since the creation of the state in 1976 politics in Plateau it has been zoning only for a certain man to say only one ethnic group will continue to rule at the detriment of the other 53 ethnics group.
Some people rose up and refused him vehemently while some just came and installed our traditional institutions to the extent of using religious to destabilize the state through his action that is why we said no to misrule ,injustice ,we were acting on behalf of so many millions who cannot be heard so this led to the emergence of APC and dwindling period of APC may allow for minor quarrel especially for those who are just joining the party who don’t know the beginning of the information of APC on the Plateau and so we want people not to worry about the little challenges going on in the party although its only 4 local government that is visibly and are such the governor Simon Bako Lalong is on top of the situation because those individuals were handpicked and not elected by the people and there is a limit to which they can quarrel .
If they were elected then the voice of the people would count but Governor Lalong his appealed to the people to calm down.
Finally there have been criticism from a section of the public over Lalong administration do you think is right?
I don’t its fair to criticize him now and it is not easy to reconstruct a structure that has been damage for year’s .Governor. Lalong is trying his best at least as a leader, stakeholders and politicians I urge the people to be patient with this administration as very soon smiles will envelope the state and they will witness change and as a governor he has had our word during the 2 stakeholders meeting and considering the fact about the dwindling economy and oil revenue is low so these are some of the challenges, so people should be patient with understanding that Plateau state would be transform.