From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Taraba State Inter-Faith Peace Coalition has condemned the attack on Governor Darius Ishaku by the Muslim Council in the state who accused the governor of marginalising Muslims Ummah in the state.
The group disclosed this in a press statement jointly signed by its Coordinators, Mallam Ayuba Shitu Abdullahi and Mr Timothy Audu after an emergency meeting in Jalingo on Wednesday.
The coalition who affirmed that the administration of Governor Darius Ishaku has a non-discriminatory policy where Christian and Muslim faithful are fairly treated across the state described as untrue, the allegation by the Muslims Council.
The inter Faith Coalition, which comprises an independent group of respected Muslim and Christian clerics and professionals with the sole aim of promoting a harmonious relationship between both faiths, therefore, appealed to religious leaders and groups in the state not to fan the embers of disunity among the people.
‘Let us however put it on record, that Governor Ishaku-led administration has always supported the Muslim faith at various times when the need arises.
‘One of such is the recent appointment of a Federal Minister who is a Muslim from Taraba who openly commended the governor during his courtesy visit in Jalingo for being instrumental for his emergence as Minister. This alone clearly shows the Muslim Council allegation was unfounded,’ the coalition noted.
‘On the recent appointments of Permanent Secretaries; our findings show that no Senior Muslim civil servant who was due and qualified to be promoted to the rank of Permanent Secretary was denied. Currently, the Muslims still have a good number of permanent secretaries in the state civil service.
‘Appointment of civil servants as Permanent Secretaries under the current administration has always been based on merit and the records are available in the public domain,’ the group stated.
‘Governor Ishaku has appointed Muslims permanent secretaries since he was elected as governor in 2015, the recent list after a thorough investigation, shows that it was purely based on merit. Therefore we view the Muslim Council’s position as not representing the true happening of the peaceful coexistence between both faiths in Taraba State.
‘It is also very important to note that many Muslims in the state is spearheading various critical government agencies and are also top management staff at various ministries.
‘We have enjoyed a largely religious peaceful atmosphere under the Governor Ishaku-led administration; it’s extremely surprising that after almost seven years of good governance, any group would allege marginalisation by this government.
‘We are aware that politicians have resorted to using religion to further divide and polarise the people of Taraba, it is disappointing that some members of the Muslims Council are falling for this gimmick from this desperate segment of our state who wants to destabilise Taraba State.
‘We want to immediately call on both sides of faith to stop what is gradually snowballing into a meaningless exchange of words, we must cherish our peace, also on no account should any group clamour for the same religion ticket at the governorship election,’ the statement said.