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Taraba group raps deputy governor for naming projects after self, cronies

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Deputy governor of Taraba State, Alhaji Garba Umar has again come under attack for allegedly naming projects in the state after himself and political associates.

A group, Taraba United Against Evil warned Friday that Umar's penchant for naming projects after himself and cronies was capable of rocking the political and ethnic balance of the state.

The group issued the warning in a statement signed by Mr. Dammy Tende, its public relations officer.

The group decried Umar's renaming of Takum general hospital to Haruna Tsokwa general hospital.

The late Tsokwa was Speaker of the state Assembly who refused to recognize Mr. Dam baba Suntai as governor when the latter returned from a 10-month medical leave in Germany and the United States.

The group said it was clear Umar renamed the hospital after Tsokwa in appreciation of the late Speaker role in stopping Suntai from continuing as governor.

According to the group, renaming the hospital after the late Speaker was even more suspicious when placed against the fact that Takum was not in short supply of eminent sons and daughters.

The group expressed disappointment that Umar preferred Tsokwa over retired General Theophilus Danjuma, Sunday Dankaro and Sunday Tanko Yusuf, among others- persons the group claimed

The group further expressed disappointment at Umar's decision to rename the Jalingo specialist hospital and school of nursing after self, saying the move was self-serving particularly as the projects were built by Suntai.

The statement, which was titled “Garba Umar's penchant for renaming Jolly/Suntai's Projects with his name”, read in part:

“Our attention has been drawn to an evil brewing in Taraba state under the dictatorship of the deputy governor, Imam Garba Umar.

He is busy renaming projects of previous regimes in his name or in the names of his co-adventurers.

These are projects that Umar had nothing in common with in terms of conceptualizes or execution. He never paid a penny for them or added value yet he now showcases them as his projects!

His boss had the opportunity of naming several projects after himself in view of the fact that he paid for them but due to his decency, he never did. But not the over ambitious Umar! If Umar have had his way, he would rename Jalingo after his name at the rate he is going! This is all in a bid to rubbish the memories of the founding fathers of the state and brand himself as the only deal in Taraba politics!

It is also his campaign strategies for 2015!  He recently renamed the Takum General Hospital after his buddy, late Haruna Tsokwa. The hospital is today known as Haruna Tsokwa General Hospital!  This is in addition to festooning the entire state with bill boards of the late speaker in a bizarre celebration of his hero who stopped the governor from taking over.

Umar was not done. He named a street after the late speaker and renamed the Takum hospital too. That's an insult on the collective history of Takum as the city has known many great figures in its antecedents.

These are individuals who have immensely contributed to the development of the town! But in a clear desecration and assault on that history of greatness, Umar ridiculed and belittled the history of Takum by naming the edifice after his acolyte whose contribution to the general history of Taraba is negative.

For the records, Takum has produced world acclaimed leaders like General TY Danjuma, Sunday Dankaro and Tanko Jolly Yusuf to mention a few names. Tsokwa was of course thus honored by Umar for un constitutionally declaring that he won't recognize Governor Danbaba Suntai's letter to the House of Assembly that he was back to resume work.

Tsokwa's decision ridiculed the House of Assembly and dragged Taraba state several years back! To name any edifice in Taraba state after Tsokwa therefore was and is an insult on the government of Governor Suntai.

And now, Umar is at it again! His latest gambit is a proposal to name the Specialist Hospital, Jalingo in his name! The School of Nursing is also billed to carry his name.

Now, these projects all date back to Governor Nyame's era. When Suntai came on board he undertook the actualization of these projects. For the specialist hospital, Suntai ensured that all equipment needed were provided.

The hospital became a beauty and envy of all in his regime. He got doctors from Egypt and an expert from the United States of America, Dr. Zakari, to man the place. That is how 'Specialist' became a reality! Same thing for the Nursing School- a project that Suntai worked hard to make a reality. Yet, Suntai has never suggested he wants anything named after him! The Jolly Nyame stadium and the airport, for instance, came from Jolly's regime but Suntai practically picked their bill! Yet, he didn't ask that these structures be renamed after him.

He gave it back to the Taraba people. So what glory is UTC taking? And why is he stealing projects that are not his?

We are thus calling on all Tarabans to resist this heist; this theft of their common patrimony because of one man's vaunting ambition!  If UTC wants to immortalize his name like Owoniyi did with that estate in Jalingo, he should at least start a project of his!

There are even talks that he wants to name the prestigious Taraba State University after his infamous name! please, the university is the brain child of Governor Suntai from scratch to finish.

The current VC there is so enmeshed in dubious financial crisis that he may easily succumb to blackmail! That same VC is currently pursuing a narrow religious agenda through preferential admissions and appointments.

We are watching!
Danny Tende.