Curfew In Taraba Over Herdmen, Farmers Clash

Rural communities in Taraba state, were on Friday on indefinite lock down as the authorities tried to manage the crisis between herdsmen and farmers clash in the state.

Police spokesman David Misal said a round-the-clock curfew has been imposed in affected areas “due to the escalation of violence between Fulani and Mambilla ethnic groups”.

Nigeria has been faced with this challenge since the start of the year with an increase in clashes between the largely nomadic herders and farmers over land, water and grazing rights.

At least 10 people were killed in several days of violence in Taraba last week into the weekend, while some 24 lost their lives in the central state of Benue in the last few days.

Misal said there were reports that the violence was spreading but gave no further details.

“The government, after consultation with security agencies, finds it necessary to impose a curfew in order to allow security operatives to restore peace,” he told AFP.

“From Wednesday, residents in (the affected areas) have been ordered to remain indoors day and night indefinitely until the security situation is reviewed.”

The Mambilla area of Taraba lies on Nigeria’s border with Cameroon and is a herding and farming hub reputed for fertile land, lush vegetation and abundant water.

Tensions have been running high for many years between herders and farmers over increasingly precious resources.

Last year, the cattle herders union claimed more than 700 people were killed in violence, although the authorities gave a much lower death toll.

Fresh Curfew In Taraba As 29 Die In Renewed Violence

Curfew has been declared in parts of Taraba State where fresh violence broke out between Mambilla militia and Fulani youths.

The state government declared the curfew in Mayo Ndaga in Sardauna Local Government Area of the state.

It was gathered that during the a security meeting, a riot act was read with a warning that security personnel sent to all parts of Mambilla were combat ready and would restore peace and order and troublemakers would be dealt with.

In Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, Governor Darius Ishaku also chaired a security meeting with police commissioner, Mr. David Akinremi, Director of state security service and the heads of all security agencies in the state.

The senior special Assistant on media affairs to Governor Darius, Mr Bala Dan Abu, confirmed the meeting held but there was no statement issued on the meeting.

The Police Public Relation Officer Taraba State command, ASP David MiSal, did not answer calls made to his phone by our reporter but replied a text message saying “there is calm in the area now.”

Crisis erupted in the area last Wednesday following attacks on Fulani communities in Yarimaru area by suspected militia which later spread to other parts of the Mambilla plateau.

The curfew was slammed on the area as more towns and villages came under attacks in the troubled Sardauna Local Government Area.

The attacks are said to have spread to parts of Mayo Ndaga, Yarimaru,Kakara and Sherif up to towns on the Nigeria Cameroun border.

The chairman of the local government, Mr. Godwin Sol, said as at Yesterday, 29 corpses were recovered while search for many missing persons continued.

Fulani Herdsmen Invade Takum Few Days After Buhari’s Visit

The hometown of the Taraba State Governor (Governor Darius Ishaku) and a former Minster for Defence (Gen. Theophilus Danjuma ) Takum, was invaded few days after the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Recall that President Buhari had visited Taraba to avert violence especially killings by herdsmen in the state. The attacks, which were launched on Tuesday by the Fulani herdsmen, spread to other communities in Takum Wednesday.

Buhari, who visited Taraba State on Monday over the protracted Fulani herdsmen/farmers clashes in the state, especially in the Mambilla Plateau where scores of people were killed and property worth millions of naira destroyed, had assured that security agencies would restore law and order in the state.

At the time of filing this report, two bodies were found in Takum as the attacks spread to the adjoining communities in Takum and Ussa councils.

A security personnel in Takum who sought anonymity, said that the attacks were on-going and that local vigilantes at checkpoints to defend their communities had fled for fear of being killed by the herdsmen, especially as they had disarmed following the ultimatum by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Kpotun Idris.

Takum is the home town of Governor Ishaku and T. Y. Danjuma, a former Chief of Army Staff. A battalion of the Nigerian Army is domiciled in the town being a security flashpoint in recent times.

Yesterday, the Police confirmed the attack in Takum, but declared they were waiting for details from the affected areas.

The Police Public Relations Officer, David Misal, said that there were reports of attacks in a particular community, adding that “I am waiting for more information from the Divisional Police Officer (DPO)”.


Scores Killed In Taraba State’s Ethnic Clash

The state of Taraba has been thrown into a lot of chaos as about 20 persons have been reported killed and 300 cows stolen, following a fresh outbreak of ethnic violence on the Mambilla Plateau in Sardauna Local Government Area yesterday.

According to an eye witness Saadu Mogoggo, who said his house was attacked at Leme suburb of Gembu, told newsmen that two of his brothers were killed on Saturday evening and their cattle rustled by a group he identified as the Mambilla Militia.

His words: “As I speak with you, we are yet to bury their corpses. The ethnic militias attacked our residence in Leme, where they killed our father last month. During this attack, the Mambillas took away over 100 cows.

“My two younger brothers reported the matter to a nearby military base and a soldier was attached as escort to retrieve the stolen cows. Unfortunately, in the process, my younger brothers were both killed while the soldier fled with injury.”

Abdu Gagarau, another resident of the area, who said he was speaking from hiding, said: “The burning and killing by herdsmen continued till early this morning (yesterday).

“Since last Thursday they have been attacking our settlements and over 20 people killed. Some were buried and over 300 cattle stolen by the militias.

“The Mambila ethnic group is known for attacking other tribes. They attacked the Panso in 1982, the Fulani in 2002 and in 2017. When eventually we retaliate, the normal shouts of herdsmen will start. Let government be proactive and come to our rescue.”

Reacting, Governor Darius Ishaku, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Emmanuel Bello, called for an end to the violence.

His words: “Anyone who takes any life, irrespective of religion or tribe, is a criminal; whether it is on the summits of Mambilla or the plains of Southern Taraba and anywhere in this state. And we shall deal with them as criminals.

“We are committed to an amicable resolution of the crisis in the state and peaceful co-existence of all ethnic nationalities,” attributing the renewed crisis to “disagreement between two ethnic groups.”


3 Dead, Several Injured In Fresh Crises In Taraba

The Taraba State Police Command on Monday confirmed the death of three persons and at least six others sustained injuries in another overnight attack on Maisamari in town in Sardauna Local Government Area of the state by a suspected militia group.

The police spokesman in the state, ASP David Misal, who confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jalingo, said the incident took place during a cultural event called Nding-Chin. The cultural event was said to be taking place in the area for the first time.

Misal, who said the area was now calm, disclosed that the command had deployed additional policemen to beef up security.

Godwin Sol, Acting Chairman of Sardauna Local Government Council, told NAN that the administration had earlier banned all cultural meetings and festivals because of the security situation in the area.

Sol, however, said he was surprised to learn that a group, which mobilised their kinsmen from surrounding villages, held a dance event in Maisamari against the council’s order.

He said security operatives were later mobilised to disperse the gathering.

The spokesman said due to the size of the crowd, a time frame within which to complete the exercise and disperse was given.

Sol said at the expiration of the time frame, instead of leaving the town as agreed, the group relocated to the house of one Yaya Ahmadun to continue with the dance which continued into the night.

“It was while this was going on that some unknown gunmen attacked the place and killed three persons and injured six others,” Sol said.

The council boss said the host of the event in Maisamari, as well as leaders of the cultural group have been arrested.


Abel Diah Lauds State Govt. For Recruiting 3000 Teachers

The Speaker of Taraba House of Assembly Mr Abel Diah, on Friday, lauded the state government for recruiting 3,000 secondary school teachers to boost education in the state.

Diah said the massive recruitment of teachers would turnaround the education narratives in the state.

He said this in Jalingo while distributing appointment letters to 200 of the successful teachers from Sardauna Local Government area of the state.

The Speaker said that the injection of the 3,000 teachers into secondary schools would go a long way in improving academic standards in the state.

Diah urged teachers from his community to key into the governor’s rescue mission by contributing their quota to reposition the state’s secondary school education.

“I congratulate you, the 200 successful candidates from Sardauna Local Government Area on your success at the recent teacher’s recruitment examinations by the government.

“The recruitment of 3,000 secondary school teachers across the 16 Local Government areas is a practical step to improve on the standard of education in the state,” he said.

Mr Gibeon Kataps, a former Secretary to Taraba Government and community leader, commended the efforts of the governor in repositioning education in the state.

Kataps implored the teachers to work hard to justify the confidence reposed in them by the people of the state.

Crack In PDP As Ex-Taraba Gov Joins APC

Former Acting Governor of Taraba, Alhaji Garba Umar on Tuesday dumped the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Umar said in Jalingo at a meeting of APC Integrity Group, that he took the decision after consultations with political stakeholders in and outside the state.

Umar said he decided to join hands with politicians of like mind to save the state from alleged bad governance.

‘‘I can see future in APC, and if we work together as a team, the party will wrestle power from PDP in the state come 2019.

‘‘I want to assure you that this is the APC and I am part of it one hundred per cent.

‘‘I have decided to join my brothers of like mind to see how we can salvage the state come 2019.

‘‘I assure you of my unwavering loyalty and willingness to make all necessary contribution for the success of this party and our mission,’’ Umar said.

The former acting governor stated that he had made an arrangement to officially decamp along with hundreds of his supporters to the APC.

The Chairman of the APC Integrity Group, Alhaji Uba Maigari, said that the party was honoured to have the former acting governor and political appointees that served under him joining the party.

Maigari said Umar’s goodwill and political connection would enhance APC’s chances in the 2019 general elections.

Umar, fondly known as UTC, was chosen by the late Governor Danbaba Suntai as his deputy after the impeachment of the then Deputy Governor, Sani Abubakar.

He became the state’s acting governor after Suntai’s plane crash in 2012.

He was later sacked by the Supreme Court in 2014 when the apex court ruled that Abubakar’s impeachment was illegal and ordered his reinstatement.

Ex-Taraba Gov’s Body Arrives Nigeria

The remains of the immediate past governor of Taraba State, Pharm. Danbaba Danfulani Suntai, have arrived Nigeria from the United States.

The body arrived the country Friday morning.

The body of the late governor, which arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja enroute Jalingo few minutes past 5am, was thereafter received by a delegation of the Taraba State Government.

Sutai’s wife, Mrs. Hauwa was also spotted at the airport terminal at about 7.07am accompanied by aides and security men.

Suntai died in a US hospital on June 7, 2017 after surviving a fatal air crash in a plane piloted by himself in 2012.

Suntai’s Burial Postponed to August 19

The Taraba State government has announced the postponement of the state burial of former Governor Danbaba Suntai from Aug. 5 to Aug. 19.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Alhaji Hassan Mijinyawa in a statement on Saturday said the new date followed the governor’s consideration of the report submitted to him by the steering committee for the burial of the late governor.

Suntai was receiving treatment in Florida (USA) for injuries he sustained from a plane crash almost five years ago when he died the the 28th of June 2017.

I Won’t Allow Any Taraba Citizen Die – Gov Ishaku

Governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku has said the safety of lives and property of the citizen of the state is paramount to him as he would rather sacrifice his life than allow their safety to be jeopardized.
Ishaku said that the death of any citizen in the state grieves him. He said: “Perhaps I’m the only one who knows how deeply hurt I feel when I hear of the death of any Taraba citizen due to crisis or, as a matter of fact, for any other reasons.

“Of all the things Taraba people look up to me for, the preservation of their lives and property is number one. If I fail to protect them, then I’ve really failed. So, that’s why I said I would give my life; I would rather be sacrificed than any Taraba person, no matter his tribe, religion or status.

Governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku has said he would rather sacrifice his life to ensure the safety of lives of people of the state.
Ishaku said that the death of any citizen in the state grieves him. He said: “Perhaps I’m the only one who knows how deeply hurt I feel when I hear of the death of any Taraba citizen due to crisis or, as a matter of fact, for any other reasons.

“Of all the things Taraba people look up to me for, the preservation of their lives and property is number one. If I fail to protect them, then I’ve really failed. So, that’s why I said I would give my life; I would rather be sacrificed than any Taraba person, no matter his tribe, religion or status.

“I won’t allow any Taraba person die because of any violence. It won’t happen under my watch and I mean it. I would not sleep until there is peace everywhere in the state.”


Taraba Crisis: Committee Set Up To Investigate Recent Disturbance In The State

The Taraba Government says it has set up a committee to unravel the remote and immediate causes of the recent violence that hit parts of Ussa and Takum Local Government Areas.

Alhaji Haruna Manu, the Deputy Governor, who announced this on Tuesday in Jalingo, said that government was determined to get to the root of the recurring crises so as to work out measures to end them.

“Government wants to fish out the perpetrators of the incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Taraba. The crises have affected our development and we cannot continue this way,” he said.

Manu, who spoke with newsmen shortly after the weekly security meeting, said that anyone found to be linked to the clashes would face the full wrath of the law “no matter his or her status in the society”.

He said that the security meeting, which he presided over, focused on finding a lasting solution to the perennial clashes which had claimed several lives, particularly in the central and southern parts of Taraba.

According to him, the committee will be expected to establish the main causes of the crises and recommend ways of averting future occurrences.

“The communities involved in the recent clashes – Kuteb, Jukun and Fulani – have coexisted peacefully over the years. We have met some of their leaders and they have agreed to expose the evil men that have infiltrated them,” he said.

He said that security agencies had intensified patrols in all corners of Taraba, and expressed optimism that those alleged to have hired mercenaries to kill farmers would be brought to book.

Meanwhile, the state government has rejected suggestions that the anti-open grazing bill currently before the House of Assembly, was targeted at herdsmen.

According to Mr Emmanuel Bello, Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to Gov Darius Ishaku, such insinuations are “mischievous, divisive and without substance”.
“It is wrong to say that government is habouring anti-Fulani sentiments; the bill is aimed at finding a permanent solution to the herdsmen/farmers clashes. No group is targeted.”

He urged members of the public to fully participate in the public hearing aimed at getting everyone’s input into the bill.