Being pastor would have suited Nentawe and Mutfwang

By Katdapba Yunana Gobum

I imagine that those who are reading this know what pastors do: They preach the word in and out of season. However, a component of their work, which regrettably has not been taken seriously, is that they ensure members live in peace with one another in the community.


I won’t argue with those who see it differently. If you are a supporter of Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe and Barr Caleb Mutfwang, by now, you would have realized that they have a penchant for peace making. They have displayed this characteristic over time.

If you are deceived by the title of the piece you are reading, you may end being abusive with name calling and perhaps belittle the intentions of the effort.


You must have observed that both are peace ambassadors over time, and having religiously practiced it without pretense, they easily fall into a class that should stand on the pulpit (before the people and rend their hearts about a state in need of recalibration).

Far from being patronizing, the state is in dire need of a leader who knows where we are coming from, and what it takes to lead the state to the promise land.

Knowing where we are headed to and by far what is needed; given their proclivity in the search for peace and stability in governance; it is only proper to want to join them in this search to deepen democracy.


Before I am accused by the other gubernatorial camps of selective amnesia and not being able to access their efforts, permit me to insist that on account of the preponderance of their desire to return the state on the path of progressive peace, they deserve to be considered in this first effort. I shall return to the other gubernatorial hopefuls later, and I hope you give me that benefit.

I am aware that the gubernatorial candidates in the state ‘are all brilliant and performing professionals, not lowlife candidates with lust for power and lucre. If we choose well, and give them support-shunning our characteristic self-destroying proclivity for tribalism, religious bigotry etc, this state will be transformed in remarkable ways’.

After the gubernatorial primaries in May 2022, I had elected to write on why the state needs a strong candidate. I had started a feature on Dr Nentawe Yilwatda and was titled: Waiting for Nentawe to take Plateau to the next level. I figured then that I would have been accused if I went ahead with that feature almost immediately after the congresses; him being Ngas as I am.


However, here we are today coming face to face with what I had started on June 4, 2022; which has been boosted by a post made by Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe, the All Progressives Congress flag bearer of Plateau State made on October 17, 2022 on his Facebook page.

That put paid to all that I had reserved about his ambition. In more ways than we have always thought; here are two people who have never made pretense about their ambitions and how to go about achieving it. We shall get the meat of it shortly.

Instructive as it was conceived, I am persuaded to believe that we all have a role to play in the affairs of the state; if we desire that we build a respectful future for our children. That post, to all intent and purposes, shouldn’t be taken for granted; particularly knowing the role leaders seeking to lead should be involved in.

Both Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe and Caleb Mutfwang are old students of Boys’ Secondary School, Gindiri; a town I have sentimental attachment to. If you must know, I still have the stubs of the pencils I used as a pupil at the Demonstration Primary School, until my parents left Gindiri Pastors College in 1972.

Sometimes in 1974, the form for admission to form one was delivered to me by my father, who desired that I return to the town the family had once lived. It was a hard choice to make between Government College Katsina-Ala (where Daniel (Manasseh) Mutfwang and I were class mates), then in the defunct Benue Plateau State and BSS Gindiri. Thank God, Raymond P Gobum became an old student.

There is reason to claim closeness to the candidate on account of the fact that he and I share a history. At the Bible School Fwor, Pankshin, between 1981to 1985, providence brought his father, Rev Toma Yilwatda and mine, Rev Yunana B Gobum together. Both are late now. At the end of my father’s tour of duty as head of the school, his transfer couldn’t have been more rewarding. In Dungung, the birthplace of Nentawe from 1985 to 1993, my father worked there longer than in any other place he was assigned.

The choice of which school one attended should not be an issue for discussion here; what I have tried to bring into focus is to take into account the gamut of the wholesome trajectory that being educated in an institution that has produced many notables, and are today adding value to the development of the country should be worthy of consideration.

Without any iota of dissent, both of them have reason to believe in their capacity to deliver on the mandate that they seek. Apart from being instructive, the post by Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe gave notice to those who, rather than prod political gladiators to tow the path of peace and establish themselves in the hearts of their followers are busy tearing communities apart with their actions.

He wrote thus: Yours sincerely and Barr Caleb Mutfwang have known ourselves for over 40 years before politics. We stand for peaceful campaigns and elections because we are “For Light and Truth”.

‘Politics isn’t a war but rather a friendly race to win. You will be casting a ballot and not a bullet. The interest of Plateau is beyond politics’. At the annual thanksgiving service of the COCIN Headquarters Church on November 20, 2022, Nentawe displayed what a man should do in time of adversity of another. The camaraderie he exhibited as soon as it was announced that the mother of his opposite number in the PDP had just passed away; apart from possibly splitting in two half the donation he brought to church in their names, cannot be anything but love personified.

Read Also : Road to 2023: Students leaders supports Ex-INEC REC, Nentawe for Plateau Guber

The comments made on the post were instructive; they genuinely pointed out ways that can lead the state on the path of progressive development. Like many others, we have repeatedly observed a patriotic sense in the conduct of their strategies to get the ultimate diadem. Those who support this genuine concern to get Plateau on the right foot are legion, however, those who are ambivalent, need to take a lesson and move with what they stand for.

In the build up to the 2023 election, yours sincerely believes that there are a number of ways the parties can work out to win. Indeed, as it is often said, ‘a good leader fails if he has bad advisers’, a lesson followers must not deviate from the good that they are known for.

Over the years, but more of late, yours sincerely has intensely burrowed through writings, documents and media related materials of the APC flag bearer. I paid close attention to his speeches and engagements, and those who know, are quick to point to the fact one does not prepare for the office of a governor in a year. It takes several years of deliberate efforts and plans to stay on course; so much to the point that when they are successfully, a lot stand in awe of it.

Going by what Nentawe Yilwatda has propounded over time, one would have observed in all honesty that leaders are supposed to direct the cause, setting the agenda rather than the led. It is on this note that if you have studied the agenda in ACEES, it is not easy to underrate his preparations for the office. The agenda has been carefully worked out for years for an environment, that if given the opportunity; he could transform it beyond what it is presently.

Code named so, the agenda is targeted at addressing agriculture and critical infrastructures, the economy, youth and gender empowerment, education and security. It is an opportunity to help address these areas which have suffered tremendous deficit in the past; therefore, any action to redeem the state from them would be appreciated.

Even without stepping into the Government House, several years before now, Nentawe’s conscious realization that the future belongs to the youth; he had long started to horn their skills for their future, ‘for talent and skills will be the currency of our generation, and more than capital, it will represent the critical factor of production’.

The youth have not fared better in the state, and make no mistake; they are some of the most talented, gifted, always motivating themselves, however with limited opportunities available to them. He is aware, himself, being an expert in ICT, that if given the opportunities and support, they would be able to translate them to reality. No wonder, he has made a commitment that his government if given the opportunity ‘will commit ten percent of the state IGR to the Vulnerable Group Trust Fund to support the Youths, women and People Living with Disability to set enterprises, support innovations and creativity that will open the business spaces, create jobs and improve the state revenue’.

How it all started

Without a feel of guilt, let me enter a caveat: By the time Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe entered the fray to contest for the office of the Governor of Plateau State in 2022, I had long started to consult for another person in the same category since 2019. This may help answer questions that may be asked concerning my role.

That was not a crime. I am a professional journalist, whose services can be sought after by anyone. I don’t have anything against any politician who genuinely wants to serve. In fact, Nentawe, as many know, has been genuinely birthed for the right purpose. The mass appeal therefore, is not surprising to say the least.

Read Also : 2023: The choice of Caleb Mutfwang’s Running Mate and What Plateau Stands to Gain

I hope this might not be considered as patronizing of the man, whose entry started long before; and changing the space given and the one created by him. Those who know are aware that governance does not start in a day; it builds momentum over time and opening space in various forms until it hits the roof of acceptance for the office.

Every politician worthy of consideration for leadership has an appointed time to make impact on the people or, as they say, shine for the state. Indeed, the qualities of leadership in a man can be seen or even observed from what he or she does in the community.

If you know the antecedence of Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe, and the initiatives that have characterized his life even before assuming public relevance, it won’t be long before anyone comes to terms with the rich quality, which tells a story, that indeed ideas will always rule the world.

A lot of people; particularly students have benefited in more ways than one, from different scholarships schemes, computers, empowerment initiatives and other schemes meant to keep them busy and productive, at different locations bearing his imprimatur.

Truly, ‘the burden in a man can birth his true leadership vision; brought by the burden he has carried for years. The life to be given can only be made possible by the vision he carries’.

For the numerous things done for the people and elsewhere in the past, the bigger challenge of ‘bequeathing a secured, united and prosperous Plateau’ is no doubt the bigger picture he had dreamt of for years. History beckons on the tall man of Dungung.


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