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Date Published: 05/11/09

Re: Adamawa: Nyako’s Religious Segregation

The underlying current associated with political animosity and smear-campaign in Adamawa State has expectedly heightened. In Adamawa state, the intrigues that characterize politicking are not alien to the average news follower in Nigeria. Of greater interest is the fact that the political firmament of the state, which is saturated with malice, is very often targeted at those in power by spineless shenanigans that operate under false names. Of recent, one of such names as Dr. Stephens Manzo El-Manu, who claims to represent a bogus Nigeria Council of Jerusalem Pilgrims, of No. 17 Ibrahim Kashim Way, Yola, Adamawa State is one of such dubious names making the rounds on the internet today.

On the 30 th of April 2009, an article was published on the internet, particularly on Pointblanknews.com titled “Nyako’s Religious Segregation” intended to blackmail Adamawa’s most detribalised and performing governor. More worrisome is the crass fabrication of lies and inaccuracies of the article, which clearly exposes the interests of the persons behind the bogus name. Without an iota of doubt the age-long practice of sharing and eating public resources, which Nyako has blocked is the driving force behind the article. Before the coming on board of this administration, the practice has been that of patronising the upper echelon of the society alone, in what was referred to as “giving honour to whom honour is due”. Therefore, the write-up did nothing but exposed the greed of the faces behind it.


This response does not intend to unmask the masquerades behind the article; rather it intends to expose the falsehood and crass lies of the nefarious write-up. Despite his attempt to conceal his identity and those of his accomplices, any discerning man that understands Adamawa politics can without iota of doubt decipher the handwriting on the wall. If the author really meant well, he could have used his name instead of hiding behind a bogus name. Alas, the author and his principals should have known that nobody takes any write-up with a fictitious name serious.

As it appears, the brains behind the write-up have a grouse against the Adamawa state government under the able leadership of His Excellency, Dr. Murtala Nyako whom they accused of prosecuting an “ethno-religious agenda”. It is quite relieving to note in the subsequent paragraph that the author confessed his ignorance of Nigeria’s current economic situation, which affected all the 36 States’ earnings occasioned by a general allocation slash-down.

Rather than start making a storm in a teacup, he should have asked the relevant questions. If he had cared to find out, the author would have been informed that all ministries, boards and parastatals in the state were affected in the subvention slash-down, as occasioned by a near 50 percent reduction from federal allocation. It is therefore mischievous to have claimed that the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board was an exception. In fact, there has never been anytime in the history of this administration when any of the two Pilgrims boards was allocated as much as N2 million as monthly running cost the way it was cited in that mischievous article. This is simply a desperate attempt by those who were used to feeding fad on public resources to carve a niche for themselves by forcing our resiliently focused Governor to dance to their ill fated music.

On whether since Gongola days no administration has been so accused of ethno-religious matters, is admittedly so, and the reasons are not far fetched, even the most illiterate political bystander, cannot be confused about that. The singular reason is obvious, that since the creation of this state, no administration has been so grassroots-oriented in all its policies and programmes like the Nyako-led government. Just as it is also a common knowledge that the upper echelon of the society will always attempt to control any government to the hurt of the teeming populace. This defines the incessant weeping of ethno-religious sentiments by the same group of mischief-makers. Interestingly, they have failed to influence any public action due to Nyako’s incontestable performance, which the masses have come to experience after many years of neglect.

No one needs to be told that any attempt, let alone a demonstrated determination like the Nyako’s, to develop physical infrastructure, provide potable water, boost power generation, improve health-care delivery, revamp the economy through human capital development and economic empowerment, etc., will always elicit stiff opposition from a privileged few. Adamawa indigenes have in a short time come to redefine governance with the coming on board of Baba mai mangoro, as Nyako is fondly addressed throughout the State. Therefore, no form of blackmail and weeping of sentiments will alter the confidence the people have reposed on their performing governor.

The fact of the matter remains resounding so, that with Admiral Nyako in the saddle, our people have come to feel the real touch of government. As such, no concocted cry of marginalization by a bogus El-Manu with his dubious group will send them on a wild goose chase. The part that an El-Manu failed to unravel is whether Nyako’s near miraculous water supply, which has eluded us for many years runs through pipes into homes occupied by Muslim residents only. El-Manu still bears the burden of explaining if the free medi-care for pregnant women and children was flawed by any such ethno-religious discrimination. These are the issues on the front burner in Adamawa State and not some sheepish “ethno-religious segregation”. I contest that except El-Manu establishes a case against the foregoing paragraph, he does not mean well, even for the Christians he claim to represent.

On the issue of the Almajiri Qur’anic Education, let it be noted that the programme is an initiative of UNICEF and is being funded in partnership with UNDP and the Federal Government. The states are merely anchoring the programme with little counterpart funding. That is no issue at all!

For El-Manu to have attempted to make a case out of the quashed impeachment notice, arguing about the N360 million which was satisfactorily resolved is rather amusing. For the benefit of those he intends to mislead, the fact is that the Muslim Pilgrims Board took the short-time loan in order to pay for reservation of accommodation in Saudi Arabia, as well as book for airline pending when intending pilgrims must have completed payments. And the loan has since been paid back. To raise the issue at this point is tantamount to rubbishing the wisdom of the state House of Assembly for accepting the merit of the matter.

Conclusively, since such a fictitious and dubious character like El-Manu could advise our most revered Governor in his concluding paragraph, let me equally catch a leverage, to advise Baba mai mangoro not to be deterred by any such nefarious write-up. The majority of Christians and indeed all the good people of Adamawa State are not only impressed with your pragmatic leadership style, they are equally standing solidly behind you Sir. Therefore Baba, keep this pace, we are almost in the Promised Land.

Rev. Phineas T. Padio


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