It’s now glaring that Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku of Taraba State has joined the league of governors that run their states’ affairs from either the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) or overseas.
What people of the state find upsetting, however, is his failure to hand over power to his deputy Haruna Manu before leaving. The situation has brought government activities to a standstill in the state.
Governor Ishaku was last seen in the State on December 22, 2019, after presenting the 2020 budget to the state house of assembly.
It was alleged that the governor was on a medical trip abroad shortly after the Christmas and New Year celebrations, but has since returned to Abuja, according to sources from government house who confided in our correspondent.
Taraba citizens are worried over what they described as the movement of Taraba State government house to Abuja where government functionaries fly with files for signing, using taxpayers money.
The Newshawk recalls that Ishaku was last seen in the state on December 22, last year, few days after presentation of the 2020 appropriation bill to the state House of Assembly.
‘’Currently, government activities are being executed in Abuja, where the Governor now resides. Apparently, the seat of power has been relocated to the FCT, as top government functionaries now shuttle between Taraba and Abuja to get files signed and memos approved by the Governor.
‘’Also, the state House of Assembly has joined the queue of those using taxpayers’ money to charter flights to Abuja to pay homage to their boss,’’ so laments Dickson Gajere a public affairs commentator.
Last two weeks, shortly after signing the 2020 appropriation bill into law, the state House of Assembly leadership hurriedly took the budget to Ishaku in Abuja to sign it into law.
This development prompted the leadership of the major opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to call on the state House of Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, invoke Section 190 Sub Section 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and transmit power to the Deputy Governor, Engineer Haruna Manu.
The state chairman of APC, Barrister Ibrahim Tukur El-Sudi, wondered why Ishaku “has decided to desert the state without due process.” He reiterated his party’s determination to drag the governor to court, should the House continue to derail from its constitutional responsibilities.
El-Sudi said: “The governor’s absence from the state since last year has crippled government activities, as civil servants have also started to desert office. APC in the state would tread all legitimate paths to put the right pegs in the desired holes…”
But Ishaku’s long absence is also not going down well with members of the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Majority of them believed that, if such action was not urgently addressed, it would tell negatively on the party in 2023.
Govt Ishaku not governing from Abuja, Aides replies critics
Speaking to VOA Hausa monitored by The Newshawk, Abubakar Bawa a political aide to the governor has condemned claims that Governor Darius Ishaku is governing the state from Abuja.
Bawa described media reports to that effect as misleading and fraught with malice as he dismissed claims that government activities were being executed in Abuja, describing such as a display of bitterness towards the administration of Ishaku.
“Recent reports suggesting that government activities are being executed in Abuja, are nothing but lies and a display of politics of bitterness.
‘’ We consider the allegations as cheap lies aimed at giving a bad image to our performing governor. “We want to state here that top government functionaries do not shuttle between Taraba and Abuja to get files signed and memos approved by the Governor as alleged.
“Those behind the malicious reports went as far as claiming that the “state House of Assembly has joined the queue of those using taxpayers’ money to charter flights to Abuja to pay homage to their boss.” How could that have been possible?
“It is important that we correct these erroneous impressions created by those who do not wish the state well. There is no iota of truth in them. Government activities in the state are taking place without hitches. Specifically, the executive, legislature and judiciary are executing their duties in the state as enshrined in the constitution. Every right-thinking person knows that governance abhors a vacuum. So it is baffling to know that some groups of jobless people, would tell lies just to satisfy their political interests. The governor has the right to travel for any cogent reason.
” Being a state governor does not mean he should be in the state when there are state matters that may require his presence anywhere outside the state. Governing a state is not the duties of the governor alone as there are other layers of leadership. Knowing how enormous the responsibilities of a state government are, the constitution made provision for other organs and agents of the government,’’ he said.
The Newshawk correspondent observed that the state secretariat, as at the time of filing this report, has become a shadow of itself. Some public servants agreed that government activities have been relocated to the federal capital territory.