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Lessons as Gov Yahaya Apologises to Christians
Afraid that the people of his state, particularly Christians, could vote against in the March 18 governorship election, Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Yahaya, last week apologised to the Christian faithful in the state for all the wrongs he must have perpetrated against.
Yahaya, who is seeking re-election, tendered the apology during a meeting last week with leaders of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) at the Government House.
In 2021, Yahaya refused to announce Musa Maiyamba, a Christian who is also a graduate of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), as the new Mai (king) of the Tangale kingdom, despite being chosen by the kingmakers.
Following the claims that the governor was attempting to impose a Muslim on the kingdom, CAN in the state called for a three-day fast and prayers. It also called on him to respect the wishes of the people.
Before then, the governor had refused to appoint a Christian, Justice Beatrice L. Iliya, as the state Chief Judge.
The name of Justice Iliya, who was most senior judge in the state judiciary, was on many occasions omitted from the lists submitted to the Nigeria Judicial Council (NJC) by the state because was a Christian.
Even when the NJC turned down the state’s Chief Judge’s nominee list over the omission of Justice Iliya, the state government refused to be bothered. Instead, it kept on appointing a Muslim as acting Chief Judge.
Even when the discrimination attracted widespread condemnation from all and sundry, the state government did not care.
Now that his re-election is here, the governor is desperate and running from pillar to post, seeking forgiveness.
Though speaking during the meeting, he did not say what he was apologising for, everybody at the meeting knew.
Instead, he said his administration might have made some errors. He added that as a human being who is capable of erring, he thought it wise to apologise and seek a fresh start.
While promising to do better in his second administration, he said the upcoming elections should be devoid of sentiments. He called on the Christian community to vote for him again for the sustainability of the development of the state.
The Christian community at the end of the meeting unanimously agreed to forgive the governor and pledged to work toward his re-election bid. This should serve as lesson to others.