By Francis Eka
All over the world, there is injustice that had led to the many wars we learn everyday over the news or read about. Any nation that intends to succeed must always be guided by the tenets of justice. But a country as ours that is just practicing democracy should pull all its citizens in the act of governance.
The Nigerian project is not a project to be left alone in the hands of a particular people or religion. No one, no matter his ethnic background or religious affiliation, should be discriminated against. When this is allowed to happen, some of us will be asking the questions as to whether we, Nigerians, have all agreed to respect ourselves as equal in this business of nation-building.
It is not good to mal-treat some because they belong to a certain tribe or religion with indignity and promote other ethnic groups to the detriment of other tribes.
Going by what had happened in the Akwanga senatorial zone in Nassarawa State leaves much to be desired. Since the removal of the Minister of FCT, Chief Barrister Solomon Ewuga, we in Akwanga senatorial zone have not had any true representative in the Federal Executive Council. The person that was to succeed Mr. Ewuga from the same zone was Alhaji Hussaini Akwanga, who had to be sacked for his involvement in the National Identity Card scam.
We waited anxiously after we had made our own case to the Federal Government about the need for a true representative from this zone because Akwanga had not finished his tenure. Even though the people in Akwanga zone voted massively to entrench PDP government in both the state and federal levels, our plea had been ignored as it went into deaf ears.
To our greatest disquiet and amazement, another “Alhaji,” again – this time, not even from Akwanga zone, but from Keffi zone – where the State Executive comes from. Initially, when the name was sent to the National Assembly, it was rejected but had been finally confirmed. That means, automatically Akwanga zone has no presence in the highest decision-making body of the nation.
It is highly regrettable that Nigeria is trying to be a strong democratic nation that some of us are treated as though we are second-class citizens. In any case, is Dr Lawal Hassan from Akwanga zone? Has the former Minister finished his tenure before his alleged involvement in the National ID cards issue was raised and his subsequent removal from the Federal Executive Council?
This and many are questions that are agitating the minds of the people of Akwanga zone in Nsssarawa State. Are we no longer part of the system; don’t we have capable hands that can be appointed to the Federal Executive Council?
When it comes to the issue of these sensitive developments, government should not be treating some people with impunity as though some of us are just to be observers and not to partake in the affairs of the nation.
The removal of Alhaji Akwanga and subsequent replacement by another “Alhaji,” not even from the zone where the removed one hails from, implies that there is no other person from any religion or tribe capable of being in that position again, except he must be either a Kanuri or Hausa/Fulani.
We, here in the Akwanga zone, have taken our matter to God to adjudicate on our behalf. I see some hidden agenda already being hatched against the Mada, Eggon and Rindre tribes from this zone. If not, where is the government not concerned about appointing any person from these tribes? It’s either a Hausa/Fulani or nothing.
I am appealing to the federal authorities to treat all Nigerians as equals and not to treat some as first-class citizens and others on second-class basis.
Culled from Our VISION magazine, Vol.5 No.3, 2004