It is no longer news that Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku of Taraba State has joined the league of governors that run their states’ affairs from either the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) or overseas. Ishaku was last seen in the state on December 22, 2019, few days after presentation of the 2020 appropriation bill to the state House of Assembly.
What people of the state find upsetting, however, is his failure to hand over power to his deputy before leaving. The situation has brought government activities to a standstill in the state. And just like the governor, civil servants no longer deem it fit to go to their areas of primary assignments, as nothing has been put in place to monitor their activities.
Currently, government activities are being executed in Abuja, where the Governor now resides. Apparently, the seat of power has been relocated to the FCT, as top government functionaries now shuttle between Taraba and Abuja to get files signed and memos approved by the Governor.
Also, the state House of Assembly has joined the queue of those using taxpayers’ money to charter flights to Abuja to pay homage to their boss. For instance, shortly after signing the 2020 appropriation bill into law, the House leadership hurriedly took the budget to Ishaku in Abuja to sign it into law.
This development prompted the leadership of the major opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to call on the state House of Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, invoke Section 190 Sub Section 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and transmit power to the Deputy Governor, Engineer Haruna Manu.
The state chairman of APC, Barrister Ibrahim Tukur El-Sudi, wondered why Ishaku “has decided to desert the state without due process.” He reiterated his party’s determination to drag the governor to court, should the House continue to derail from its constitutional responsibilities.
El-Sudi said: “The governor’s absence from the state since last year has crippled government activities, as civil servants have also started to desert office. APC in the state would tread all legitimate paths to put the right pegs in the desired holes…”
The state secretariat, as at the time of filing this report, has become a shadow of itself. Some public servants agreed that government activities have been relocated to the federal capital territory.
But Ishaku’s long absence is also not going down well with members of the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Majority of them believed that, if such action was not urgently addressed, it would tell negatively on the party in 2023.