Nelson Mandela once said that “As long as poverty, injustice, and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.”
This was a clear call by the Noble African Nationalist that we should fight gallantly to defend what he believed and fought for, that injustice, inequality and hunger may be eradicated in our beloved continent. Years after this call, we still see same persist. This time around, not by our enemies, but we ourselves do this to each other. Oh… how our heroes past would have wept if they were to be alive! But like Mandela rightly avere, the dead cannot cry out for justice, only the living.
That is why, following the recent happenings in Gombe state over the appointment of the Chief Judge, I decided to cry out. This is however, not because I am a Christian, or because I shared any political or ethnic ties with anyone, but because I shared common humanity with every citizen of our dear state. Thus, like Martin Luther King (Jnr) rightly said, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” And he added; Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Throughout last week, many concerned citizens including my humble self, Cmrd CN, Charles, Todi, have spoken up in a bid that the attention of His Excellency Alh. Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya, the Executive Governor of Gombe State, may be drawn to revisit his decision appointment of a new Chief Judge for our dear state. While we don’t try to direct him or fault his decision, there is need to direct His Excellency, as concerned citizens, so as to enable peace and unity of our state to continue to abide, as this is sacrosanct to us, and we can’t trade it for anything.
His Excellency, in a bid to exercise your executive power, you nominated and forwarded the names of Justices Muazu Pindiga and Joseph Awak to the National Judicial Council, NJC, for interview and subsequent appointment/confirmation of either of the two as substantive Chief Judge of Gombe State. We assume, and rightly so, that you did this without any ill-will, given your oath of office, but I want to direct you on certain abnormalities, which think must have been induced by an obvious oversight.
From antecedence, I think that if there is any name that should not elude such list for such high place appointment, it should be Justice Beatrice Iliya.
This obvious exclusion is not only detrimental to this administration and your future political carrier, but is such that can threaten the very fabric that bonds us as a people and as a state. Thus, a lot of agitations, protests, upheaval, vociferation and hullabaloo.
This is worrisome because everywhere is on a standstill, the masses are tensed and perplexedly concern about your decision, His Excellency, in excluding the name of Justice Beatrice Iliya from the list.
Be it as though it were, many have argued that the omission of Justice Beatrice Iliya’s name from the list of nominees sent by His Excellency to the National Judicial Council for scheduled interview for the position of Chief Judge of Gombe State is not only a reflection of the orchestrated bias and ill-treatment she has been subjected to since her appointment and clandestine removal as Acting Chief Judge of the state but also represents a disturbing contravention and politicisation of, and open affront to the extant provisions that recognize “hierarchy” (within the judicial arm) as well as “legal qualifications” as basic requirements for appointment to the office of Chief Judge, all of which Justice Beatrice Iliya had not only met but also earned by virtue of her hard work and long years of meritorious service and dedication to the cause of Justice in the state and county at large.
Like Lemony Snicket rightly observed, “People don’t always get what they deserve in this world”. But shall we continue to rest on our Oasis and see things go wrong even before our very eyes? That would be a calculated suide of our conscience and a disservice to our shared humanity.
We hereby appeal to you, if truly you are working for the best interest of the good people of Gombe state who have relinquish so much trust and confidence on you in electing you to oversee the affairs of the state, please listen to the outcry of the masses and revisit your decision.
Sir, remember; Vox Populi, Vox Dei (The voice of the people is the voice of God).
Let us not allow ethnic and Religious sentiments and biases to truncate the brotherhood of our shared humanity. In the end, we are known not by our Religious and ethnic affiliations, but the fact of our humanity. Let us be judged, not by which religion we belong to, or which ethnic group we are affiliated to, but by the content of our intellect and the quality of our service. Let what we can offer and not where we come from define the yardstick for appointments.
Nawaila C. Charles Todi writes from Gombe