For timeworn, ethnicity, tribalism, and religious bigotry have been the clogs in the wheel of instituting a peaceful coexistence among us in spite of our necessitated human miscellany.
The fact has always been that the humanity in us supersedes any other thing that defines us as humans, but despondency, that does not equally stop some ethnic and religious bigots from propelling pointless disputes and acrimonies between humans, nay brothers, by craftily masking themselves under the needless ethnic, tribal, and religious pods that have never befitted any society.
The case of Gombe is extremely worrisome.
It pains many of us to see how some few people are taking undue political advantage of the demographics and other polarizing pointers to cry marginalization in clear and apparent misunderstanding of the rare privilege of birth as a right of entitlement to the many shades of limited opportunities within the state.
To these proponents of polarization, virtually everything must be coloured using ethnic, tribal, and religious shades.
One of the cases in question is the recent appointment of the Gombe State chief judge.
It’s so despising to see how this appointment was given a needless political, gender, ethnic and religious coloration as if someone’s right was grossly violated.
Where were they when a Christian from Gombe South spent 20 years as the chief judge and no Muslim has ever raised an eyebrow?
Undeniably, to all those who are very much familiar with this terrain, Gombe State is a multi-ethnic society that consists of the dominant Fulani and Hausa tribes who inhabit the northern part of the state comprising Dukku, Kwami, Funakaye, Nafada, and Gombe local government areas.
Also, the Central Senatorial District which has Akko and Yamaltu Deba is densely populated by the Muslim population.
While, the Southern zone with four local governments of Billiri, Balanga, Kaltungo and Shongom has the highest Christian population but with virtually every household having a native and biological Muslim relative.
In further justification of my view point, most of the prominent and successful political leaders Gombe South has ever produced are all native Muslims.
People like late Shehu Awak, Sen. Idris, Sen. Ajuji Waziri, Sen. Uba Ahmed, Yunusa Kaltungo and a host of others.
It’s therefore surprising that someone will come out today to allege that they are being marginalized because of their religion or anything else.
This is, for want of a better term, preposterous and greatly disconcerting.
Let it be known, that the gentleman arrangement where the slot of the deputy governor is always thrown to Gombe South is just a rare privilege accorded to them and not a right by any definition.
In all climes, politics is a game of numbers and in every ramification, Gombe South has never acquired the requisite numerical and political strength to intimidate other parts of the state.
It’s on record that the zone gave only 15 percent votes to the former President Jonathan as the PDP’s 2015 presidential candidate who is also a Christian.
This is not entirely because the Christian South does not love the erstwhile president, it is simply a testament of their numerical deficiency.
This was how the voting pattern was done on the basis of one’s religion.
Today, after giving them critical positions like the deputy governor, SSG, chairman of the UBEC and in summary, only six out of the 37 appointments given to the sons and daughters of Gombe South are Muslims, 31 are all Christians yet, they are still murmuring that Muslims were favoured by the administration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya.
When did we become religious fanatics in Gombe?
If Nasir El-Rufa’i could pick a Muslim running mate from Southern Kaduna, a zone which is predominantly Christian, adopting same method in Gombe by any prospecting candidate will be not be without merit as I believe that will give him or her an edge over all other candidate(s) who may think picking a running mate from Gombe South is sacrosanct.
It’ll serve as a bitter lesson by those fuelling the divisive commentaries on marginalization and I contend it will serve them best.
Gombe is the only state we can call ours in spite of our respective zones and the pointless agitations by the people of the Southern zone will only expose their numerical weakness if they continue to harp on that.
Democracy is a game of numbers!
Though, this article is not meant to steer or promote division among us, however, I think it will serve our collective re-emergence better if we begin to encourage politicians from Gombe North and Central to reciprocate the Kaduna gesture by picking a Muslim running mate from the Gombe South.
Bala writes from Gombe.