We were misled to support Baba Gonto memorial anniversary – Repentant youths

By Samuel Luka, Bauchi

Months after the controversy that surrounded the 21st memorial anniversary of late Sayawa Sage, Baba Peter Gonto, some Mwari youths in Bogoro local government area of Bauchi state have shown remorse by confessing that they were misled.

They claimed to be among the youths that were conveyed to Bauchi to back the conveners of a press conference in support of the event under the auspices of Mwari Concerned Youth Forum which was slated for 31st December last year.

It can be recall that the conveners had insisted that the event should hold despite purported letter raising security concerns by member representing Bogoro, Dass and Tafawa Balewa federal constituency, former speaker Yakubu Dogara.

The Chairman of the Forum, Isuwa Samaila had during the press conference, countered the former speaker, saying that the entire Mwari youths are in support of the event and that it is going to be peaceful.

However, few days to the event, peaceful protest was staged by youths in Tafawa Balewa town, claiming that prominent Zaar sons and daughters were schemed out of the programme which according to them will create disunity in the land.

The memorial anniversary which was marred by violent protest, according to a committee set up by the Bogoro local government Chairman, Mr. Habila Iliya claimed three lives with properties destroyed.

Making a U-turn few months after, some of the youths who declared support for the programme said they were misled and taken to Bauchi to back the conveners of the press conference.

“We were conveyed to Bauchi for the press conference and we were offered N4000 each at the end of it”, one of the repentant youth, Lumi Joshua who spoke on behalf of the repentant youths after the meeting at Baba Peter Gonto Town hall Mwari said on Saturday.

“We went to Bauchi to declare support for Baba Gonto memorial anniversary. We were conveyed in a bus to Bauchi, they had prepared their speech which we were not privy to and they read it there. They informed the world that the entire Mwari youths are in support”, Joshua narrated.

“When we came back, we were been accused of collecting a lot of money, but to me I have not collected any reasonable amount of money, we were given four four thousand naira each”, he added.

According to Joshua, the idea to repent and seek for forgiveness from the entire people of Mwari was voluntarily done without any form of coercion from anybody.

Joshua who said they were 48 in number that went to Bauchi for the press conference, expressed regret for participating in the press conference, adding that he is now happy that the community has accepted his repentance as a genuine one, promising not to involve in such action in future.

“When I received summon for this meeting, I decided to come and apologize to my people, I told them it was a mistake and I will not repeat it. I pleaded for their forgiveness and they accepted me back as their own. I am really grateful to them”, he said.

Speaking after the meeting, the National Chairman of Mwari Youth Development Association (MWAYODA), Mr. Yakubu Madalla said that the purpose of the meeting was to reconcile the Mwari youth among themselves.

“The main reason of today’s meeting is reconciliation meeting with those that went to Bauchi to express their feelings using the name of Mwari youth or on behalf of Mwari youth about the 21 memorial anniversary of Baba Gonto which was proposed to hold on 31st December, 2021”, he said.

According to him, the Mwari youths were not in support of the event because the conveners decided to hold it at Bogoro instead of Tafawa Balewa, the headquarters of Zaar people.

Mr. Madalla said about 30 youths who went to address press conference in support of the event repented during the reconciliation meeting.

“We are extending the olive branch to the rest of them who are not here with us today to embrace peace and repent for the overall interest of Mwari community and by extension, Zaar land”, he said.

“They repented on their own after realizing that they have gone wrong, no one compelled them to do so. They said they want the progress of Zaar land, and we have forgiven them”, the MWAYODA Chairman explained.

“For others who are yet to repent, we will keep on contacting them, perhaps they will know that they have wronged the community and come back for repentance. Are doors are still widely openned for them”, he added.

In his goodwill message, the National Chairman of Zaar Youth Development Association (ZAYODA), Comrade Ga’Allah Daniel, commended the Youth for embracing peace through reconciliation for the overall development of Zaar land.

While describing peace as a vital tool for any societal development, the ZAYODA National chairman who was represented by Mr. Nathaniel Dzyadi thanked the organizers of the reconciliation meeting for doing a good job.

He equally commended the repentant youths for toeing the path of reconciliation and truth, urging others to emulate them for the unity of not only Mwari youths but Zaar people at large.

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