By Femi Bolaji
The Taraba state government and the State Muslim Council were at the weekend locked in war of words over appointments both in government and at the state Sharia Court of Appeal.
The Council at a briefing, reportedly alleged that the governor Darius Ishaku led administration who appointed 12 new permanent secretaries recently had no Muslim selected.
The Council also claimed that the State Sharia Court of Appeal had been neglected since the demise of the late Grand Kadi and was short of Kadis to form quorum for sitting.
But responding, the State Commissioner for Information, Danjuma Adamu disputed the claims of bias in appointments raised by the Muslim Council against the state government.
He asked the council to name any senior Civil servant in its fold due for promotion to Permanent Secretary who was denied.
According to him, “the Taraba state Government equally views the move as a deliberate attempt to disrupt the relative peace being enjoyed in the state, particularly the mutual respect among the adherents of the two dominant religions.
“It is important to stress that the Taraba State Muslim Council took the wrong step in channelling its complaint of the so-called marginalisation of Muslims in appointments.
“Only recently, to be precise during the Christmas homage on Governor Darius Ishaku in December last year, the Muslim Council led by its Chairman, Abdulmumin Abubakar, a retired Khadi praised His Excellency for his fairness in dealing with the two major religions.
“But what may be responsible for the sudden change in the position of the Muslim Council? Could this be hypocrisy or what went wrong? The leadership of the Council will be in a better position to explain the sudden twist of events.
“Government wishes to state categorically that the allegation of marginalisation of Muslims in Taraba State is false, unfounded and an attempt to distract the administration and cause religious and political tension in the state, especially now that the process for the nomination of candidates for election into political offices are about to commence.
“The Ishaku administration totally rejects this unpatriotic attempt and insists that at no time, did government exhibited bias against any group in the state, whether ethnic or religious in appointments and in the provision of amenities.
“Rather, it followed very strictly, constitutional provisions and all other existing statutory guidelines in appointments to key positions in government.“
The Chief of Staff to the governor, Istifanus Gbana, who also spoke said appointment of new Khadis follows laid down constitutional guidelines of nominations by the appropriate authorities which the executive has no power over.