BY ABEL DANIEL
Recent events in Nasarawa State, which led to the suspension of the deputy governor, Chief Damishi Luka Barau, from the APC, is a clear indication that Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura has parted ways with his deputy.
Although the political landscape is still fluid and may keep changing as the state approaches another election cycle, Luka seems to have found himself in trouble over the statements he made that contradicted the position of the APC to the effect that party members in the National Assembly should block all bills initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan, including the 2014 Budget.
Al-Makura nevertheless denied any rift between him and his deputy while reacting to media reports recently during a meeting of the state Interim Management Committee of APC in Lafia.
He said that the reports in the media were the “handiwork of mischief makers who do not mean well for the state”. He added: “Those waiting to see friction between me and my deputy will have to wait till doomsday”.
The dooms day was imminent when Al-makura gave the prophecy about a month ago. Even though he tactically denied any rift with Luka , the hand writing was visible on the wall.
While stating the reason for the suspension of the deputy governor, Stanley Buba, the acting Chairman of APC in the state, said: “The party decided to suspend Luka-Barau over his comment in faulting the decision of the National Executive members of the party that its members at the National Assembly should block any bill sent by the president.
“Why should he as a member of the party go against the decision of the national leadership of the same party that brought him to power”. But the question political experts are asking is, should that statement of the deputy governor provoke the party to suspending him?”
The suspension has triggered bitter reactions from some stakeholders. First to react was a group called Nasarawa State Concerned APC Members which described the suspension as a clandestine plan devised to blackmail and humiliate Luka.
According to the group, led by Hon. Nathaniel Isa Nathaniel ,“we are aware that this plan is orchestrated to disrupt the peace that the state has enjoyed in the last few weeks and it seems some people prefer war to peace and harmony even at a time when our people are still in refugee camps in their own state”.
“We are shocked”, the group continued, “that Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura has hired reckless adventurers to help wage a vicious religious war concealed in the name of APC against the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the guise of fighting his deputy governor”.
The group alleged that Al-makura has always backstabbed his deputy. “Last December when the President Jonathan in company of other governors and deputy governors went on holy pilgrimage to the State of Israel, the governor used the opportunity to plan an impeachment against his deputy on the offense that he went to Israel in the President’s entourage”.
The group further alleged that “common sense has been thrown away in exchange for hatred, falsehood and political rascality that is fast gaining the ascendency in the state APC”.
However, in a response, Al-makura urged the members of the Nasarawa APC to remain committed, and never to be distracted by any group going about causing confusion in the party. The governor spoke while addressing candidates for the forth coming council elections in the state.
Damishi, who is presently in the United States of America on official trip, is yet to respond to the disciplinary action against him by his party.