by Dater, Pekop Dawu

Personally, I don’t believe in the concept of a new year hence I don’t see any new year as a time for celebration of any sort. Though I used to be emotionally attached to such ideas and concepts as new year resolutions, new year prophesies, new year – new life, so and so year: my year of endless blessings/breakthroughs etc, but not anymore; infact those things don’t make any sense to me again especially now that I have learnt to think with my head and not my emotions. I therefore live happily every new day in whatever month of whatever year and at the close of each day, I take time to evaluate successes and failures recorded in the days gone by to be able to plan better for projected successful days ahead which holds no guarantees of absolute absence of failure and errors and mistakes. I make plans on a daily basis to succeed but not unmindful of unforseen pitfalls, unforseen obstacles and unforseen setbacks. So I just get ready for the journey ahead, set the journey in motion, having in mind the possiblity of a fall; but when I fall, I don’t stay down, I rise and move on. I welcome mistakes, welcome errors, correct them and move on.

However, I consider this year, 2022 as a special year. This may require that I get my emotions activated once again even if it is just for the sake of this article. This is particularly so because the year ushers in a lot of political activities for the good people of Plateau state and Nigeria at large. Citizens look ahead with high hopes and expectations for a change in the political leadership structure of the state. Indeed, a leadership no matter how effective, needs to change hands to give way to a new structure and in so doing, new ideas get injected into the system; thus becoming noticeably captivating. Indeed, you don’t get tired of meals when dishes and recipes are changed from time to time. Hence, 2022 becomes special because it is the year citizens are excited as they look forward to select candidates of their choice to govern them in 2023. It is for this reason of specialty of the year that I therefore wish us all a happy and prosperous new year (but why is it even called a new year? Besides, the year will definitely get old with the passage of time; why call the whole year a new year since it will later get old then?). If this being the case, let me wish us a prosperous 2022 instead.

Be that as it may, let’s redirect focus towards the main thrust of the motivation which is the driving force behind this article. While one would have been excited that 2022 being the penultimate year to 2023 was finally here with renewed hope that citizens will get to chose the best for the state among the credible candidates that currently flood the political space, one is rather placed in a position to weep because it appears we have lost it even before we start. We need to weep for the state because of tribal bigots who have no particular reason for campaigning for a particular candidate instead of the others apart from the fact that they belong to the same tribe with the candidate—worshipers of the idol of the tribe. We need to weep for the state because of village champions who keep sowing seeds of hatred among Plateau sons and daughters out of tribal and village sentiments. We need to weep for the state because of those tribal jingoists who do not know that tribe is nothing more than a means of communication. We need to weep for the state because of those village champions who fail to realise that a village is nothing beyond a geographical location, it confers no special privileges on anybody to make them more human than others from other villages. I must confess that we are faced with a tough choice of selecting the best candidate to govern Plateau state because the candidates who have offered themselves to serve the state so far have very intimidating leadership credentials/experiences that is unprecedented in the life of the state. So intimidating are the qualities and credibility of the candidates so much so that it will be difficult to chose the best of the bests among them— such personality who is to be considered as one who stands out from crème de la crème of the state that have already saturated the political space. As a people who are just coming out of a very bad leadership under Governor Lalong who has made for himself a name of being the worst in the history of the state, the crop of credible candidates who have indicated interest in taking over Little Reyfield becomes symbolic of the sweet wine at the wedding in Cana after we have been drunk to stupor on the bad leadership of Governor Lalong the self styled hero in leadership failure and ineptitude/incompetence. We would have been a lucky people given the crème of candidates on ground for selection but the danger we now face is the no love lost (mutual hatred and animosity) that now looms large among the citizens of the state because of tribal sentiments.

As the race for Little Reyfield thickens, the political atmosphere looks gloomy because the state especially the central zone is highly polarised and sharply divided along tribal lines. These divisions may look simple on the surface level but those who pay very close attention to the trends in the campaigns would have been able to notice how deep the divisions have become. Inter-tribal, inter-local government and inter-village hatred is becoming deep seated. It seems we have all gone blind. Tribesmen, bigots and village champions have taken over the deck from genuine statesmen and the ship is heading to only God knows where. While under Governor Lalong, we have been lost and left wandering in the woods but while it was time to come out, we are rather wandering farther away into the deep thick forests because of tribal superiority. May I warn at this point that we cannot afford the cost of another protest vote in 2023 after being brain washed by the merchants of ethnicity who have nothing to offer other than to whip sentiments.

Even Satan knows the danger of being divided against himself. This is why Jesus said in Matthew 12:26 “And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?” It was noted in verse 25: “Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.”” We have suffered enough loses from the deep fractured divisions that we have been made to endure since 2015. Plateau state is now lying in ruins. 2023 beacons on Nehemiah and his men to arise and rebuild the broken walls of Plateau state. Patriots and statesmen must be stationed by their clans with their swords, their spares and their bows to resist and repel and crush Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites rather than allow senseless seeds of divisions get planted among us. Paul said in 1Corinthians 1:12—13 “…each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” The question is “who does the person you support aspire to govern? Does he aspire to govern Plateau state or your tribe? Is Plateau state divided? Or was Plateau state created in the name of your tribe? Do you think those who leave candidates from their own tribe to support candidates from your own tribe are fools? The tribe we all should belong to is Plateau state and nothing more; no tribe is more Plateau than the other. This is profound.

The tower of Babel had a mighty fall because the people started speaking confused languages. Before they abandoned the project as a result of their confused language God had noted in Genesis 11:6 –7: “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” Then in verse 8: So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. Plateau people must steer clear of the danger of a confused language. It is time to rise from the ashes and start speaking one language. We are called upon in Philippians 2:3—4 to “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Plateau will surely rise again.

Dater Pekop Dawu has been the Golden Voice of Reason that Resonates from the Wilderness.

Feedbacks, contributions and observations can be sent via email to daterpekop@gmail.com, text or Whatsapp messages to 07039495526.

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| Opinion |
About The Author
- A writer/author, media and communication strategist, a political think tank/consultant, development/political economist, teacher, motivational/public speaker, financial/economic analyst and consultant, an entrepreneur and a blogger.