Cover Story

Explainer: Bwacha Cannot Be On Ballot Despite Yola Appeal Court Victory

By P. D Pius esq. There are two judgments of the Federal High Court nullifying the election of Bwacha as APC candidate. There is the judgmen...

'How Gov. Ishaku Fails Kuteb Nation, Silent Over Killings In Villages’

·         Southern Taraba Group Wants State Of Emergency Declared 

 



 

These are not best of times for the Kuteb Nations as over 40 villages occupied by its people in Takum and Ussa local government areas have been destroyed by bandits, the Kuteb people are however more pained by what they described as 'worrisome silence' of Taraba State Governor Arch. Darius Dickson Ishaku on the crisis.

 

Since the beginning of the crisis Governor Ishaku have not publicly spoken about it n or visited the affected areas.

Youths from the Kuteb ethnic stock have cried out that their future is under serious threat over the continuous attack of their communities by bandits on a daily basis.

 

According to the Kuteb youth group, "the Taraba State Government, Federal Government and stakeholders should condemn this attack; then move beyond rhetorics; take a decisive step to stop this ethnic cleansing against the Kuteb race in Kwararafa Kingdom and restore Peace.

 

"These heinous attacks create deplorable state of security that is threatening every aspect of life of our people, forcing over 120,000 persons to abandon their homes to seek refuge in Takum and Lissam towns.

 

"The attacks are still ongoing, the attackers wielding sophisticated weapons and villages are left in ruins and rubbles. Daily, lives are lost, women and children wail and men bury the dead.

 

"We want to state clearly that if this situation is not addressed expediently, the future of our people is under serious threat." The Kuteb Youths said.

Stakeholders in the area who express visibly anger faulted Governor Ishaku's attitude towards resolving the crisis, saying the governor has failed them despite supporting him in previous elections.

 

Mr Britus Ande lamented that "Governor Ishaku has failed the Kuteb Nation, we are disappointed in how this crisis is being managed by the Taraba state government, the Governor have not come out openly to condemn the daily killings and attacks going on in Takum, Ussa and Yangtu, under his watch communities in this area records bandit attacks daily.

"We expected the Governor to have openly condemned this unending killings, visit the area and set up a probe panel to look into the cause of this crisis to find a lasting solution but it appears we are not part of his priorities," Ande said.

 

A community leader in Lissam said government refusal to address the people on the crisis has made them to lose confidence in the Ishaku administration.

 

Election campaign is coming and Governor Ishaku is contesting to represent these crisis areas, we awaits how he will come and tell us to vote for him when he did not visit us when our people were being killed, the Governor should not expect any votes from our areas in 2023 particularly the Kuteb communities because he failed to protect them, we are not sure he will represent us well in the National Assembly  

 

 

Peace Group Wants State Of Emergency Declared  In Southern Taraba

 

The Southern Taraba Youth Coalition for Peace (STYCOP), have called on the   Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency in the Southern zone of Taraba state following insecurity situation in the area where the death tolls have continued to rise.

 

The group made the call during a world press conference held in Abuja, where they voiced their disapproval of the unfortunate mayhem that has continued to thrive in their zone.

 

They pointed out that Wukari, Donga, Takum and Lissam towns of the zone, are now IDP camps as a result of the ongoing insecurity and banditry that had sent residents of such areas out of their homes, farmlands and comfort zones.

 

The Project Director, Southern Taraba Youths Coalition for Peace (STYCOP), Hajara Love John, who spoke on behalf of the group said several communities in the zone are currently under siege, especially in Takum, Ussa and Yangtu Special Development Areas, no thanks to the insecurity of the areas.

 

Hajara explained that the sorry situation had placed the zone in dire need of relief items, drugs, and shelter for the Internally displaced persons as men, women and children are languishing in hunger and prone to harsh environmental conditions.

 

 "Our people are suffering silently with no help from anywhere. Every day, children die from hunger, diseases and harsh environmental conditions, as helpless mothers watch in tears. Indeed, the situation is pathetic", she stated.

 

She further revealed that the Southern Taraba communities are highly vulnerable to attacks by the bandits, who have now taken over the deserted communities, leaving the people in distress, panic and the fear that there may not be elections in the zone come 2023.

 

 

Hajara stressed that the two candidates of the major political parties PDP and APC in the state, are both from Southern Taraba and if by any chance, elections are not held, it will not be good for the zone in particular and the entire state in general.

 

"This fear is backed by the reality that with the spate of ongoing nonstop attacks, the local government headquarters in Southern Taraba are under threat. Should bandits finally attack our local government headquarters like Wukari, Takum, Donga, Ibi and Lissam, few days before the general elections, as they have been threatening, we doubt the possibility of elections in the 5 local government areas in Southern Taraba and Yangtu Special Development Area.

 

"Today It is no longer news that due to Jukun–Tiv crisis, 70% of Jukun and Tiv villages in Wukari and Donga Local Government Areas have been destroyed and deserted. Currently, there is an ongoing ethnic cleansing of Kuteb people in villages in Takum LGA, Ussa LGA and Yangtu Special Development Area by gun-wielding bandits.

 

"Our people are facing daily attacks from the bandits who use sophisticated weapons to maim, kill and displace thousands. These bandits are responsible for the death of the former Commanding Officer of 93 Battalion Army Barracks, Takum and six of his soldiers in May 2022. Since then, the attacks have heightened in frequency and sophistication, leaving over 40 kuteb villages destroyed. Just yesterday, scores were killed in five (5) villages bordering Lissam, the headquarter of Ussa Local Government Area", she explained.

 

Hajara further stated that (STYCOP) was particularly devastated over the sad development because, despite the magnitude of destruction and displacement of people in the Southern Taraba, there was no special security operation by the government to provide protection for their people.

 

 

 

The group called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Nongovernmental, Humanitarian organisations to respond to the humanitarian crisis in the zone, especially Takum, Ussa and Yangtu, as the people, according to them, are really at the crossroads.

 

While advising the state government to partner with the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) to train and sensitize the people of the area, they also called on INEC and the law enforcement agencies to closely monitor the campaigns in the zone to prevent hate speech and foul language that may fuel the tension in the communities.

 

They advised that the state government should, including politicians, community and traditional leaders on the need for sustainable Intercultural dialogue in the zone as it is the best option in these turbulent times considering that Southern Taraba has the largest electoral bloc in the state.





No comments