Ombatse crisis splits Nasarawa PDP

Nasarawa State
Nasarawa State

Some party members condemn statements made by the state PDP chairman.

The Ombatse crisis, which allegedly erupted due to ethnic differences, has begun to infiltrate political circles in the state.

The recent spate of violence attributed to the sect is now threatening to divide the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Members of the party in the state, on Friday, expressed displeasure at a statement by the state chairman, Yunana Iliya, defending the Minister of Information and supervising Minister of Defence, Labaran Maku’s alleged involvement in the incessant Ombatse crisis, a claim made by the All Progressives Congress, APC, which also clamoured for Mr. Maku’s removal from the Defence Ministry.

The PDP members, who are Alagos, and were attacked by the Ombatse militia last Friday, said citing other ethnic clashes, such as the ones between the Tivs and Fulanis, in the defence of Mr. Maku was as good as comparing the mayhem wrecked by the Ombatse on the Alagos to the Tiv/Fulani crisis in the state.

The state PDP chairman, Mr. Iliya had, in his statement, mentioned other ongoing and past inter-ethnic clashes in the state, including one in the state governor, Tanko Al-Makura’s hometown, to drive home his point that the Ombatse crisis, along with the other violent clashes in the state, was a product of the APC-led government. Mr. Iliya said that the clashes started soon after the election of the APC governor into office.

Ibrahim Saleh, an Alago man from Assakio presently in the Namu refugee camp of Quan -Pan local government area of Plateau State, said that the chairman’s statement had reduced the enormity of the crisis and was akin to taking sides with the perpetrators.

He challenged the chairman to state categorically when Mr. Maku ever invited Eggon elders to advise them on the need to caution their children against becoming members of Ombatse.

Mr. Saleh, a former Ward chairman in Ashinge, said making statement in the media was not enough and challenged Mr. Iliya to come down to the state to see the level of damage caused by Mr. Iliya’s tribesmen.

Mr. Saleh said the chairman had not deemed it fit to visit the crisis-torn areas but rather had visited the PDP’s North Central National Vice Chairman, Yusuf Ayitogo, in Obi local government area.

Another PDP member in Lafia, Kawu Dalhatu, said that the chairman should have made a statement condemning the crisis instead of travelling to Abuja to make such provocative comments that had cost the party the governorship ticket in 2011.

Mr. Dalhatu claimed that neither Mr Maku nor the state PDP chairman had ever visited victims to sympathise with them.

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