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Friday, 18 July 2014

Nasarawa Impeachment Plot: 3 Killed As Protest Turns Bloody In Lafia

Three people died while one person was wounded yesterday during clashes between Gwandara and Eggon youths who were protesting over the commencement of impeachment proceedings against Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State.
LEADERSHIP FRIDAY gathered that some armed Gwandara youths stormed the house of an Eggon man around Old Alamis Market and set it ablaze along with his car. Many governorship posters of information minister Labaran Maku were said to have been pasted on the walls of the house.
The state police public relations officer, Ismaila Numan, confirmed the development, saying the house was burnt in the early hours of yesterday but he could not confirm who was responsible.
Investigations revealed, however, that the impeachment notice served on the governor by the state lawmakers did not go down well with the Gwandara youths who resorted to violent protests to register their anger over the attempt to impeach their kinsman to pave way for an Eggon man.
LEADERSHIP FRIDAY saw one of the warring youths with a deep machete cut in the upper arm as he was being taken to a hospital for medication.
The Gwandara are said to be accusing the Eggon elite of being behind the woes of the governor, leading to the impeachment process by the state legislators.
Maku, the information minister, is of the Eggon extraction whereas Governor Al-Makura is of Gwandara ethnic stock; the latter are considered one of the smallest ethnic nationalities in the state.
When our correspondent visited the scene of the violence, burnt-down commercial tricycles littered the area even as shops and other business premises hurriedly closed for fear of being vandalized.
Meanwhile the protesters visited the Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Isa Mustapha Agwai I, in his palace to register their disapproval of the impeachment move by the state assembly.
In the same vein, the Nasarawa State first lady Hajiya Salamatu Al-Makura has called on the people of the state to remain calm as various women groups took to the streets on Thursday to protest the impeachment notice served on the governor.
Mrs Al-Makura, while addressing the protesters at the government house in Lafia, urged them to be very prayerful and not take laws into their hands.
She expressed optimism that the governor would overcome the impeachment saga and return to continue with his developmental agenda.
“I would like to urge you all to intensify your prayers for God to take charge of the situation as nothing is beyond him to handle,” Al-Makura said.
She commended the women for the show of love and support to the governor and promised to deliver their message to him.
She observed that the lawmakers ought to have consulted with their constituents before taking the decision to impeach the governor.
Earlier, Hajiya Hajara Danyaro, convener of the protest, said the impeachment move by the state assembly was calculated to destabilize the state.
She maintained that, as mothers, they chose not to remain quiet owing to the fact that, in the event of crisis, women and children suffer more casualties.
According to Danyaro, the allegation of gross misconduct levelled against the governor was unfounded and malicious.
“We are saying no to impeachment of the people’s governor because, as far as we are concerned, Al-Makura is the best governor Nasarawa has ever had,” Danyaro added.
LEADERSHIP FRIDAY investigation revealed that the Nasarawa State House of Assembly had on Monday sat for only 15 minutes and passed a resolution for impeachment notice against Al-Makura.
The Assembly further directed its Clerk to serve the governor, saying that if he was unable to serve him with the notice, he should proceed to serve him through the media.
The Assembly thereafter proceeded on recess.
Presidency behind my travails – Gov. Al-Makura
Governor Umoru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State has attributed his present travails to the Presidency.
The governor made the disclosure through his senior special assistant on public affairs, Abdulhamid Yakubu Kwarra, while fielding questions from journalists in Jos, the Plateau State capital, yesterday.
According to him, this development is meant to destabilize APC-controlled states in the country.
Kwarra said: “They are threatened by the monumental achievements of the APC administration in Nasarawa State; there is no administration that is as corrupt as the present PDP-led government in the country.
“Authorities in Abuja should stop the bull from entering a china shop. They are opening a new war front; they should address the issue of the insecurity and Chibok girls instead of chasing shadows in the country.”
He further stressed that they were exploring all the options available to them, pointing out that a situation where members of the State House of Assembly exercise their power without decorum will be highly resisted.

Presidency keeps mum
Efforts to get official response on the allegation from the presidential spokesperson, Dr. Reuben Abati, proved abortive as he failed to respond to several calls and text messages made to his phone as at press time.

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