The Taraba Rebirth Group


Attn: Inspector General of Police

One of the cardinal doctrines of the Governor Danbaba Suntai administration was non- violence in speech and conduct before, during and after elections. Such was Suntai penchant for peaceful conducts and decency in public life that he always accused his own fans of overbearing attitude. Even in his personal life, Suntai never permitted abnormal long carriages of convoys with thugs blaring music, blocking the way and heralding him. He has absolute disdain for such activities and tags them as “eye service and dishonesty”.    He even went ahead and enacted laws through the Taraba State House of Assembly banning thugs from the state. Many of them, with no one to patronize them, fled the state. Suntai never recalled them even during his reelection campaign. And even when once his convoy was pelted with pure water on the campaign trail, Suntai commanded non retaliation by his overzealous supporters. He came down and spoke so calmly to his traducers who were melted by the governor's humility and decent dealings. They had to explain to him that he wasn't the target of their animus; and that it was some people on his entourage they were angry with. They further confessed that, in any case, since he has shown them such humility, they would give him their votes. That was the nature of Suntai on the campaign. Even when he speaks on the podium, it was always with a sense of humility. He tells his audience that he may not have met all their aspirations; and that he was sorry if he failed them but that if they should allow him again to sit in Government House, he would do a lot to make a difference. This style often wins for him more supporters than the brash, brutish style of many politicians.    Not for Suntai the arrogance of politicians and the loud promises of the good life when there is really none to give. Not for him too, the intimidation of both the voters and the opponents who disagreed with him. Rather, he often tells us that he would rather we allow his traducers talk without even a reply from us.

Now fast forward and see the gangsters' campaign tactics seeping back into Taraba state under the baleful watch of Suntai's deputy, Garba Umar. Although a seventy-something years old man, it is amazing how Umar loves the use of thugs in all his public functions. These are young boys and girls young enough to be his grand children. These are youths he could not empower through the SURE-P funds which he has misappropriated. These are hungry, impoverished and misguided youngsters who have no any discernible future. Yet, he has bound them up together in a deadly force to unleash mayhem on his opponent.

A new dimension however to the entire development is that the dreaded outlawed militia in Gombe state, the yan kalare, have now found a conducive haven in Taraba state.    These unscrupulous killers now strut around the streets of the state intimidating everyone that as much as show his preference for another candidate other than Umar.

It is not difficult to make a link between the dreaded groups with Mr. Umar. Umar or UTC as he is called lived all his life in Gombe and Jos. In Jos, he was actually a house hold name during the violence that engulfed that town. He eventually fled to Gombe were he was received by the thugs as a grand patron. Today, they are in Taraba to help him become governor by hook or crook. For the group and even for UTC, the campaign is a jihad- a religious war against infidels who want to deny the Muslim Ummah their right.    UTC's nick name is “maganin arna” (the cure for unbelievers). And what he has succeeded to do is galvanise most of the unsuspecting Muslims behind his nefarious plot. But the questions he must be asked is what has he done with the funds he was entrusted to keep. Did his faith teach him to steal? Did his faith teach him to betray his boss? Or did his faith teach him to divide people along religious fault lines?

Many Muslims within and outside Taraba have since seen through this vague and thin veil of UTC's shenanigans of trying to manipulate religion. They have seen his hypocrisy and two-faced proclivity for inefficiency while hiding behind the Ummah's goodwill. Those who have collected his bribes are starting to think twice about the blood money because no faith promotes “kyauta” with public funds.

And for the other side too, UTC's real character is starting to show. With the invasion of yan kalare, it is clear now who is attacking and killing our people in the southern towns of Wukari, Ibi and Kashimbilla. It is also no longer a mystery who is exterminating the Tiv population in Bali local government. Is it now hard to see where the mercenaries are coming from? Is it now a wonder why UTC is protecting some of the arrested insurgents? Is it not abundantly clear now when one of the apprehended insurgents confessed that he was sent from outside the state?    Are we now not been justified when we say these attackers are sponsored by UTC? And is the BIG PICTURE not getting clearer now?

We therefore appeal to the authorities, especially the police and the SSS to immediately interrogate our claims by instituting a thorough investigation of our claims. There are killer gangs in Jalingo and environs. Already, prominent politicians have received death threats. Senator Emmanuel Bwacha has since sent a letter to the IGP over threats to his life by UTC. The other day, Hon. Isyaka Bawa was harassed when his plane was denied landing space at the Jalingo airport. Right now, some aspirants have been warned to stay off Jalingo. UTC himself forced his way into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) office the other day, saying he has an office there. Many people died when UTC convoy rambled into Jalingo recently because he allegedly ordered that his thugs, who are always armed, should kill any opponent.

Before all this, the earliest signs that the bad days are back was when UTC started arresting dissenting voices. He forcefully ended a meeting in Government House early in the year, even as his convoy violently ran amok into the premises of the GH. Then, he ordered the arrest of Mr. Sylvanus Giwa, Media Adviser to Governor Suntai on the pretest that the latter was trying to over throw his government.

We warned then that this was the start of dictatorship. Sadly, recent event are proving us right. And it is not even morning yet in the uncertain world of 2015 politics.

Bar.Dauda Maigari
Audu Bala Lau
Esther Usman, JP
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