By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
Taraba State Governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku, on Monday assured the Igbo residents in the state that they had no reason to fear over the spate of clashes, as the state would always do its best to protect the lives and property of all irrespective of their tribes, religion or political leaning.
The governor was reacting to the recent communal clashes Kwararafa (Dananacha} in Gassol Local Government Area of the state which resulted in the loss of lives and property by some families and groups, including the Igbo.
The loss forced the Igbo to regret that the state government did not do enough to protect them and their interests in the state.
But the governor, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan Abu, stated that the state government did its best to quell the riot and protect the lives and property of the Igbo and others in that area.
The governor said, “While the crisis was going on, the state government took proactive steps, including the timely deployment of security personnel to the scenes of the clashes. This helped in minimizing the extent of the collateral damage that would have resulted from the fighting.
“The government sympathizes with members of the Igbo community and all other people in the area for the extension of the attacks to them and their shops. But the claim by members of the Igbo community that only shops belonging to them were targeted and attacked is untrue. Statistics available to government do not support that position. In fact, more of the vandalized shops actually belong to non-Igbo people.
“It is also untrue and grossly unfair for them to also accuse the state government of not doing enough to protect them and their properties during the clashes as they did recently in a petition to Ohaneze, the umbrella Igbo apex organization. The government did everything within its powers on that particular occasion to prevent the crisis from escalating, despite the fact that the fighting started in the night.
“The Government wishes to assure the Igbo, other non-indigenous ethnic groups and the entire people of Taraba State that they have no reason to fear as it will continue to do everything within its powers, and without discrimination, to ensure the safety of their lives and properties.
“The government also wishes to remind all people resident in the state that the state is passing through a period of unfortunate security challenges resulting from incidents of herdsmen attacks and killings in some parts of the state and kidnapping. This will require the support and cooperation of all people in the state to tackle.
“The government, therefore, implores all people resident in the state to be on the alert and to watch out for strange elements who may be on a mission to foment trouble and cause a breakdown of law and order,” the governor said.
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