By Ben Adaji, Jalingo
The Taraba State Government has described as uncharitable comments credited to Minister of Women Affairs and Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the state in the last election, Senator Aisha Alhassan, to the effect that she has reopened hostility against the government. Sylvanus Giwa, Special Assistant Media and Publicity to Governor Darius Ishaku, told nationalTRAIL while reacting to the ministers diatribes that the allegations to the effect that some Civil Servants perceived to have sympathy for the opposition APC in the state are being victimized, with the salaries of some of them withheld, were baseless and mischievous. Alhassan has accused the Peoples Democratic Party Government led by Architect Darius Ishaku of singling out rival APC supporters for discriminatory policies, expressing dismay over what she termed harassment and intimidation against supporters of APC by the government. She said that she would not identify with the state government until it reverses these tendencies, alleging further that a number of civil servants and local government workers identified to be supporters of All Peoples Congress were intimidated and victimized while others were being denied their salaries. The minister lamented that she would not identify with the government of Taraba State until they change their hostile attitude against APC supporters, ‘’ As you can see I deliberately refused to inform the government officially of my coming’’, she said. She disclosed that under the Nigerian constitution all citizens
Including civil servants have the right to belong to a political party of their choice and wondered why in the state such right was being threatened by the officials of the government. The minister advised the state Governor to see himself as the Governor the state and not Governor of only PDP supporters, adding that the collective unity of the state is more paramount than the interest of a few who practice politics of ‘’a winner takes all.’’ She fumed. But in a swift reaction, the Special Assistant to the Governor, Sylvanus Giwa denied the allegations, saying, the minister seems to still be suffering from the hangover of her defeat at the polls and the courts, and is looking for anything derogatory to associate with Governor Ishaku’s policies. While challenging Alhassan to provide a single proof of her claims, the Governor’s spokesman said, instead of taking her job seriously by looking at issues affecting Nigerian women, Alhassan has been busy trying to conceal her inadequacies. According to him; “Nigerian women are daily being abused with about two women recently butchered, and the minister did not say or do anything. This is in addition to the fact that the Chibok girls are still missing, but she does not seem to know that she needed to do something, rather she goes to Taraba to try distracting the government.” Giwa said, “we may have issues with her, but she should not hide behind baseless insinuations to try to cause disaffection in Taraba state because the Governor embraces everybody, irrespective of political alignment. We would rather she comes and join hands with Governor Darius Ishaku to move the state forward”. “I challenge the minister to come forward with the list of such APC members victimized. I am sure it
of some members of her party who were bent on running down the PDP government. But we will not join issues with her. The Governor respects her, and would have wished she engages in more beneficial ventures than try to heat up the polity unnecessarily”, Giwa added. Mr. Giwa stated that it was time for people to put behind them the past electoral rivalry and rally round governor Ishaku, who has showed willingness to partner with the minister wondering why she was making sweeping statements. According to him the President had sent in two ministers to the state before the coming of the Women Affairs Minister, which shows that the president was more concerned with the needs of the people than party politics. Senator Alhassan told journalist that the state government must change its attitude and regard every citizen as its children. “I don’t tell lies or hide my feelings. I am not happy with ways and manner the Taraba government is treating APC supporters and that was why l did not inform the government of my coming”, she said. “Taraba is my state and nobody can stop me from coming but however the government must be fair and just to every citizen”, she further stated.