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.