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How Politicians Use Religion To Achieve Goals In Plateau – Prof. Nentawe Yilwatda

Professor Nentawe Yilwatda, the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) candidate for governor of Plateau State, has chastised the state’s leaders for unethically using religion as a political tool. 

Yilwatda claimed that in order to gain political advantage, it has become commonplace for politicians in the state to falsely and unfavourably link someone with Islam.

The governorship candidate revealed this in Jos while responding to journalists questions about the outcome of the Supreme Court decision, which upheld Governor Caleb Mutfwang’s election, and the calumny campaign against him in the 2023 general elections.

He said the tactics of attaching him and his party as representative of Islam was deliberate by politicians to de-market him and his party, adding that using Islam against him and his party was not the first of its kind in the history of politics in the state.

He recalled that “In 1983, John Kadiya of ECWA Church, was tagged as the Muslim candidate on the Plateau when he contested against the late Solomon Lar. It is a well-known fact that John Kadiya was a communion member of ECWA Church, a member of ECWA Church and an elder in ECWA Church. But he was tagged as an Islamic leader. After the election was over, nobody again called him an Islamic leader.

“In 1991, the same thing happened when Fidelis Tapgun was contesting against Bagudu Hirse. Hirse was tagged as an Islamic candidate. 

“In 2003, David Jang was tagged as an Islamic candidate because he was in the ANPP. The same thing happened to Pauline Tallen in 2011 when she was contesting for the governorship. In 2015, the same thing happened to Simon Lalong. The same thing happened to me in 2023. So, it is the normal culture of Plateau politics that some people must tag somebody to have an Islamic outlook just for political reasons. Once politics is over, that person becomes a saint. The politics of Plateau State carry the same pattern.

“The funny aspect is that people are not wise enough to understand that some people are using politics to ensure that a good candidate doesn’t emerge. They use religion as a basis for presenting their candidates to the public,” Yilwatda added.

He, however, said he had accepted the Supreme Court’s judgement in good faith, describing it as the will of God.

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