Apr 4, 2008

Political Retirement of Michael Botmang

For decades since Da Michael Botmang left the village, Zawan, in Jos South Local Government, he was never again resident there. What pulled Botmang from his village was to work for the Nigerian Tobacco Company, NTC. He worked for the company and rose to the pinnacle when he found his way into the top brass of the company that ran things across the nation.

In the late 90s he retired from the company to gamble into the Nigerian politics. When he returned to Plateau State he still did not settle at Zawan until the end of the second tenure of the Government in which he served as the sidekick to Joshua Dariye, and eventually Governor, when Dariye was impeached. Now that he is back in Zawan it epitomizes the end of the his active political journey. Da Michael Botmang is retired and perhaps tired.

Leaving a profession that provided you with all that you want in life, a profession that make others green with envy to join politics, the Nigerian type, was indeed a gamble in those days. It indeed worked negatively for him as the military struck again in 1993. This time around, the military blocked the little chance Ibrahim Babangida gave the politicians at the second and third tiers of government.

In a game you sometimes lose and at other times you win. When General Abdulsalam Abubakar restored full democracy Da Michael Botmang bounced back. This time he won the Jack-pot when he became Deputy to Chief Joshua Dariye and eventually Executive Governor, albeit briefly.

Da Michael Botmang says he will never be active in politics again. That is going to be the future direction of his politics, mentoring political protégés, pacifying and reconciling aggrieved parties. “At my age I should be seen playing the role of a father. The politics of Plateau State before May 2007 became very stormy creating multiple factions even within parties. Some people must be seen to heal these wounds. “People in my circumstance are just the right persons. As at 1982, I was diagnosed with diabetes. Since then I have taken regular medical attention, once every six months. When I became Governor, the nature of the work compelled me to stay for more than a year without receiving medical attention, the condition grew worse. Now doctors come to my house to administer dialysis twice a week. I am just striving to live a few more years”.

There is something about Botmang that makes him look old when he wants to and young and smart when he chooses to. One will not be surprised if the man, one day decides to unleash verbal missiles.

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