Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku has issued a stern warning to residents of the Mambilla Plateau, urging them not to sell lands to “selfish politicians” who storm the area in order to benefit from compensations meant for the Mambilla hydroelectric power project site.
Governor Ishaku gave this caution on Thursday when he received members of the Kakara Tea farming community from the Mambilla Plateau.
Members of the group came to appreciate Ishaku for restoring peace and empowering them when they lost hope in a crisis that engulfed the area a few years ago.
While addressing the contingent, the governor added that under no guise will his administration allow any politician influence or tamper with the already existing peace that once eluded the people.
“For people to sit in Abuja and come here, and sneak in here and take data of people and say they enrolled them and have given them jobs, it’s wrong. It’s counter to the spirit of the MoU we signed with the Federal Ministry of Power.
“I am the landlord, I didn’t give myself, the constitution gave me that power. You want to build here, you come to me. I was a minister, I went to other governors, I met them, we negotiated, we built a dam.
“I finished in Kashimina, went to the one that they’re building in Niger State, all those are my handwork. [Even] the one they finished in Kaduna. There is nothing there but cooperation; the Federal Government has the mind and the power to do that, and then we’ll cooperate with the state government and we’ll get it done.
“Don’t sell any land, the state government will tell you the stages we will go when the time comes,” Ishaku urged the people.
Describing the Mambilla Plateau as an oil well to the state, the governor vowed to revoke any land purchased illegally, stressing that the much talked about power project has no road leading to its proposed site, and as such, priorities must be set right.
In 2017, the Mambilla Plateau was in the news for hostilities that broke out between the Mambilla speaking tribe and Hausa-Fulani communities.
Several lives were lost and properties destroyed. But that has long been put behind by the people following interventions by the state government.
In a bid to restore peace, the government constructed the Tunga Hydro Mini Power Station to provide stable power supply as well as the tear, cut and curl machines for the Mambilla beverages in the once moribund highland tea company.
Governor Ishaku further revealed that with the peace being enjoyed within the Mambilla Plateau area, his government’s next target will be to commence coffee production in collaboration with Kenya.