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Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State has been issued a 30-day ultimatum by four aggrieved ethnic groups in the state to address lingering injustices meted out to them by successive administrations.
In a joint world press conference in Jalingo on Saturday, the ethnic groups comprising of the Minute, Fulani, Kuteb and Tiv claimed that successive administrations in the state have subjected them to injustices.
Mr Obed Ameh, spokesperson of the group, disclosed that the injustices held sway in chieftancy matters and local government creation.
Referencing the stool of Ukwe Takum which has been unoccupied since 1996 after the death of Alhaji Ali Ibrahim, Ameh said the delay in appointing a new Ukwe Takum was a calculated attempt to deny the Kuteb of the stool.
He further lamented the deliberate attempt to ostracize some Kuteb from the state through the creation of Yangtu Development Area by the Danbaba Suntai as a temporary measure to engender peace.
“This later culminated into series of crises in that area that consumed several lives and properties worth billions of naira. And as we speak, there is an alleged plan to appoint three third class chiefs in Takum town, the gazette to this plot is being developed already”
“We wish to call on the state government to as a matter of urgency, fill in the vacant stool of Ukwe from Likam ruling house within 30 days so as to avert further crisis in Takum.”
The groups asked the state government to create Chiefdoms for the Mumuye in Jalingo, Lau and Ardo-Kola local government areas in the interest of justice.
Amen further alleged that the creation of Kwararafa, Chanchanji, Chonku, Kona, Bakula and Bakin-Dutse chiefdoms was done to place minority ethnic groups ahead of the majority with the aim of denying the majority groups their cultural and traditional rights of rulership.
They also on Ishaku to address the vacant stool of Lambo Bakundi in Bali Local government area specifically from the lineage of the deceased Lambo in line with actions taken in Donga and other places in the state recently.
Ameh noted that the crisis between the Jukun/Tiv which claimed many lives and property worth billions of naira would have been prevented if there had been social justice in the state.
“we wish to call on the warring factions to sheath their sword and the government should urgently set machineries in motion to allow both parties who were displaced to go back to their homes to continue with their normal businesses unconditionally.
“We also urge the state government to take proactive measures to ensure that the Hausa/Fulani who were displaced in the Jukun/Hausa-Fulani crisis of 2014 in Wukari are allowed to go back to their land unconditionally and their property given back to them so as to allow peace reign in Wukari,” he said.
Commenting on the claims and demands of the groups, Barrister Danjuma Adamu, the state Commissioner for Information and Re-Orientation, told reporters that it was within the rights of the groups to express their feelings in a peaceful manner.
Adamu, however, said the state government remains committed to addressing genuine grievances if presented through appropriate channels stressing that most of the contentions existed before Ishaku came into office and the governor was following due process in addressing them in the interest of peace.
The Commissioner however stated that those displaced by the crisis were free to return to their homes saying nobody is preventing the Hausa-Fulani in particular as presented by the group from returning to Wukari.
“Due process was followed in the creation of the chiefdoms and people applied, so, if some people feel aggrieved, they should follow the right channel, without resorting to violence”
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.