The Tarok Progressive Youth Association (TAPYA) an umbrella body of the Tarok youth globally, have accused Elders of Land for secretly endorsing the people Former Federal Capital Territory ,FCT,Minister ,Lt General Jeremiah Timbut Useni as bias unfair to others aspirants by the Elders forum.
At a press conference held at the NUJ, Plateau State Council on Friday, the Group in a statement read by Comrade Lohnan Samson and Barrister Singa Edward Zhattau, the TAPYA President and secretary–General, it said; “it is become obligatory for us to address a press conference and to keep the record straight as per the press statement titled “TAROK NATION ENDORSES SENATOR (DR) J.T USENI AS CONSENSUS ASPIRANT FOR THE 2019 GUBERNATORIAL RACE IN PLATEAU STATE”
The joint statement issued by Rev. Canon Selcan Miner and Barrister Danjuma Rimdan under the auspices of Tarok Elders Forum (TEF) on the 3rd of September, 2018.
To start with, as young people of the Tarok nation, we do not often trade words with our elders as part of our age-long values of respect for age. However, that will cease to be the case in the face of any action by the elders which is capable of jeopardizing the future of both the youth and the Tarok nation at large.
Such is the scenario we face today as the earlier press statement issued by some elders in the Tarok nation has tipped the Tarok nation unto the precipice.
Therefore, to toe the path of silence will be a criminal inaction on our part.
We wish to place on record that the Tarok Elders Forum hitherto inaugurated by the Ponzhi Tarok, His Royal Majesty, Mr. Edward Cirdap Zhattau (of blessed memory), was later disbanded by the paramount ruler on the 28 March, 2008 at NBTT Jos, and could not have issued a press statement on the emergence of a “consensus aspirant” as far as the gubernatorial aspiration of the Tarok nation is concerned.
And with due respect to the rights of these elders to peaceful assembly and association and their freedom of expression as provided for in the Constitution, we would not stand idly by and watch as misleading information is being deposited and peddled within the public domain.
We are not unaware of the fact that there are many gubernatorial aspirants of Tarok extraction who have picked up nomination forms of their various political parties; these include, among others: Mr. Godfrey Mamzhi of the SDP, Mr. Nanzing Bako of the ANN, Senator Victor Lar, Senator Jeremiah Useni, Engineer Jimmy Cheto, Engineer Ponyak Ibrahim, all of the PDP etc., And as bona fide Tarok sons, we could not have jettisoned one for the other by way of endorsement, except where the aspirants themselves arrived at a consensus which would imply a voluntary withdrawal by the rest of the aspirants in recognition of the aspiration of one person, and not the coronation by a group of elders as is the instant case.
To the best of our knowledge, there has been no time whereby the Plateau family resolved that the 2019 election is strictly a Tarok affair, as the earlier statement by some Tarok elders would suggest. Accordingly, we need not speak of the fact that the office of the Governor is open to all qualified indigenes of Plateau State and Nigerian citizens alike and cannot be the exclusive preserve of a given ethnic nationality to warrant the statement issued by the elders concerned.
We hereby view that statement as nothing but an attempt to first of all create disaffection among the Tarok gubernatorial aspirants and by extension the Tarok nation, and secondly, to place us on a collision course with the rest of the ethnic nationalities in Plateau State.
The widespread condemnation that has greeted the press statement issued by some Tarok elders has lend credence to the fact that, if there is anything that such statement has attracted to the political standing of the Tarok nation, is scorn with its attendant effect of whittling down our political clout.
Being critical stakeholders who would fight to the leas to preserve the political future of the Tarok nation, we reject any attempt to portray the Tarok nation as one that is set out to achieve a sinister ethnic agenda, as against the collectivist and engaging political approach that has, over time, defined us as a people within the larger Plateau political family.
We need not speak of the grand design to hoodwink some political benefactors outside Plateau State into making financial donation to the cause of a Tarok consensus aspirant, as it is now public knowledge.
However, we consider this medium apt in admonishing such benefactors that they would only be investing in an individual and not the Tarok cause, as all the gubernatorial aspirants of Tarok extraction are fully committed like never before, in canvassing for votes from the delegates of their respective political parties.
In recognition of the fact that electoral victory in a democracy such as ours is determined by the garnering of majority votes, we would not be averse to working with anybody that will emerge as the Governor of Plateau State, as anything to contrary would be antithetical to the spirit of democracy.
We are not oblivious of the fact that some persons in their desperate bid to cause mischief would deliberately choose to interpret our position as one that is against the emergence of a Governor of Tarok extraction.
Far from it! We hereby state in explicit terms that we are not against the emergence of a Tarok man as Governor come 2019, as aspirants of the Tarok extraction already on show are not short on the requisite qualification for that office; however, we must concede that in view of our electoral history and recent experience, our dream can only be realized with the support of the rest of the ethnic nationalities in Plateau State.
Being a youth socio-cultural group, we are very much aware of the numerous benefits of ethnic solidarity, but when the solidarity is such that will be inimical to the political future of not only the youth, but also that of the entire Tarok nation, we would not hesitate to send it crashing like a pack of cards.
Flowing from the above, rather than wade into the murky waters of complex partisanship, we wish to call on this group of elders to bring their wealth of experience to bear by joining hands with other elders of the Tarok nation across board with the view of resolving the lingering impasse surrounding the paramount traditional chieftaincy stool of the Ponzhi Tarok.
For us, that will mark the proper beginning of the journey to resolving our challenges as a nation.
In light of the foregoing,
we hereby make a clarion call on all the people of Plateau State to disregard in all respects the statement issued by the Selcan Miner led group regarding the endorsement of some consensus candidate.
We cannot conclude this press conference without registering our deep appreciation to the coalition of ethnic nationalities on the Plateau which has never doubted the political astuteness of the Tarok nation.
We assure you that we as one of the ethnic nationalities will continue to engage all of you on any matter that is of interest to the whole of Plateau State.