There is a plan to attack Taraba in 10 days – Governor

Written by on February 2, 2018

The Governor of Taraba State, Mr. Darius Ishaku, has said there is a plan to attack the state in the next 10 days.

The governor also said the information had been passed to security agencies, adding that he was not aware that any action had been taken.

Ishaku spoke in Jalingo on Thursday when he received members of the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party who paid him a sympathy visit on the death of a member of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Hosea Ibi.

The governor told the PDP delegation, which was led by the National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, that peace had become a scarce commodity in the state.

He said, “When I assumed office, I asked my people to give me peace and that I would give development in return. Peace is elusive in Taraba, but we have development. Here I am as a governor with a crown, but without a sword.

“You call police and security agencies for help, they will tell you they need to clear from Abuja before acting. Before you know it, you have lost 100 people.

“When you call for help, the help takes ages to come. We need to restructure the security architecture of this country. You take one step forward as the governor, the almighty Federal Government takes you back 10 miles.

“The police we have can’t help themselves. In 10 days’ time, we will be attacked. Helicopters dropped arms here at night for hoodlums.

“We will talk because if the Federal Government cannot help us, let those who can help us come to our aid.

“Our farmers cannot travel at night with their goods to neighbouring states to sell again. God gave us good land, but we lack common sense.

“I’m talking now since writing has not produced the desired results. Some of these things are not meant to be said, but we will henceforth be talking.”

The governor said, “We buried 63 people at Lau, the same day that Benue State buried 73 of its people. We are in trouble in this country.

“If our voices are not heard in Abuja, they can be heard in Kano, Niger Republic, United States of America and other places.”

Earlier, Secondus said that he and members of his team were in the state to condole with the people on the death of the lawmaker.

He blamed the Federal Government for the insecurity in the country, saying “the first duty of any government is to provide security for its citizens.”

Secondus appealed to members of the National Assembly to investigate those behind the alleged dropping of arms and expose the perpetrators.

He called on the Federal Government to review the country’s security architecture to curb the senseless killings in the country.

The Defence Headquarters, Abuja, which did not say if it received any information from the governor, said the step by Ishaku would cause proactive measures to be put in place.

The Director, Defence Information, Brig Gen John Agim, said, “Informing the defence and the security agencies would enable proactive measures to be put in place.

“The military, being the last line of defence, would require the Commander-in-Chief’s directives to act. For the records, the procedure is for His Excellency to bring such information to the immediate attention of Mr. President and the military would move in if the crisis overwhelms the police.”

But a top source at the Ministry of Defence said he was not aware of such information from the governor.

“There is no such information in the ministry. The governor should help with when such letter was written and to who.”

The Taraba State Commissioner of Police, David Akinremi, denied receiving any information from the governor.

He said, “As far as I am concerned, I have not received any letter from the governor. I am not aware that the governor informed us about any impending attack.”

The Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo committee has set up a sub-committee to interface with members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria and other groups with a view to ending killings by herdsmen.

The committee was set up by the National Economic Council to find lasting solutions to increasing cases of killings by herdsmen across the country.

The sub-committee is headed by the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, said this to State House correspondents on Thursday at the end of a meeting of the Osinbajo committee at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Yari, who is the governor of Zamfara State, said the governors of Plateau and Adamawa states were members of the dialogue committee headed by Umahi.

He said some technocrats would be invited to join the sub-committee in visiting states affected by the attacks.

He said, “In our discussion today (Thursday), we set up a committee headed by the governor of Ebonyi State, while Plateau and Adamawa governors are members.

“We are bringing some technocrats that will visit hot spots’ states like Benue, Taraba, Adamawa and Zamfara where there is crisis so that they can interface with the Miyetti Allah and other groups to see how we can reduce this to the barest minimum.

Yari explained why attacks by herdsmen could not end, saying criminals had turned them to money-making ventures.

“Why we cannot say we will put this matter to rest is because some people have taken it as a money-making venture.

“As a government, we have to take all the measures despite the fact that the army, police and other security agents are on the field at the affected places. But we still have to form this committee to interface with the actors so that this matter can be reduced to the barest minimum and possibly be wiped off,” he said.

Apart from Yari and Umahi, others who attended the meeting were Simon Lalong of Plateau State; Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna); Jibrilla Bindow (Adamawa); Deputy Governor of Benue State, Benson Abonu; that of Oyo State, Chief Moses Adeyemo, as well as the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh; and his Interior counterpart, Abdulrahman Dambazau.

Seven killed, others injured in Kaduna attack

Some suspected Fulani herdsmen on Wednesday invaded Kaguru village in the Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, killing seven persons, while many people sustained injuries.

An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told News men that the gunmen invaded the village at about 7pm, shot indiscriminately and set houses ablaze.

He said those that sustained injuries were receiving medical treatment in the General Hospital, Birnin Gwari.

It was learnt that the armed gunmen had left before the arrival of policemen.

The eyewitness said, “Fulani herdsmen attacked Kaguru village and killed seven people. They burnt down many houses in the village. The residents ran away to nearby places.

“Many people, including children were injured and taken to a hospital. Before the police came, the herdsmen had left and nobody could find them again.”

Calls put across to the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mukhtar Aliyu, rang out. Also, a text message sent to his mobile had yet to be replied to.

However, a police source told our correspondent that contrary to claim of the villagers, four persons were killed while six people got injured.

Five missing in Nasarawa village

No fewer than five persons from Agbara village in Nasarawa State have been reported missing.

Agbara village is close to Kadarko town, where seven persons were killed on Tuesday.

News men also reported that some other communities were razed by the gunmen.

A relative of one of the missing persons, Mr. Justine Wombu, on Thursday told News men his elder brother, Felix Wombu, had not returned home since the day of the Kadarko attack.

He said, “My brother and some persons went to Agbara. We learnt that they were attacked on the way by the gunmen that attacked Kadarko.”

He said five out of the 10 men that went to Agbara escaped, leaving other five who had yet to be found.

“Security agents deployed in Kadarko had combed everywhere to no avail,” he added.

The relatives of other missing villagers said they feared for the safety of the missing men.

But, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kennedy John, said that the command had yet to receive the report of any missing person, adding that investigation into the attack on Kadarko was ongoing.

The names of the missing villagers were given as William Tija, Peter Oryem, Felix Wombu, Zaber Targule, Gboho Uhugwa.

S’West group warns of famine

A socio-political organisation of professionals in the six South-West states, under the aegis of South-West Think Tank, on Thursday said there was a famine looming in Nigeria.

The group said the destruction of farmlands and the fear of farmers to plant due to activities of Fulani herdsmen could cause the famine.

SWETT added that the activities of herdsmen were also “a clear signal that the 2019 general elections could be in danger.”

The group said it was saddening that despite the fact that Fulani herdsmen wreaked havoc almost on a daily basis, the Federal Government had done nothing to check their destructive activities.

A statement issued by its spokesperson, Femi Davies, said since the beginning of the year, the Fulani herdsmen have killed over 100 persons in the country, with Benue State suffering the biggest casualty.

He said, “This government leaves us with no option but to believe that because they are Fulanis and their own man, President Muhammadu Buhari, is in power, they are untouchable.

“Apart from the human losses, famine could be looming in the country with the burning of farmlands and the refusal of farmers to plant again owing to the fear that the criminal elements operating under the guise of being herdsmen could strike at any time.

“This can only portend famine if urgent action is not taken and the perpetrators of this heinous crime brought to justice.”

SWETT also said that with the proliferation of arms and ammunition, it was becoming obvious that 2019 general elections could be in danger.

It said, “The security agencies in the country must find out how these herdsmen come about the sophisticated guns they are using.”

The group also opposed the proposed cattle colonies across the country.

SWETT said, “Our position on this is very clear: no cattle colony will be accepted in the South-West and the Yoruba-speaking states of Kogi and Kwara.”

Stop arming militia groups, IG warns

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has warned state governments and command Commissioners of Police against arming militia and vigilance groups.

He also directed the CPs to monitor the activities of state governments as the 2019 elections approached.

The IG said this on Thursday at the Force Headquarters in Abuja during the monthly meeting with Commissioners of Police and other senior officers.

Idris said, “Everybody is aware that political issues are coming up to the fore and I believe as officers, we must gear up in our various locations to ensure law and order all over Nigeria.

“Commands should be very careful about arming militia men or vigilance groups because before a vigilance group is established by a government, there must be a bylaw which must be passed by the House of Assembly.”

The police boss admonished the CPs to study the bylaws and see how they conformed to the constitution and other laws, and cautioned against connivance by the police commands with state governments to arm illicit groups in the country.

He said, “No government in this country has the responsibility to approve prohibited firearms to any Nigerian under any guise.

“I think it is the responsibility of CPs of commands to put a close watch on the activities of some of the governments arming individuals which is against the laws of this country.”

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