An amalgamation of stakeholders from Northern Taraba state has said it is unfair and wicked to blame Governor Darius Ishaku for any crisis in any part of the State, especially the current crisis at Lau. They stressed that there was no time the governor made any inciting comments that could have possibly led to any breakdown of law and order in the state.
Gov. Darius Comments Didn’t Cause Lau Crisis, Citizens Declare.
Some online commentators have been saying the crisis is a response to comments attributed to the Secretary to the State Government, (SSG), Anthony Jellason, who recently said Christians should defend themselves against herdsmen attack. They said this is the statement that provoked the herdsmen to attack communities in the northern part of the state.
But in a swift rebuttal, some elders from the zone said the commensts have nothing to do with the latest attack. Speaking to news men in Jalingo, Alhaji Abdul Sanusi, said Governor Ishaku has remained committed to peace and progress in Taraba state and has not done anything in words and actions to fire up strife.
He said, “it is quite erroneous for any one to first and foremost attribute the statements of Mr. Anthony Jellason, the SSG as that of his boss the governor. But even at that, the SSG did not ask anyone to just go and fight. He only said non violent self defence is permissible, even in law and that it is an acceptable rule of engagement in civil society. Now, the Governor has never even uttered such words because of the strategic role of his leadership. Yet, we have reports of what Governor Darius have been going through for words he didn’t utter. The SSG spoke at a different fora. The governor operates on a different level and could communicate the same message in a different way that takes care of all interests in this state. The governor belongs to everyone. Be that as it may, we maintained that at no time did the governor call for any violence exchange. So to come now and say, oh he asked people to defend themselves, that’s why Lau is been attacked is preposterous and silly. Many of these attacks are mostly not provoked.”
In her remarks, the Publicity Relation Officer (PRO) of the group, Evangelist Grace Rabiu, noted that Lau’s crisis should not be treated in isolation from all the other crisis bedevilling Nigeria today. She said, “Lau is just the latest in the line of these types of crisis very common in Nigeria today. We have seen it virtually everywhere. Was it the governor’s or any other official’s comments that caused Wukari or Bali crisis for instance? Did anyone instigate the Ibi crisis with any utterances? The truth is that rampaging herdsmen do not need any motivations to start trouble. Fulanis were in Agatu recently. Who made any inciting comments there to warrant that? So please, this can’t be about comments or no comments. The governor has maintained a dignified response in all of these so no one should enmesh him in falsehoods. “
In a similar vein, the Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to Governor Darius Ishaku, Emmanuel Bello, said citizens should not exercise fear of an impending attack from outside. Speaking at a forum, he said government is doing everything to safe guard the public and that security remains a priority of government. He said, “no law abiding citizen should panic. Government is fully in charge. No one should live in fear. The Governor, as the Chief Security Officer of the state is in control. He has been properly briefed and he’s not resting on his oars to restore peace, law and order. He did it for the troubled southern zone recently and he’s focused on ensuring peace everywhere.”