The Kaduna State Chapter of Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria have threatened to mobilise the over 25 million of their members across the country to stage a peaceful protest in Nasarawa State, against the plot by the state lawmakers to impeach the State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al Makura, who is also a member and supporter of the association.
In an interview with Channels Television in Kaduna on Thursday, spokesman of the association, Mohammed Abdullahi, and some other members said that the Nasarawa State lawmakers were plotting to remove the Governor not because of any tangible offence as alleged, but because the Governor is a disabled person, having developed deafness at the age of 37. They, therefore, vowed that such move would be resisted by the association.
They also criticised the statement credited to the Nasarawa State PDP Chairman, Yunana Iliya, sometime ago that Al-Makura should resign over his hearing impairment or face impeachment by the State House of Assembly, expressing disappointment that someone so high in the society would make such remarks on disability.
While describing the statement as “immoral, inhuman and ungodly”, the association accused the PDP of being behind the plot to remove the governor by all means.
They stressed that Governor Al Makura had alleviated the sufferings of the less privileged and persons with disabilities in the state through empowerment programmes and recruiting their members into the state civil service, pointing out that being disabled is not the end of life as according to them, Al Makura became the governor of Nasarawa State as a person with hearing impairment, and has also transformed the state more than his predecessors.
The Emir of Lafia, Dr. Mustapha Agwai, has opened a peace pact between members of the State Assembly and Governor Al-makura, as street protests in the state capital enters day two.
The intervention came as the mass protest in solidarity with Governor Al-makura, continued to ground activities and obstructing free movement, shutting down the state capital.
Tension rose among the protesters who throng the streets of Lafia, Doma and Keana, with reports of impending break down of law and order.
Some protesters, made up of politicians, youths, women, non-indigenes and some PDP members were at the Emir’s palace in Lafia with placards that had solidarity messages inscribed on them, demanding the Emir’s intervention between the lawmakers and the Governor.
Addressing the crowd of protesters at the palace, Dr. Mustapha Agwai urged the people to remain law abiding, as the traditional institution wades into the dispute to find an amicable solution.
Consoled by the assurances of the Emir, the non-indigenes from Igbo, Igala, Yoruba and South-South tribes, resident in the state, also added their voices, urging the lawmakers to heed the advice of their electorates.
With Military men and Police in most parts of the state, it is hoped that an amicable solution would be found, as reports have indicated security concerns about the safety of the people.
Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State has charged the newly elected local government chairmen in the state to be accountable to the people that elected them.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of the chairmen, Governor Al-Makura said his administration will give the chairmen free hands to run their councils.
Al-Makura said his administration was determined to entrench good governance rooted in prudence and effective management of resources.
He tasked the new council chairmen to strive to provide dividends of democracy to the electorates and urged them to see their assignment as a divine calling for which they would give account hereafter, and advised them to be fair to everyone.
The governor challenged the officials to work toward improving internally generated revenue of their councils so as to have more funds for project execution.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Henry Omaku, Chairman, Doma Local Government Council, promised that the new officials would strive to improve on the living standard of their people.
On Sunday, the Nasarawa State Independent Election Commission released results for ten local government areas and declared election inconclusive in three local government areas including Akwanga, Obi and Nasarawa following irregularities.