By James Abu
The news report with the above headline, published by the Authority Newspaper on Friday 12 November 2023, is a sad reminder that in our country, the reward for working hard is being maligned. How else does one explain how the member representing Pankshin/Kanam/Kanke Federal Constituency of Plateau State, Hon. Yusuf Gadgi, was tenuously linked to what he did not say? The spin of the story beggars belief and is in the territory of Nollywood scriptwriting.
My initial reaction to seeing the headline was curiosity, which prompted me to seek out the meat of the story. Alas! The story misled its readers by conjuring an image of Hon Yusuf Gadgi that does not exist anywhere save in the imaginations of those who meant his reputation harm hence my resolve to put out this rejoinder.
In doing this rejoinder, it is pertinent I place on record that I write strictly as someone who knows the truth and believes that the righteous should not pay for sins they did not commit. Additionally, no one asked me to hold a brief for Gagdi. Also, the Gadgi I know is not the one depicted in that news item; he is better than the Gagdi they do not know.
As a matter of fact, the news item made me dig up the video that was reportedly the basis of the story. I listened through and at no time was the expression “Supreme Court work for us” used. On the contrary, anyone who can rise above cherry-picking quotes from the video will appreciate that the Honorable Member, rather than incriminate the judiciary, was retorting to the PDP’s (People Democratic) misplaced chest beating that they will manipulate the judiciary to retain their remaining contentious seats, including the governorship of the state, currently held by Governor Caleb Mutfwang.
Additionally, the news report admitted that “Gadgi on Wednesday distanced himself from the judicial tsunami which has seen at least seven People’s Democratic Party (PDP)- elected federal lawmakers from Plateau State lose their seats to the opposition APC.” If the lawmaker has distanced himself from PDP’s political woes in Plateau State it then becomes confusing on what basis he is being misconstrued as saying that the Supreme Court works for the APC.
It is necessary to quote the transcription of the portion of Gadgi’s speech at the rally, which has not been twisted. He specifically said, “We have gone to the Appeal court. And the final destination is the Supreme Court. And we will meet there. That is when we will know whom they know, and they will know whom we know.”
The above quote shows that Gadgi was merely asserting that the APC can match the PDP in Plateau State action for action. It also shows that the APC believes in the judiciary and is willing to submit to that arm of the government at all times. By the way, the statement revealed that both parties have equal access to the law courts. Those insinuating that the judiciary works for the APC should perhaps interrogate who it is that the PDP knows in the Supreme Court since they have not contested that portion of the video.
One must also address the tantrums thrown by the Coalition of Middle Belt Groups, whose statement dominated the length of the news report. They have, however, walked back their claim in a news article in the Daily Post captioned “Coalition apologizes to Rep over viral video on Plateau election judgements.” They had made it appear as if Gadgi is bigger than Nigeria and has zero interest in the well-being of the country, someone who can only relate to his interest. But rather than scold them, understanding their lack of information about Hon. Yusuf Gadgi, will make one soften one’s response and resort to educating them about the Gadgi they do not know. Fortunately, they quickly recognized their error and admitted that their stance did not reflect the reality on the ground. The coalition even exonerated him from any involvement or influence in the Court of Appeal rulings that impacted the PDP in Plateau State.
But just so they know. Hon Yusuf Gadgi has demonstrated the extent of his commitment to the entrenchment of democracy in Nigeria. He is that House of Representatives Member, who stepped down from his bid to become Speaker of the House when he realized that the national interest was better served by that decision. He is that lawmaker whose well-being his constituents pray for daily because they feel the impact of his quality representation in the National Assembly. This is the Gadgi that I know, and they do not know.
Abu wrote this piece from Jos, Plateau State..