Photo: Miskoom Martins Shaldas, the Long Gamai of Gamai Nation.
Student decries ethnic profiling of Goemai people, calls for action
Comrade Swomen K. Bitpoe, a youth activist and student of the Federal College of Education, (F.C.E) Pankshin, has raised the alarm over what he described as a surge in the ethnic profiling and stereotype of his own Goemai ethnic group over recent political developments in Plateau State.
Bitpoe, who made this known in a post titled: MOE MAI AP YIT MEN (which literally translates to: “Let’s shine our eyes”), said that Goemai students are facing prejudice and rejection from other Plateau ethnic groups in school campuses, and are elsewhere being called all manner of names and treated as traitors.
He said that such happenings have wrongfully created the false impression that the Goemai people are enemies to other ethnic groups in Plateau State.
Bitpoe, therefore, called on Goemai youths, women, elders and other critical stakeholders to rise to the occasion and speak against being targeted for discrimination and isolation, for posterity.
According to him, all the issues that have culminated in the unfortunate ethnic segregation of his people border on bad politics, especially in recent years, which if not addressed, may boomerang on Goemai children yet unborn to their own detriment.
The full text reads as follows:
MOE MAI AP YIT MEN
Greetings in the name of our blessed holy mother, the virgin Mary.
It has become necessary to speak because our silence is being mistaken by many for complicity.
With all due respect to our elders, as a young man with a great future ahead of me, I am pained due to the recent happenings in the State that has placed the Goemai man as an enemy to the majority.
I know the consequences that our silence would someday unleash against myself and my children yet unborn and that’s the reason for my displeasure and alarm.
On the Plateau today, almost every tribe with the exception of just a few have isolated us as targets for serious stereotype just because of the actions of just one man who has contributed almost nothing to the development of the Goemai nation.
Once upon a time, Gov. Lalong used one of our brothers in PLASIEC to deny plateau people the right to vote for their local government chairmen cut across the entire State.
This left untold bitterness in the hearts of so many people against us yet, no condemnation from us a people and as if that is not enough, same Lalong is being accused of colluding with one of our sisters in the Appeal Court to steal what Plateau people painfully went out in mass to vote for, protect and defend with their lives.
With all due respect, I do not know what Lalong intends to achieve by setting the Goemai man against his fellow Plateau brothers and sisters.
So, i honestly feel that we must rise in unity to condemn this act, we must speak with one voice so that posterity will vindicate us someday of not being part of Lalong’s evil voyage; a self-centered man who cares only about himself.
Yes, he lost Shendam during his Senate elections and that’s a confirmation of how he is rejected even from the home front but indeed, we must do better by coming out to stand with the Plateau people against this glaring acts of judicial terrorism that is being meted on the State through some of our Goemai people as alleged.
Already, Goemai students are facing prejudice and rejection from other tribes in the campuses, they are called all manner of names like traitors and the rest.
The truth is, if the Mangu people had not voted Lalong in 2015, would he become powerful to appoint a PLASIEC chairman, let alone facilitate that of an appeal Court President?
Honestly, enough is enough.
It is time for the Goemai Youths, Women and Elders to rise and speak against this, it is time for our leaders, both traditional and religious to call Lalong and any Goemai person that is part of this to order.
I stand with the mandate of plateau people and I disassociate myself from Lalong and all the injustices that is being meted on plateau people, let it be on record that i do so, even if I stand alone.
So help me God.
If you’re a lover of the Goemai nation and you share my sentiment, let’s spread this until it gets to the appropriate quarters.
Comrade Swomen K. Bitpoe
14th. Nov. 2023
Naan goe sieh tiaklang Long Goemai
Naan goe sieh tiaklang yil Goemai