Taraba’s helmsman, Governor Darius Ishaku is under intense pressure from above to jettison the anti open grazing bill KWARARAFA REPORTERS has exclusively learnt. The bill is currently at the House of Assembly where open hearing on it would start soon. Other states too have since passed the bill into law.
But KR is learning that Governor Ishaku may not have it easy as the Taraba case is now assuming a different dimension. Sources confided in KR that Mr. Ishaku is been badgered with calls and talks to withdraw the bill. On his part, the source said, Governor Ishaku has remained adamant saying he believes the bill is best for the state. Weeks ago, the governor was said to have receive a series of calls from some highly placed northern business and political leaders who cautioned him.
Matters got to a head with the Ngoroje crisis that lead to some loss of life. Recall that Miyetti Allah, during their protests, had indicated that the bill may lead to the break down of law and order. The Ngoroje crisis was seen by some observers as the start of what the Fulani herdsmen had warned about.
Governor Ishaku was in Germany when the Ngoroje crisis started. On getting back, sources said he was “almost queried” by powerful forces at the nation’s apex leadership. The source said, “it would look as if the governor is getting hammered from the top. And the APC both at home and at the center is weighing on on this greatly. As a way of distracting him, the governor was accused of squandering N150bn in two years.
The state has not even collected that kind of amount yet. Then the party chairman, Mr Victor Bala Kona, was said to be under investigation. The Ngoroje crisis took the matter to new levels. Now the governor may have been cautioned again by the same powers who are likely to blame him for the crisis. The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Peter Diah, may be under pressure too.
The Fulani herdsmen have everything planned out. Plan A was to stage protest. Plan B is their strike action where beef was pulled out of the markets. Plan C is to embark on a suit in the courts to stop the bill. There is a plan D that I’m not sure what it is. Plan A and B backfired because everyone condemned the protest. The strike didn’t achieve anything because Taraba people turned to other source of meat like dogs and pigs.”
Meanwhile, the bill, KR observed, has assumed a life of its own literally as more groups within and outside the state continue to support it. Farmers staged a walk too Tuesday to support the bill. Although the governor is yet to officially address the matter, sources said Darius is “prepared to, if need be, die rather than back away from the bill,” said the source.