Since this column debuted on September 8, 2018, I have received reactions from readers over some of the published articles. In line with my promise that I shall someday grant their right to reply on some of my views as published in this column, I have today fulfilled my promise. Due to limited space, I have had to edit some of the comments in order to create space for others. In particular, an article by Mr. Iliyasu Gadu on his reaction to my article, ‘How not to drag Gen Danjuma into Tiv/Jukun crisis’ was painfully edited for space. For those whose reactions do not appear today, all hope is not lost.
How Not To Drag Gen Danjuma Into Jukun/Tiv Crisis
After reading the article entitled, How not to drag Gen Danjuma into Jukun/Tiv crisis,’ written by Simon Reef Musa with all the encomiums and attributes the author heaped on his subject matter, the question is: why is it that despite all the supposedly towering personality General Danjuma has attained in the nation he not brought his influence to bear in, at least, dousing the never-ending bloodbath between the Jukuns and Tivs which has been going on now for decades.
That General Danjuma is one of the most significant personalities in Nigeria due mostly to his outstanding role and contributions in some of the most critical periods of contemporary Nigerian events as an officer of the Nigerian Army and as a businessman is not in doubt
If there is any one man living today who can bring the Jukuns and Tivs together to stop the incessant fighting between the two tribes, it is the general. By bloodline, upbringing, education and Influence, General Danjuma’s connections to both the Jukuns and the Tivs is not in doubt. He has filial links to the Tivs; he schooled in the famous Government College Katsina-Ala which was the preeminent secondary school in the former Benue province, the “Barewa College” of the area. But despite all this one can hardly recall an occasion where General Danjuma ever organised a conclave of Jukun and Tiv people to meaningfully and constructively engage themselves to tackle the many issues that militate against peaceful coexistence between them.
But what will rank as the most act of dissonance with his people is General Danjuma’s singular failure to positively intervene in the sectarian crisis that has ravaged the area. Takum, the General’s ancient hometown, with a rich history, has been without a traditional ruler for decades now. There is almost always a state of tense existence between the Kutebs and Chamba, the two major ethnic groups in the area. And yet the general has never sought to bring and admonish them to peaceful coexistence.
The call by General Danjuma on people to take up arms against the authorities at the convocation of the Taraba state University should not be trifled. It is not only an invitation to anarchy but a treasonable act.
Was it not in his days as Army Chief that a pronouncement was made to the effect that even the mere thought of planning a mutiny in one’s own mind was a capital offence punishable by death for which scores of promising young officers were shot? Would General Danjuma in his days either as Army Chief or Defence Minister tolerate a situation where a retired officer will call on the populace to take up arms against the very institution that made him what he is today no matter the gravity of the grievances one holds against the state?
For all of his shortcomings in our expectation of him, our people still regard and accord General Danjuma the respect he deserves as an elder statesman (Basho) in Jukun land and for his indelible achievements in the history of Nigeria. We are also proud that other Nigerians find him worthy of recognition in this respect. But this, however, cannot prevent us from saying the truth about the general warts and all. – Iliyasu Gadu, Abuja.
Life @50: My Thoughts For Nigeria
Your thoughts @ 50 made interesting reading. Pieces that come from the heart, like yours are indelible and evokes deep thought among so many of your regular readers like me. Will continue to be loyal. Your able Chairman!
– Nasir I, Abuja
I celebrate a rare gene, one of the simplest personalities on earth; my model and a man from whom I have learnt very good morals. You really made your Mother proud and have genuinely immortalized her through your scholarly achievements of becoming an English teacher. Given the precarious situation Nigeria has found herself, we need nothing short of focused and purposeful leadership. We should organise a round-table conference meeting to assess and re-assess our journey so far in order to chat a new cause for Nigeria and must be anchored on true federalism. Our security focus should be redefined.– Godfrey balaka, Lokoja, Kogi State
I have gone through your piece on ‘Life @50: My Thoughts For Nigeria’ and found it an interesting read. It was splendid reading your piece and I wish to congratulate you for all the wonderful memories you shared. Attaining 50 years in Nigeria is not a mean feat, and you must count yourself lucky for staying the course despite the difficulties of life. No matter what happens, there is hope for our country and we should never give up despite the odds. – Shehu Yakubu, Maiduguri, Borno State.
Your article reminded me of my days when I was growing up. I can smell the kindness of Nigerians and our ability to stand by one another. Now, we have elevated money to the status of a god. We have all abandoned the virtues of the good old days and now see money as the ultimate. Unfortunately, there is still hope for all us and the country. All we need is to look beyond the challenges of our present and focus in regaining the glory of tomorrow. Happy birthday to you.
– Njoku Obiorah, Kaduna
Bloodbath: Danger Signs For Common Humanity
The devastations of Boko Haram and other criminals unleashing violence on our people have become disturbing. If Nigeria is to be saved, we must ensure our security system tackles these monsters and restore the piece of the past. As Nigerians, we should see this country as our own and always be willing to assist the police in tackling problems that confront us as a nation. The dream for our country’s development can only be attained only if we do away with these criminal elements who would not spare anything to throw the country into a bloody spectre of catastrophe. Your article on ‘Bloodbath: Danger signs for common humanity’ is a wake-up call on the Federal Government to do the needful before it is too late – Stephen Amos, Jalingo, Taraba State.
Re: There Can be No Bad Peace
Your piece on ‘There can be no bad peace’ on the abduction and killing of the Agom Adara, Dr Maiwada Raphael Maiwada reveals the personage of the slain monarch as a man of peace. While we shall continue to pray for the arrest of his murderers, we must always work in unity to resolve problems that militate against our unity and development. The Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari should not rest on its oars to bring justice to criminals who kill and unleash violence on law-abiding citizens. – Hajara Mutum, Gombe
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