Looting: Gov Ishaku Seeks FG’s Assistance To Rebuild Vandalised Structures
Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku is appealing to the federal government and other humanitarian agencies to assist in rebuilding structures vandalized and replacing items looted by hoodlums in the wake of the #EndSARS protest that greeted the nation.
While lamenting that the state government uses its scarce resources to pay salaries and carry out other developmental plans, the governor describes the destruction as colossal and quantum, insisting that bouncing back can only take the grace of God, especially now that the country is into recession.
”Absolutely, the state government does not have the resources and definitely we will need assistance from the federal government and that’s the finality of it,” the governor said on Tuesday after an assessment of destroyed properties in the state capital, Jalingo.
”We do not have the resources and we are hoping that the federal government will come in to assist us, otherwise, we will just ground to a halt.
”You have seen the damage and the much talked about food is for those in distress especially the internally displaced persons and we kept it for eventualities as no one anticipates trouble, it is really sad indeed. It is colossal damage all over and quantum destruction.
”Talking about how we can start to repair it, I do not know because the scarce resources the state has is what is used to ensure that we keep the state functioning and with this setback, only God knows when we can be able to bounce back.”
The governor who was visibly saddened by what he saw, especially at the Hope Afresh Foundation, a skills acquisition centre belonging to his wife Anna Ishaku insists, that there should be a rethink to protests and its degenerating effect.
”It is a huge destruction and as you can see we are just from the Hope Afresh Foundation for less than one year they have trained about 1650 people on different skills, these hoodlums came and took away everything,” he explained.”It is not even about the building but equipping it.”
With the meagre resources available to the state government and the country going into recession Governor Ishaku says it is a sad development that will not ensure a quick rebuild.
”With this meagre resources, the country is already in recession, I think it is a very sad development that happened to us in the country,” he noted.
“Yes in a democracy, you are allowed to air your contrary views, but not in a destructive manner like this”
”We have prepared our report but with the COVID-19 pandemic that has trimmed our resources to below 55% and a very poor state like Taraba, we have been living up to expectation by paying salaries and now even if we manage to pay salaries, we will manage to do nothing else.”
He stressed that the security architecture of the country needs to be overhauled and constitution amended to accommodate local, state and federal police for effective response in situations like this because the police were not helpful during the looting.
”As you are very much aware the security agencies are not under my control and I have said that repeatedly from day one when I resumed I said there is something defective about our constitution,” the governor said.
”When you make someone a governor, even in America where we copied the constitution from, the state has their state police, local government police and Federal police”
”In that structure, what is bigger than the local police, the state police takes over and what is bigger than the state police, the federal police takes over, but we copied the police defectively and we removed the power of the Governor from running the state police and of course you expect this kind of chaos and the reason was that the police stood watching the hoodlums perpetrate the act without hindrance.
”It is just like me in my house, anyone can pick me up now, it is very sad and the constitution has to be amended so as to serve its purpose and if it cannot serve its purpose, then it is useless.”
He adds that the destructive manner calls for reorientation for future protests.
The governor visited warehouses belonging to late governor Danbaba Suntai, Taraba state Transport Corporation, Veterinary Clinic, Hope Afresh Foundation and Biotechnology Centre all in Jalingo, the state capital.
The looting and vandalization of warehouses took place when the governor was out of the state for an official engagement.