By Yusuf Idris Gusau
An online dictionary summarizes
1. To make timid; fill with fear.
2. To coerce or deter, as with threats: The police intimidated the suspect into signing a false statement.
“Synonyms: intimidate, browbeat, cow, bully.
These verbs all mean to frighten into submission, compliance, or acquiescence. Intimidate implies the presence or operation of a fear-inspiring force.
“Browbeat suggests the persistent application of highhanded, disdainful, or imperious tactics: browbeating a witness. Cow implies bringing out an abject state of timorousness and often demoralization: a dog that was cowed by abuse.
“To bully is to intimidate through blustering, domineering, or threatening behavior: workers who were bullied into accepting a poor contract.”
Taraba State governor Darius Ishaku used this word about five times in the course of a 10 minute press conference after a hurried meeting of Peoples Democratic Party Northern Governors Caucus last Wednesday in Jalingo the capital centre of Taraba State.
The meeting was called according to him to show displeasure over the ruling All Progressives Congress recent poaching of opposition members especially PDP governors which included Mohammed Bello Matawallen Maradun, David Umahi and Ben Ayade of Zamfara, Ebonyi and Cross River respectively.
The All Progressives Party APC he alleged is intimidating Governors of their party, the PDP in the North to dump it.
Surely, this is panic mode activated. But why should that be so?
Ordinarily, the response to this allegation should be left for the National headquarters of the APC, but for the peculiar fact that my governor who ostensibly the target of these vituperations, His Excellency, Dr Bello Mohammed isn’t the only PDP Governor who left the Party and joined the APC from among the concerned Governors of the North.
This seem to make the allegation specially directed at him and hence our candid response because the Taraba state Governor tried to be clever by avoiding the mention of his attack by continuously using the “if you know what I mean”.
Of course we know what he means. It’s the extention of virulent campaign of threats by the national headquarters of the PDP to go to court to have Matawalle removed through unfair tactics.
It is therefore, incumbent upon us to remind the Northern PDP Governors that Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle, whom they all very well know, is a principled Politician who neither fears to take a decision nor harbor any skeleton in his cupboard to be intimidated by anyone. The records of his political carreer is there for any interested person to see.
Politics is basically premised on interest. In it, there is no permanent friend or enemy, but permanent interest. Matawalle’s interest at all times is that of his people. That is why he was in APP, ANPP, PDP and now APC depending in what his people want and what serves the interest of his people better.
His Excellency, Governor Bello Mohammed is governing a state that is most bedeviled by unparalleled insurgency and very poor economic base as well as very low income to the coffers of Government. Since the inception of his administration, he has enjoyed no moral support from his Political Party in addressing the ills bothering his state. What he receives from some of the Governors of the party was condescension and spite.
Ironically, it is the APC Government that mostly came to his rescue from attacks by same PDP Governors just as His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari that gives him extra-ordinary support in his efforts to end banditry and associated crimes in the state.
For those who do not know the political antecedents of Dr Bello Mohammed, let them know that he started this journey from 1993 and was elected member House of Representatives under UNCP in the third Assembly and reelected in fifth Assembly under the platforn of APP and ANPP (the yolk political Parties of the mega APC) where he was among the first Cabinet of Zamfara state and later third term National Assembly member. He willingly left the Party based on principle as at then just as he has left the PDP now based on principle.
His Excellency wishes to reiterate that he will now and in the future, continue to take any decision that is in the best interest of his people because every politician in Nigeria has the right to change his political Party for the interest of his people just as one of the spokesmen of the Party yesterday, Mr Ortom did for the good of his people abundant chieftains of what is called leaders of the PDP today.
His Excellency, Dr Bello Mohammed therefore, calls on the People’s Democratic Party to desist from making spurious allegations against his person as he has always been an open politician and an upright public servant who is above intimidation by anyone as he holds no skeleton in his cupboard to warrant bending backwards for any particular or collective interest.
YUSUF IDRIS GUSAU is the Director-General
Media, Public Enlightenment and Communications
Government House, Gusau