Being a Middle-Belt Progressive Movement Letter written to the Executive Governor of Adamawa State (14TH June 2004)
Your Excellency, we write to ventilate our feelings on, and commiserate with you and the victims of the June 8, 2004 Numan ethno-religious riots, during which lives were lost and property destroyed.
Coming exactly one year after a lady evangelist was murdered by a good-for-nothing hoodlum resulting in another orgy of killings, we feel sad that government appears not to have tapped on the religious temperature and ethnic temperament of the people in Numan.
Otherwise, how come that a mosque was ever approved to be built too close to the palace of the paramount monarch of the Bachama ethnic nationality, who are predominantly Christians? Does it not occur to Your Excellency that the tall minaret of a mosque constitutes an affront, lack of respect and a menace to the palace? What, then, are lessons learnt by government from last year’s ethno-religious riot in the same town? None?
Are you not aware that work on the construction of the mosque was ordered to be stopped pending the resolution of the dispute generated by its location? And when the order was disobeyed, who doesn’t know who provoked who, or who is an intruder in the matter? It is our view that if someone is ignorant of the causes and effects of the unruly continuation of work on the mosque, that person should not be Your Excellency.
As the person at the receiving end of premeditated provocation, how do you expect the Hama Bachama to go cap-in-hand looking for peace from those, who were determined to foist their own values on an unwilling people?
With due respect to your Office, we beg to put it to you that the acts of deposition and banishment of the Hama Bachama is not only acts of injustice, it smacks of cowardice and a nauseating servility on your part, unfortunately. Whom have you done so to impress, except those you consider your masters or superiors?
You may assume that your masters are pleased with your action, having copied the evil example of Obasanjo’s declaration of emergency in Plateau State and the illegal removal of the elected governor. But are the people in their majority pleased and happy with such partiality and injustice?
Your Excellency, we will not beg you to reverse your action as you claimed to have taken it after a critical review of the situation. We leave it to your conscience and to God and the people to judge the wisdom or otherwise of your decision, which of course, to us is totally unreasonable and unacceptable.
Remember, Your Excellency, you are Governor Boni Haruna today, and your status carries heavy responsibility even as your role ought to be an embodiment of justice, fairness and probity. As it is, it is only you who knows the faith you profess, but whatever it is, if it has anything to do with the Almighty God, He will surely judge you here on earth, and more so in heaven, accordingly.
May you reap what you sow in abundance, Amen!
DIG P.I. Dabup (Rtd)
Sam A. Onimisi
Director of Research, Plans & Strategy