Taraba state Governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku said all the land in Taraba State belongs to the state government and no single individual has the right to dislodge anyone without the prior knowledge of Government.
The Governor stated this during an interactive session with Journalists marking his one year in office as the Governor of the state.
He was speaking against the backdrop of ongoing displacement of farmers by some village heads in some parts of Gassol, particularly Sinderide, where farmers are regularly being threatened to vacate their residential homes and farms as entire area has been sold by the village head.
On the issue of villages in Ibi local government area of the state that have been taken over by Tarok tribe from Shendam local government of plateau state who have installed Tarok men as the village heads, Governor Ishaku said he is aware of the problem and that he has contacted the three Governors that Taraba state share common borders with along the Benue valley, explaining that, the four Governors have all agreed to meet with a view to finding lasting solution to their common problems most especially cattle rustling that is prevalent around the area.
The four Governors are; that of Benue state, Simon Ortom, Nasarawa state, Tanko Almakura, Plateau state, Barr. Simon Lalong and Taraba state, Arc. Darius Ishaku, is to also workout modality aimed at ending the persistent crisis along the Benue valley between farmers, grazers and fishermen.
Responding on a question on bail out that was given to Taraba State by the Federal Government, Darius Ishaku explained to journalists that, the bail out was meant to bring soccour to States that are indebted, but lamented that, in the case of Taraba, it was different and stated that he had to go into negotiations with the Banks that Taraba State is indebted to, and said all the debts have been converted into long-term loan and is the reason why the state is able to meticulously manage the little resources at its disposal to embark on projects that have direct impact on the live of the people.
Explaining further, the Governor said efforts are being intensified to block or minimise leakages in the state civil service and lamented that the corrupt practices in the Taraba State civil service is alarming and added that effort is also being made to create a new and comprehensive payroll for the state civil servants and revealed that the exercise has started yielding results, and disclosed that, over one hundred million have been recovered.
He lamented that, the effort to block all leakages are constantly being furastrated by perpetrators and beneficiaries and revealed that, very soon they will be publicly charged to court.
Accordingly, Governor Darius Ishaku said the reason why his administration increased the numbers of political appointments in the state is laced on the fact that, Taraba State is a civil service State and there are no industries to complement the state government effort and the only way the impact or dividends of democracy can get to the grassroots is by bringing more people on board which he described as political decision that is expedient.
Speaking on his plans for the state, the Governor reiterated his determination to make Mambila Beverages Production Company Limited, producers Highland Tea, one of the best Tea company in the Nigeria, West Africa and beyond and added that experts have already been sent to Uganda and Ethiopia on how best the state can benefit from coffee production.
Other areas to explore by his administration according to him, are in the areas of poultry, animal and beef production, rice farming, dry season farming, sugar production and mining, are critical areas that the state will explore to fast track development.
On the crisis that is rocking the People’s Democratic Party PDP, which led to the ouster of the Acting National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff whom he declared his support for during the North East zonal convention that took place in Jalingo, Governor Darius Ishaku stated that minority will have their say while the majority will have their way and described what transpired in porthacourt as political strategy barked by the voices of the majority.
However, Darius Ishaku maintained that he had wanted a more dignified exit for the Acting National Chairman considering the effort he has put in reorganising the party and said though the party has been divided into three factions, but plans have already been put in place to resolve the matter amicably.