The All Progressives Congress in Gombe State has spoken with one voice in demanding a public apology from Senator Goje for the wanton display of violence and destruction of properties by his supporters who were visibly seen shouting ‘Sai Goje’ as they paraded the streets of Gombe on that fateful day. It is now left for Danjuma Goje to tow a path of honour like his former colleagues in Zamfara and Kebbi States have done…
When a dog, which usually wags its tail joyfully, suddenly starts barking ferociously, something is definitely amiss. Gombe State, which has enjoyed a relative and enviable peace in North-Eastern Nigeria, is about to be orchestrated into a theatre of chaos. The only bride of investors and a choice investment destination is beginning to witness an avoidable political shenanigan that signposts nothing but gloom.
What played out in Gombe State penultimate Friday is nothing but a grandiose act of grandstanding by a habitual Machiavellian trying to return to the trenches he has mastered over time. No one should be fooled.
It is very instructive to note that nothing meaningful happens outside a unity of purpose. It is a time to unite. It is also a time to join hands and move the Jewel of the Savannah upwards. This is why reasoning and sagely wisdom should be the engaging ingredients deployed on the matters at hand. Anarchy, if allowed, will narrow the developmental equilibrium presently enjoyed in Gombe State, made possible by the prolific and catalytic economic policies of Governor Inuwa Yahaya. The current embers of political flame being ignited by the fifth columnists can fester into an open conflagration, which may consume this promising State.
Gombe State has been peaceful and has recorded an incremental curve in all development indices since the assumption of leadership by Inuwa Yahaya and had been adjudged as the best state in Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria. It is perhaps one of the best states in the country in the management of diversity issues. The Yoruba residents have had almost 200 years of peaceful cohabitation, while the Igbos are already recording a third generation of settlers in the State. The governor, Inuwa Yahaya is a Muslim; his deputy, Dr Manassah Daniel Jatau is a Christian, and such is the sweet rhythm of conviviality flowing out of the Jewel State. Gombe prides itself as a safe haven in the whole of North-East Nigeria and the incumbent governor has done a lot to safeguard this status.
The internally generated revenue of the State is rising incrementally. Many are coming to do business with the State daily, because of the peaceful and encouraging hospitality of its people.
But alas! The calm narratives of the Jewel in the Savannah is about to be altered negatively, unless some drastic steps are taken, more so when all sorts of security challenges are confronting virtually all states of Nigeria. Any state that enjoys comparative peace should guard it jealously, albeit vehemently.
Already some persons have been declared dead and the dreaded Yankalare Boys are beginning to bare their fangs in a State where the Muslims and Christians enjoy an equanimity that is uncommon in most States in the Northern Nigeria. What is amiss? Perhaps one may not be too fastidious in enquiring?
Although two diametrically opposite reports are in the courtyard of the media, the public should not be misguided by the narratives being bandied by people who were not fully privy to the condition precedent to the sad episode that climaxed in the present Danjuma Goje saga.
During the last Eid-el-Kabir Sallah celebration, Senator Danjuma Goje was alleged to have sponsored some thugs who threw caution to the wind and went on a rampage, leading to the loss of two lives. He has been in this game for long, as far back as his gubernatorial election days. Why he did what he did during the Sallah celebrations is best known to him. Two lives were lost. This time around, it is almost the same. Should the sitting governor look away while the peace of the State he presides over is being eroded by some ‘above the law’ citizens’?
Before Senator Goje’s arrival into town that day, there were already intelligence reports of a heavy mobilisation of thugs to accompany him in, as he was wont to do. Thugs from various local government areas, who were armed to their teeth under the pretext of accompanying him from the airport, were already handy, hence the last minute intervention to limit the rowdiness of ‘thuggery’ to the periphery of the state capital. But it was too late.
As an elder statesman, Danjuma Goje is well respected and spoken of in glowing tributes in Gombe’s political turf. The relationship between Inuwa Yahaya and Goje had been healthy and cordial earlier.
What has changed suddenly? Could it be a matter of political supremacy? Or is it a plain calculation for the State’s political jugular ahead of the 2023 elections? The issue of who leads the party has been laid to rest. As in other states, the sitting governor is the natural and automatic leader of the party in a state, just as it is in several oth,er states where the controversy has been laid to rest.
While we continue to ponder what truly happened, we must not gloss over the implications of reintroducing thugs who are mostly the ‘Kalare Boys’, into the Gombe State’s political hemisphere. These same Kalare Boys, who were seen escorting Senator Goje around during the last Sallah celebrations, not too long ago, during the governor’s visit to the senatorial zone of Senator Goje, reportedly attempted to disrupt Governor Inuwa Yahaya’s speech, but they were called to their senses by elders and security agencies at the event.
Who are the Kalare Boys and what was their antecedent. These were boys who changed from hunting groups to political thugs in the Gombe metropolis in the past and had a reign of terror during the Danjuma Goje governorship era. The Kalare boys have allegedly committed various crimes in the State and were the nightmare of many Police Commissioners who served in the State. Their reappearance is indeed ominous.
‘Yan Kalare’ is synonymous with every act of political violence, threat to life and property, and other indecent activity. Reports have it that the Kalare thugs resort to burglary and theft and so many cases of rapes have their stamps on them. It was reported that at least 115 people have been killed and scores more injured as a result of Kalare violence in Gombe State.
If one may ask, could it be true that a serving Senator Danjuma Goje, who had also served his two full terms as the executive governor of Gombe State, who also had his daughter and son in-law as cabinet members in this administration can go backwards 360-degrees to the trenches of political banditry or it was a mistake cum political miscalculation? The senator has been in the political equation of Gombe for almost 22 years of the States 25 years political history.
The scenario is still befuddling. It is better now to ask the distinguished Senator Goje whatever he wants now before an unending mayhem is loosed upon the State that is already flowing with oil of greatness.
Let the All Progressives Congress put sanctions in place and caution, if the need be. Let the Emirs and Chiefs come together on this matter. Let all who love Gombe arise now and lay to rest whatsoever may threaten the balance of enviable socio-economic successes recorded so far by the inimitable and fiscally responsible government of Inuwa Yahaya and his assemblage of a ‘brains and brilliance’ cabinet.
The All Progressives Congress in Gombe State has spoken with one voice in demanding a public apology from Senator Goje for the wanton display of violence and destruction of properties by his supporters who were visibly seen shouting ‘Sai Goje’ as they paraded the streets of Gombe on that fateful day. It is now left for Danjuma Goje to tow a path of honour like his former colleagues in Zamfara and Kebbi States have done, quitting the political scenes when their honours are still intact.
Ola Alao writes from Abuja.
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