Yakubu Busari, Jos
The Tarok Progressive Youth Association (TAPYA) an umbrella body of the Tarok Youth globally, has accused the elders of the people of secretly endorsing the former Federal Capital Territory ,FCT, Minister ,Lt General Jeremiah Timbut Useni as their governorship choice and called on stakeholders to ignore the endorsement.
In a press conference at the Nigerian Union of Journalists ,NUJ, in Jos, the Plateau State capital, Comrade Lohnan Samson and Barrister Singa Edward Zhattau
TAPYA, President and Secretary–General of the group argued that the Elders Forum that endorsed Useni was non-existent as the Ponzhi Tarok, paramount ruler disbanded it on March 28 2008.
They said: “And with due respect to the rights of these elders to peaceful assembly and association and their freedom of expression as provided for in the Constitution, we would not stand idly by and watch as misleading information is being deposited and peddled within the public domain.
“We are not unaware of the fact that there are many gubernatorial aspirants of Tarok extraction who have picked up nomination forms of their various political parties; these include, among others: Mr. Godfrey Mamzhi of the SDP, Mr. Nanzing Bako of the ANN, Senator Victor Lar, Senator Jeremiah Useni, Engineer Jimmy Cheto, Engineer Ponyak Ibrahim, all of the PDP etc.
“And as bona fide Tarok sons, we could not have jettisoned one for the other by way of endorsement, except where the aspirants themselves arrived at a consensus which would imply a voluntary withdrawal by the rest of the aspirants in recognition of the aspiration of one person, and not the coronation by a group of elders as is the instant case.
“To the best of our knowledge, there has been no time whereby the Plateau family resolved that the 2019 election is strictly a Tarok affair, as the earlier statement by some Tarok elders would suggest.
“Accordingly, we need not speak of the fact that the office of the Governor is open to all qualified indigenes of Plateau State and Nigerian citizens alike and cannot be the exclusive preserve of a given ethnic nationality to warrant the statement issued by the elders concerned.
“We hereby view that statement as nothing but an attempt to first of all create disaffection among the Tarok gubernatorial aspirants and by extension the Tarok nation, and secondly, to place us on a collision course with the rest of the ethnic nationalities in Plateau State
“Being critical stakeholders who would fight to preserve the political future of the Tarok nation, we reject any attempt to portray the Tarok nation as one that is set out to achieve a sinister ethnic agenda, as against the collectivist and engaging political approach that has, over time, defined us as a people within the larger Plateau political family.”