Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
GovernorDarius Ishaku of Taraba State, on Monday, assured the Igbo resident in the state that their security and well-being was of utmost concern to him and that they have no cause to fear.
In a statement issued and signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Bala Dan Abu, Ishaku said that the last crisis in parts of the state where shops were vandalised was unfortunate and regrettable.
The governor, however, said that the recent claims by the community to the Ohanaeze that only shops belonging to the Igbo community were vandalized and that the state government did nothing to protect them was untrue.
“The Taraba State Government regrets the recent unfortunate communal clashes in Kwararafa (Dananacha} in Gassol Local Government Area of the state which resulted in the loss of lives and property by some families and groups in the area. 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, which 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 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 Gov said that the “state was passing through a period of unfortunate security challenges resulting from incidents of herdsmen attacks and killings in some parts of the state and kidnapping and it will require the support and cooperation of all people in the state to tackle”.
He implored 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 ferment trouble and cause a breakdown of law and order, and to report such to security agencies promptly for quick preventive actions.