Security is key to any meaningful development the world over. In the past Taraba state had witnessed several degrees of security challenges ranging from clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers to the more recent terrorists attacks particularly in southern and central parts of the state where people get attacked and properties destroyed by unknown gunmen.
The current administration of Gov. Darius Ishaku has been working round the clock to restore lasting peace across the state. This is so as to create a peaceful and conducive environment for Tarabans in line with his campaign manstra “give me peace and I will give you development”.
Also, it is a panacea for wooing both foreign and local investors to take advantage of the huge investment opportunities in the state, particularly in the agricultural sector as no one will want to invest in a volatile or crisis-prone area.
The current Administration has recorded a huge success in that regard resulting to the returning of most internally displaced persons.
However, more still needs to be done.
Taraba state falls in the North Eastern part of Nigeria that is currently being ravaged by the activities of boko haram.
The Federal Government has set up a joint taskforce with neighbouring countries like Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin Republic to checkmate the activities of the terrorists who hitherto strike in Nigeria and escape across the borders to these neighbouring countries for safety.
As the international borders are tightened by this joint taskforce, the terrorists are more likely going to seek for safe haven in neighbouring states like Taraba or even seek for new camps in Taraba as a means of re-strategising.
Currently, Taraba is the only state in North Eastern Nigeria that is not worst hit by boko haram and that explains the reasons for the heavy influx of internally displaced persons (IDPs) coming to the state for safety.
There is therefore an urgent need for the State Government to put precautionary and pragmatic measures in place towards curbing likely terrorists’ attacks.
It will be recalled that Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha had raised a motion on the floor of the Senate to the effect that some strange faces/terrorists were gradually taking shelter in the state.
Sen. Bwacha informed the Senate that one Kabiru Sokoto, a terrorist leader was captured in Gassol L.G.A of Taraba state and so security issues should not be handled with levity by the Federal Government as it affects Taraba.
Surprisingly, to our chagrin, his motion was opposed by some of his colleagues for reasons unknown to us.
Interestingly, the Taraba state Commisioner of Police, Mr Alkali in a press briefing in Jalingo recently confirmed that some wanted boko haram leaders have been captured in Gassol and Bali L.G.As of the state and accordingly handed over to the military in Yobe state.
The position of the Commissioner of Police has vindicated Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha’s motion on this issue and brought to the limelight the fact that there are indeed strange faces/terrorists in Taraba state.
To this extent, whatever measures financial, intelligence or otherwise being initiated/taken by the Federal Government towards fighting terrorists in the North Eastern Nigeria, Taraba state should be included.
We are not unaware of the over two billion dollar grants released by the world bank to assist in rebuilding, resettling and rehabilitating communities being ravaged by the activities of boko haram in North Eastern Nigeria.
On the part of the Taraba state government, it will be a step in the right direction to set up community policing in line with global best practices as obtained in India, America, parts of Europe, etc.
The Inspector General of Police Solomon Arase had during the passing out of “course 24” of the Nigerian Police in January 2016, advocated for the establishment of community policing by state governments.
Recently, during the national security summit on “community partnership approach to internal security and crime management” held in Abuja with President Buhari and other security heads and Traditional rulers in attendance, the IGP said the dynamics of crime required that modern policing should be built on community vigilance and partnership.
President Buhari agreed with the IGP saying that no policing can successfully function without support of the community and identified youth empowerment in that regard as one of his administrations approaches to solving problems of insecurity in Nigeria.
We therefore call on the current administration of Gov. Darius Ishaku to liaise with the Nigerian police towards setting up an effective community policing system that will work closely with the Nigerian police and other security outfits.
Community police, once set up will be very effective and efficient as they are familiar with the terrain they are policing more than the conventional police officer who is more or less a “foreigner” to the terrain.
The community police will restore lasting peace across the state by identifying and apprehending strange faces in various communities for interrogation thereby curtailing crime rate.
Community policing will create jobs for our youths who are-currently jobless and as the saying goes “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”.
On the whole, local and foreign investors will naturally flood the state to invest once there is peace across the state. This measure, if adopted will serve as a precautionary and/or preventive measure against the influx of terrorists in the state.
God bless the Rescue Mission and Taraba state.
Dated in Jalingo, this 3rd Day of April 2016.
Signed for Taraba Volunteer Group.
Engr. Terence Joseph, Barr. Nierus Johnson, Barr. Dickens Shintema, Engr. Charles Nyanganji, Comrade Alex Peter, Comrade Adi Achumate, Comrade Vera Edwards, Comrade Moreino Dauda, Comrade Lidua Bako.