Gov. Al- Makura Linked With Ombatse Cult Group In Nasarawa
Testimonies and revelations coming from the judicial commission set up by the nasarawa state government, to investigate what is now known as ombatse killings, after the killing of over 73 law enforcement agents indicate that governor tanko al-makura, knew more than he claimed about the existence of the group.
For long, he had faced opposition from his constituents, who opposed his style as a politician and mounted several pressure on him through the Nasarawa state House of assembly to reverse most of his policies, which include the naming of state’s projects after his business interest.
However, the Nasarawa state born politician’s days as governor look like coming to an end, for weeks now the judicial commission set up by his administration, to investigate the killing of the 73 security operatives who were killed at Alakyo village, on May 7, 2013 might end his career as a politician.
Last week, signs that Al-Makura’s position was endangered became even more manifest as Zachariah Ahumagba, an ex-coordinator and legal adviser to the Omabtse group told the Commission of enquiry that Governor Al –Makura was one of their sponsors.
In his testimonies before the panel, Ahumagba, faulted Al- Makura claimed that the Omabtse group were responsible for the killing and crises in the state.
In a chat with our reporter, Ahumagba, said before the Aakiyo crises, governor Al-Makura, had in September, 2012 indicated his interest in the activity of the group, according to the legal adviser and ex coordinator of Ombatse Cult “ We were holding one of our prayer sessions, on September, 18, 2012, when Al- Makura sent one of his permanent secretary to invite us for a meeting in his house. At the meeting he told us he was interested in what he was we were doing. So at what point did the Omabtse cult become a militia?” he asked.
Indeed, Ahumagba, while answering questions at the judicial commission of enquiry, last week specifically point at Al-Makura as the main financier of the Ombatse Cult.
“Governor Al –Makura knows who Ombatse is. He should fish them out. I remember the last time we, the executive of Ombatse attended a peace meeting that lasted two hours- The governor gave N=2m, N=1 each to Ombatse and Eggon cultural Development Association, ECDA. This is the financing I am talking about” Alumaga, said.
Governor Al- Makura, s standard response to the allegation was that he is been persecuted by the Ombatse cult.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Iliya Yakubu, he denied sponsoring the group, saying “The money the governor gave to the group, is a normal tradition, when anybody visit the governor, even as a journalist, if he invites you, he must give you something” he said.
On the invitation of the Cult leaders to his House he said “They were invited to the house by the governor because they blocked the road, and the governor called them to appeal to them”
The governor’s defence did not only sound tentative but incoherent in the face of the grave allegation of his alleged membership of the Ombatse cult.
According to a member of the Ombatse group, “Their defence cannot stand the test of time, if the governor is that generous, dishing out millions of the tax payers money to every visitor to his house, then his house should have now become a sort of Mecca, for the poverty striking indigenes of the state. But this up rising will bring out the beast in us”
“The Federal Government should wade into this allegations, the implications are not far fetch, that was how it all started in Borno state and today, the government is spending trillions to fight a politically motivated insurgence. We cannot afford that in Nasarawa state because it will spread to Abuja, considering the proximity.
The immunity Al Makura enjoys as a governor does not cover his involvement in any act of terrorism” said one of the leaders of Eggon community in Lafia, the state capital.
Indeed, Alumaga,berated both governor Al- makura, and his predecessor in office, Abdullahi Adamu, for the crises in the state, saying “ their attitude toward Eggon people also contributed to the crises in Nasarwa state.
According to him “The successive regime from the time of Senator Adamu, had introduced one form of a draconian policy, targeted at the Eggons, in the area of employment. They initiated a policy that all civil servants should go back to the local government of their origins, this policy was targeted at the Eggons” he said.
The legal luminary challenged Al- Makura to release the white paper on the May, last year mayhem which states that the Eggons are not indigenes of Assakio.
“The invasion of our shrine by the armed Soldiers at Alagoni hills also fueled the crises”
He listed some of the grievances of the Eggons to include the exclusion of the people from the relief materials given to displace Eggons in the crises prone area.
Alumaga, said that the governor showed no concerned over the attacked on over 200 Eggon communities in which over 249 Eggons were killed by hired Fulani mercenaries that were camped at the governor’s country home of Kwandare.
Governor Al- Makura, in his attempts to extricate himself in the complicity in the gruesome murder of the 73 security agents he sent to raid the Ombatse shrine, after he allegedly fell apart with the Eggon based cult leaders, might have opened a Pandora box. How he explain his role in the alleged sponsoring of a cult group which he is been alleged to be a member remain to be seen.
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