Opinion: Plateau Senatorial Bye- Election: A Re-enactment of Dariye’s Failed Agenda?



By Jimmy Nanyak Lar

Ex-Governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye




During Chief Joshua Chibi Dariye’s rule on the Plateau between 1999 – 2007, there was a deliberate, planned and sustained plan to annihilate the Tarok race from the politics of the state.

This was with the view to ensuring that there was no dissenting view on whatever nefarious activity that went on at that time.

This Dariye did in concert with at least three other ethnic nationalities and he found a very good ally in one of the Goemai elders and lawyer, the late Barr. Miskoom Puepet. It was this lawyer, alongside others that chronicled the failed pamphlet that sought to demonize the Tarok race.

That pamphlet was supposed to be the basis to incite and excite other tribes to rise against the Tarokman. Unfortunately, it failed like a pack of cards alongside its authors. Needless to say that almost all the “authors” ( a lecturer in the sociology Dept. in Unijos was actually commissioned to write the pamphlet), are no more.

You would therefore recall that Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong was the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly during the period under review. Recall also that it was a period of a well planned and orchestrated “Minority Agenda”.

It is therefore not a coincidence that the planned grand conspiracy against the Tarok race, not only in the southern zone, but in Plateau State is re-enacting itself during Lalong’s time as governor.

It was when Lalong was speaker that the gentleman agreement of power sharing between Lowland West ( Shendam, Mikang and Qua’an-Pan) and Lowland East ( Wase, Langtang North and Langtang South) was first jettisoned. That was a period when both the Speaker of the House of Assembly and Senator came from Shendam LGA in clear contravention of the extant arrangements.

Now that he is the governor of Plateau State he has always insisted that all political and even civil service appointments are skewed in favour of his tribesmen, the Goemai. This therefore shows that Lalong is not only an accomplice to the Grand design, but also an excellent student of the Dariye School of Thought.

Secondly, it should be noted that the situation whereby more than 30 political appointments come from the governor’s kinsmen is itself a recipe for conflict and political agitation. This is further reinvigorated in the regrouping of Dariye’s former commissioners and their plan to have one of them emerge as governor in 2023.

To further buttress that, the foundation was laid by appointing Dariye’s preferred candidate in the 2007 gubernatorial election into a key position in Lalong’s Next Level government, preparatory to the final onslaught of the “Minority Agenda” in 2023.

Even more intriguing now is that the Kuje Correctional Facility has become a Mecca of some sort, so much such that for you to get any appointment on the Plateau you seek the blessings of the Czar of Kuje.

If in doubt, please show me any political appointee that did not visit Kuje and I will show that person that did not lobby for appointment but got one.

You would also agree with me that so many people have laboured for the party but from all indications it seems the reward system is not working, rather it is the punishment system that is palpable and conspicuously tangible and in place. Because it beats my imagination that despite the number of qualified women we have in the APC, Lalong did not see any of them worthy of being Senators, but rather he had to go all the way to the PDP to fish out Prof. Nora Daduut ( a Goemai daughter of Honour in one of the recent BIT GOEMAI).

Recall also that the death of Senator Longjan has a similarity with that of Abubakar Audu in Kogi State. In 2017 after the gubernatorial election, Prince Abubakar Audu died, but rather than get another candidate from his ethnic group, the aspirant that came second, Alh. Yahaya Bello was handed the baton to continue the race. That happened in the same APC as such I don’t think different standards should be used in a similar situation and in the same APC.

The person that came second in the last primaries was Hon. Nanven Nimfel and he is still alive, so why are they not asking him to step in as the candidate?

On the whole, what is more intriguing to me is that the leadership of the party in the state under the leadership of Chief Letep Dabang, although it is in a comatose state as I earlier pointed out, is keeping quite due to a multiplicity of factors. One of the perceived factors is that Letep Dabang is one of the aspirants in the 2023 gubernatorial election, as such he is playing safe by not stepping on the feet of the powers-that-be so as not to jeopardize his chances in the race.

On a final note, the decision of whether the governor will have his way or it is the will of the people that will prevail is anybody’s guess: Vox populi vox dei.

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