Every nation or state that has reached its peak for massive developmental strides (delivery), is more likely to face the challenges/pangs like that of a pregnant woman in a labour ward. Every political leader of worth in the world, according to history has once, if not many times, at a point faced challenges of all kinds. The challenges leaders face around the world are more similar than different. This goes to show that no matter where you are in the world, every nation or state has an inherent political challenges, either the once that affect the state or their leaders directly. The encouraging part though is when the citizens are courageous enough to stand up for their state and leaders through these trying epochs.

The experience we’ve had in Taraba State of late is nothing far from the fact that, before the delivery of life or anything of significance, there must be a stage of throbbing and travails. The reactions on the leadership these few months were such that it can be liken to the outbreak of the present contagion that is eating our world – Covid-19. The attacks were copious, the accusations were colossal from the people that refused to see the truths and impacts made during the “absence” of the Governor. Despite the health challenge, which the Governor was basically required to get some rest, it was clear to all he wasn’t truly resting but thriving through to see he built the Taraba of his dreams. Such is the burdens of noble leaders.

It has been proven lately, that, exceptional leaders in the class of Governor Darius, has the will power to overcome leadership challenges, and through that create value for their people by focusing on the unique contributions they can make in state building. Governor Darius has proven beyond doubt, that he had the understanding of those unique values to him, and delegating everything else (or as close to everything else as he can), which has allowed him maximized the value he created during his “absence” in the state. Such is the testimony and lessons we’ve learnt from Darius’ style of leadership.

Though some folks still refused to note and appreciate the fact that, within these few days of “absence” Governor Darius has achieved landmarks projects in Taraba State, we will again remind them for civil purpose, until they can see clearly: During his said “absence” from the state: Governor Ishaku with wife, Barr Anna, on January 29, 2020, met with Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Yuktaka Kikuta and signed a grand contract of $197,736 (N71,184,960), for the establishment of a facility for the processing of Sesame seed in Taraba; under the watch of Governor Darius, Taraba State Government began construction of first flyover to ease traffic in Jalingo, February 1, 2020; Taraba State Government has stocked starter packs worth 350Million naira to boast the next phase of its women and youth empowerment programme, this was disclosed during the Governor’s visit to the office of World Bank in Abuja on Friday, January 31,2020; Governor Darius, Minister of Power and top stakeholders from Taraba met to discuss the way forward in the actualization of the Mambilla Hydropower Dam Project, and the meeting was organized by Ishaku’s administration, February 11, 2020; new housing scheme for new Civil Servants to be employed in the state was initiated, February 17, 2020, this was disclosed by the Governor in person at the Saint Paul Old Boys Association – SPOBA; Governor Ishaku appointed New Director General for Taraba State AIDS Control Agency (TACA), February 20, 2020; he was at the PDP Governors Forum, February 27, 2020; the donations of relief materials in Sardauna Local Government Area; Taraba State Government issued employments letters to over 300 youths around the state; Governor Ishaku met with Minister of Interior, Hon. Rauf Aregbeshola, at his office, and discussed issues in regards to security in Taraba March 2, 2020; the approval of Special Advisers March 9; the meeting the Ambassador of the Republic of Slovakia, Peter Holasek, and the Nigeria/Slovakia Chambers of Commerce, Vitalis Njoku, March 12, 2020; Governor Ishaku met with the Hon. Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, March 13, 2020 and the list goes on.

Again, we have followed Governor Darius activities and engagements which included: the dualisation of the Airport road in Jalingo which comes with an overhead bridge has started and has made steady progress even in the absence of the Governor; the Mararaba- Baissa-Abong-Kan-Iyaka-Nguroje road which is the shortest road to the Mambilla Dam Project. This road is the initiative of the Ishaku administration and was openly acknowledged and commended by the Hon Minister of Power, Eng. Saleh Mamman during the Sensitization Flag off on the Mambila Dam project. Not only that, all the APC stakeholders present at the NICON Hilton Hotel venue of the flag-off openly applauded Governor Ishaku’s initiative and drive. The Wukari Tsokundi road and Yoro-Pantisawa road projects have also been going on smoothly; The 2020 budget bill has since been signed into law and it is being implemented with vigour while salaries of workers, pensions and gratuities are also being paid promptly. In various parts of the state, classrooms are being constructed and others renovated while the construction of Model Basic Education schools are currently on-going in Takum and Gembu, both in advanced stages of completion. All these major projects can never be possible without the active participation of the Governor.

As a result, it can’t be over emphasized that Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku has been on a mission from inception to change the socio-economic environment of Taraba State into one of the fastest, mostly developed states in the federation and he has achieved that to a large extend. The seriousness and total commitment with which he approached the governance of Taraba State has reached its high point. He has transformed Taraba State within his first tenure into that level of social awareness that is too improbable, astonishing and extraordinary to be believed, and he has not relaxed on that mission. Going by the waves of revolutionary policy initiatives and project implementation under his leadership as the Governor of Taraba State, the focus on the minds of people should be on Darius’s brilliance, ingenuity and versatility in the way he conducts government dealings.

Like he stated on his official Facebook page on one of his reflections:
 “To me political powers acquire meaning and usefulness only in the context of institutional framework of the economy and provision of the basic needs of my people, i.e. Infrastructural Development; Skill Acquisition Programmes bordering on Job and Wealth Creation; Water and Power Generation, Industrialization; Health and Information Technological Knowledge etc.”

Worthy of note, the message of Governor Darius, upon his return to the state can best be summarized as: “in all things it works together for good, to the people that loves God and are the called according to His purpose,” when he made the call on everyone, irrespective of political, or religious differences, at all levels, to join hands with him as we build the Taraba of our dreams, a statement made on his official Facebook page and Twitter handle upon his return.

Thus, it’s time for every well-meaning citizen of Taraba State to press the reset button and let go the past and personal interests, as we focus towards building the Taraba of our dreams. We have noted, for every reflection posted by the Governor on his Facebook page, he will always end with saying “TOGETHER WE CAN, TOGETHER IS EASIER.”

Tarabans must, in response, never let an internal or external force break the bridged we have rebuilt with our Governor on his return March 19,2020. The Governor has shown high level of maturity and has proved to us that he is indeed a father of modern democracy in Taraba State. The news was, everyone was expecting the governor to rain curses on his haters on his return but reverse was the case. The biggest challenge in leadership is to listen to everyone’s opinions of all sorts and come to a mutually beneficial standpoint. Not every leader has the quality of being fair towards people, especially those that triggered him pain on purpose, but Governor Darius has chosen to go with what is right. From his show of statesmanship, through his speech on arrival, we have learnt that leadership isn’t just about the hard stuff, but it is a big part of shouldering responsibilities against all odds; the fact that one has accepted a leadership role is a change all to itself, knowing every day is filled with possibilities for change.

I came across a portion of a text by a youngster, Suleiman Usman Nyaja, who is said to be eighteen years old. Next time anyone tries to lure you into hating the leader we voted for, as our Executive Governor in Taraba State, just get a printout of this question and answer by Nyaja, you can add to the list and watch them answer them.

(Copied and Unedited)
Gather all the haters of Darius Dickson Ishaku in one place and ask them the following questions..
By Suleiman Usman Nyaja.
Is Darius Dickson Ishaku not a progressive leader? They will tell you he is.
Is Darius Dickson Ishaku not a man of his words? They will tell you he is.
Is Darius Dickson Ishaku not a developmental Guru? They will tell you he is.
Is Darius Dickson Ishaku not having the Nigeria and the North at heart?
They will tell you he is having the Nigeria and the North at heart.
They might even cite examples for you on the role he played around north East Region of the country.
If you ask them, Which Governor made the largest contribution to Education in Taraba?
Their answer is Darius Dickson Ishaku.
Who used his power to touched and changed the lives of the masses directly?
The answer is Darius Dickson Ishaku.
If you ask them, who completed Nursing and Midwifery building Jalingo?
Their answer is Darius Dickson Ishaku.
Who electrified rural areas?
Their answer is Darius Dickson Ishaku.
Is there any Governor that his administration prioritized Basic Education by Building new class rooms, office, sending teachers to bag NCE, Feed the pupils?
A policy which the federal government is emulating some.
Their answer is no, only Darius Dickson Ishaku made that history.
If you ask them who resuscitated Kakara Highland Tea In Gembu from coma that was thrown by the past administration.
Their answer is Darius Dickson Ishaku
If you ask them who approved the contract of a lot of roads in the State, Wukari Sukundi road, Yorro Road, Baissa Road, Mens at work presently.
Their answer is Darius Dickson Ishaku.
If you ask them who construct Kona Road, Magami road, Nitel Road, in the outskirts of Jalingo in order to help expand the capital City of the state,
Their answer is Darius Dickson Ishaku.
If you ask them who established Green House Jalingo
Their answer is Darius Dickson Ishaku.
Who was the Governor who went to United State and bought containers of hospital equipment to Taraba state ex gratia.
Which Mobile clinics were also established to cater medical service to the teeming citizens, just as more ambulances were purchased to bolster emergency healthcare delivery in the state.
Their answer is Darius Dickson Ishaku.
Then, ask them why do they hate Darius Dickson Ishaku?
Evidently, their hatred is for our dear State not for Darius Dickson Ishaku because you can’t love Taraba and Hate DDI.

On a final note, I leave us with this to reflect on, a text by James Russell Lowell, one of the most intellectual of American poets, written 1845.
“Once to every people and nation Comes the moment to decide, In the strife of truth and falsehood; For the good or evil side; Some great cause, some great decision, Off’ring each the bloom or blight, And the choice goes by forever ‘Twixt that darkness and that light.
Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust, Ere her cause bring fame and profit, And ’tis prosperous to be just; Then it is the brave man chooses, While the coward stands aside, Till the multitude make virtue Of the faith they had denied. Tho’ the cause of evil prosper, Yet the truth alone is strong;
Tho’ her portion be the scaffold, And upon the throne be wrong; Yet that scaffold sways the future, And, behind the dim unknown, Standeth God within the shadow, Keeping watch above His own.

Written by A. A. Mshelia.

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