Governor of Taraba State, Darius Dickson Ishaku, has expressed shock and sadness over the passing of His Royal Majesty, Dr Shekarau Angyu Masa-Ibi, Aku Uka of Wukari, who is also the chairman of the Taraba State Council of Chiefs.
In a statement on Sunday, Governor Ishaku described the late Aku Uka as a foremost paramount ruler whose reign brought peace, unity and prosperity to Wukari, and the entire ancient Kwararafa Kingdom.
He described his reign as a period of self-discovery for the Jukun people of their strategic place in history as well as their role in the promotion of modern civilisation in Nigeria and beyond.
Speaking further, he noted that the traditional ruler had a rare sense of history, adding that his demise has robbed Taraba State and Nigeria of the benefits of his wise counsel which he offered.
A 200-level student of the Taraba State University in the Peace and Conflict Resolution Department has died after a brief illness.
According to an anonymous source, the student identified as Patience Samson was rushed to the school clinic on Saturday after her fellow students discovered she was critically ill.
She was attended to and discharged later in the day.
However, the source further disclosed that Samson was found dead in her hostel by Sunday morning.
The University’s Director of Communication, Sa’ad Mohammed, confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a telephone interview, stating that more details regarding the student’s death will be revealed.
Her remains have now been deposited at a morgue awaiting autopsy.
Victims of the defunct SARS and other security agencies brutality in Taraba state have asked the Federal Government to cushion the untold hardship they are facing by compensating them.
The victims in their number gathered in Jalingo the state capital and are asking that the same measure meted out to other states across the country should be replicated in Taraba.
The judicial panel which was led by Justice Christopher Awubra was inaugurated on the 22nd of October 2020 to serve for six months and received 34 petitions.
Out of the 34 petitions received, 26 were against the Nigeria Police Force, one against the NSCDC, two against the vigilante group, and three against the Nigerian army. Six of the petitions were withdrawn and struck out, while 28 were successfully heard.
A spokesman for the victims, Ferdinand Kakaba urged the Federal Government to come to their aid.
”To our own understanding, the panel has concluded its assignment and submitted its report, up to now, there is no result from the federal or Taraba State government, we do not know what is going on.
”We are suffering untold hardship, some people died, they left their orphans, widows, while others are still receiving treatment in various medical centres in the country.
”Even among us here, someone was referred to kano, but he cannot go there, because he has no money.
”We have exhausted our energies, so we expect that with the completion of the panel’s assignment the federal government should have responded just like it did in other states.
” We are aware that many states in Nigeria have paid off victims of such atrocities, why is Taraba state different? Where is the problem? That is why we are here to let the whole world and indeed Nigeria and Taraba state to know.
”Maybe the fault might not be from the state government, but it is their responsibility to take care of its citizens.
”At least the federal government should have pity on us, especially with what has been done to us.
”People are suffering, we have been injured, there are lots of problems ongoing, not to even talk of the hardship going on as a result of food scarcity, just treatment alone, is enough for us.
”These are not only the victims that were affected, but some cannot walk, some cannot pay for their transportation fare to this place, that is why few of us are representing them and speaking on their behalf,” Kakaba stated.
The judicial panel on the restitution of victims of SARS and other security agencies brutality in Taraba State ended its sitting on the 17th day of May 2021.
The Christian Association Of Nigeria (CAN) has raised an alarm over the assassination of clergymen for no just course in Taraba State by yet to be identified assailants.
Chairman of the association Jirapye Magaji raised the alarm following the dastard murder of a clergyman under the auspices of the Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria in Baissa, the headquarters of Kurmi local government area on Monday.
”With a heart filled with grief, I stand to address you this moment on the unfortunate brutal killing of the CRC-N regional church council Baissa chairman, Rev. Timothy Damisa on the 12th of July 2021 at his residence in Baissa, the headquarters of Kurmi LGA.
”The dastard assassination of the clergyman is a great shock to the entire denomination because it came at the time that this vibrant pastor was contributing enormously to the spiritual and physical transformation of the church ”
”Accordingly, the church is worried by the new trend where criminals or sponsored assassins have made ministers of the gospel their targets as this has been the third of its kind in recent times within the denomination alone,” the CAN Chairman stated.
Magaji called on the government and security agencies to swing into action to unravel the syndicates perpetrating such heinous crime and their sponsors.
”We, therefore, call on government at all levels and the intelligence agencies to swing into action to uncover the syndicates perpetrating these vices and their sponsors in society and bring them to book.
”This will serve as a deterrent to others, as allowing crime to thrive will make perpetrators consider it a lucrative business and others would be attracted to join them.
” We advise the church to continue to pray for God to expose the perpetrators and sponsors of the dastardly act ”.
While urging clergymen in the state to be security conscious, Magaji added that this is the third time ministers of the gospel are made targets, a situation he described as one too many, one which should not be allowed to degenerate.
”We also urge members to desist from peddling unfounded rumours concerning the incident as that is capable of bringing division in the church.
”The church advises the youth in society to embrace legitimate ventures to earn their living, instead of availing themselves as instruments of satan for destruction, as the consequence will not only be on them but will spill over to their future generations.
”For the deceased, his contributions to the church has been enormous as evident in the legacy he left in Abuja, Jos and lately Baissa, where he served as pastor, RCC chairman, ” the cleric stated.
He condoled with the immediate family, friends, well-wishers, and the entire denomination and the body of Christ over the unfortunate incident; and prayed that God would grant the deceased eternal rest.
Over 300 buildings have been submerged in a flood that ravaged several communities in Jalingo, the Taraba state capital.
According to residents, the flooding commenced on Saturday morning, in the wake of a heavy downpour.
They also pointed fingers at the release of water from Labdo dam in Cameroon.
No life has been reported lost but residents watched helplessly as business centres, vehicles, worship centres and schools were submerged by the flood.
Red cross officials have arrived the flooded areas to provide emergency help for affected residents.
Some residents who spoke to Channels Television called for the government to assist in rebuilding their homes and provide relief materials to cushion the pain of their losses.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Jalingo local government, Nasiru Boboji, appealed to the Federal Government to collaborate with Cameroon, in order to intimate residents whenever the Labdo dam will be opened to avoid such casualties.
The Taraba State Governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku, has called on the Federal Government to speed up oil exploration in the north east region of the country in order to help enhance and diversify the country’s economy.
The Governor made the appeal on Tuesday, at the 5th meeting of the North East Governors’ Forum Held at the Government House in the state capital, Jalingo.
“I am delighted that oil has been discovered in the North East, notably in the Bauchi-Gombe axis and in Taraba State, but ours has both oil and gas. In the same line, I urge the federal government to expand and expedite exploration in the Chad basin, as well as the Benue trough, which, according to geological reports, is rich in oil and gas,” Governor Ishaku said.
“As a result of the 13 per cent derivation principle enjoyed by oil-producing States, we anticipate that early exploitation of petroleum resources in the North-East region will increase our revenue profile.
“Similarly, the North-East states are rich in solid mineral reserves that are yet to be exploited. Solid mineral has a stable price on the international market, unlike crude oil and can help enhance and diversify the country’s economy”.
While calling on the Federal Government to work with State Governments to develop their mineral resources, Governor Ishaku also recommended that the Forum push for the removal of the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources from the exclusive list to the concurrent list.
The meeting also touched on other matters such as insurgence, agriculture, road projects, among others.
Read the full details of the meeting below.
Keynote Address Of His Excellency, The Executive Governor Of Taraba State, Architect Darius Dickson Ishaku At The 5th Meeting Of North East Governors’ Forum Held At The Government House, Jalingo On 6th And 7th July, 2021
I warmly welcome my dear Governors of Borno, Adamawa, Gombe, Yobe, and Bauchi States to Taraba State, (Nature’s Gift to the nation). Given the importance of this gathering to the overall well-being of our region, and indeed the federation, your arrival has been eagerly awaited.
Important as this meeting is, I will still invite your Excellencies to take advantage of the hospitality of our people and the congenial atmosphere while spending a few days in Jalingo, the State capital.
Your Excellencies, it is encouraging that the North East Governors Forum has established itself as a powerful voice in the Nigerian political arena; however, we must continue to make conscious and deliberate efforts to keep our unique concerns at the forefront of national debate to achieve the desired recognition.
Indeed, our affinity as a geopolitical zone precedes Nigeria’s merger, and subsequent post-independence political and administrative fragmentations have not affected who we are. As a result, this Forum should be in the vanguard of further reinforcing mutually beneficial social and economic integrations of our government and people.
If we wish to bring national attention to our plights, we must be able to harmonize our thoughts and communicate in unison. In other words, an injury to one is an injury to all.
Thus, the Forum must speak out loudly as the voice of each State and all the states, because as it is now, certain important issues are left to the affected states to handle alone.
On this premise, this Forum must be more proactive in ensuring that the multibillion-dollar Mambilla Hydro-Electric Power Project (MHEPP), with a capacity of 3050 megawatts, is fully operational, as it can generate half of the present national power output from all existing generation stations combined.
There is, however, a pressing need to also construct an access road to the dam site which is located in Barup village, on the Mambilla Plateau, in Sardauna Local Government Area of the State.
The economic benefits of the power project, Your Excellencies, cannot be overemphasized, considering its potential to create hundreds of thousands of skilled and unskilled jobs for Taraba State, the Northeast region, and the entire country. This is why, as the voice of the North East, our Forum must vigorously advocate for the commencement of this massive project as soon as possible.
To this end, the North-East Governors’ forum needs to meet with the leadership of the National Assembly to press for budgetary provisions to be made in the supplementary appropriation as there is zero allocation in the 2021 Federal Budget.
As you are all aware, distinguished members of this forum, one of the long-standing difficulties affecting our region is the long-running insurgency that has disrupted our way of life and become a barrier to our developmental efforts.
I do, however, appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari’s renewed energy in confronting the Boko Haram threat, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, and other criminal activities head-on, and add that more is needed to be done to overcome these security challenges once and for all in the whole country.
12, Due to the persistent Boko Haram issue, we have lost a large section of our population. Many people have lost loved ones, and their livelihoods have been devastated. The threat will remain intractable as long as the insurgents’ sources of funding, supplies, and recruitment are not cut off.
Permit me to however salute the Nigerian Military’s sacrifices, heroism, and professionalism, not just in the fight against insurgents but also in defending the country’s sovereignty and unity. I must acknowledge that the military, police, and other security organizations have played and continue to play an important role in maintaining peace and security in troubled areas of the State. We will not fail to provide them with the required assistance and cooperation in this difficult undertaking.
The displacement of people from their ancestral homes has resulted in a serious refugee crisis, which is one of the consequences of the insurgency. Taraba has had to shoulder the burden of their plight, with thousands of them fleeing their villages and towns in search of a safe home in the State. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and its Taraba State counterpart (SEMA), as well as local and international NGOs, have done a lot to alleviate their suffering, but the problem remains tremendous, and much more has to be done.
Similarly, the herders-farmers conflict has resulted in a high number of internally displaced persons (IDPs), mainly in Taraba State. Given our favourable climate, the ongoing problem has had a severe influence on agricultural output, as evidenced by the country’s high food prices. Insurgency, crime, and the persistent herder-farmer conflicts, no doubt, have impacted negatively on the country’s youth unemployment and high crime rates.
The North East region is one of the agriculture belts of the country. We need to figure out which crops grow in each of our states and where we have a comparative advantage over our competitors. In Taraba state, the government has promoted the cultivation of grains such as maize, guinea corn, and rice, as well as root crops like yam, cassava, and potato. We are also leading producers of beni seed, soya beans, avocado pear, citrus fruits among others. To increase the productivity of our farmers, this forum must key into Federal Government agriculture intervention programmes and also encourage farmers to form cooperatives to access low-interest loan facilities and other incentives.
This brings to mind the Great Green Wall plan, which aims to slow the spread of the Sahara Desert. The initiative should stimulate the planting of economic trees that will provide food for people and also serve as fodder for animals. Desert encroachment, unfortunately, has forced many people to migrate from the Sahel region to other parts of the country, therefore, this African Union programme should be re-energized with the support of this meeting.
On regional co-operation, the Chairman, board of directors of the North- East Regional Shuttle airlines, has been invited to make a presentation to the meeting on its progress, challenges facing the company, and the journey so far.
Respected and admired colleagues, I am delighted that oil has been discovered in the North East, notably in the Bauchi-Gombe axis and in Taraba State, but ours has both oil and gas. In the same line, I urge the federal government to expand and expedite exploration in the Chad basin, as well as the Benue trough, which, according to geological reports, is rich in oil and gas.
As a result of the 13 per cent derivation principle enjoyed by oil-producing States, we anticipate that early exploitation of petroleum resources in the North-East region will increase our revenue profile.
Similarly, the North-East states are rich in solid mineral reserves that are yet to be exploited. Solid mineral has a stable price on the international market, unlike crude oil and can help enhance and diversify the country’s economy.
Our august visitors, in harnessing the oil and gas as well as solid minerals resources in our region for increased revenue, we must avoid the mistakes of environmental contamination in the Niger Delta and Lead poisoning in Zamfara State, by ensuring rigorous environmental impact assessment study, before mining activities commence.
On this basis, I urge the Federal Government to work with State Governments to develop our mineral resources, which are on the exclusive list, even though the land use act vests land matters in the states, to increase income and revenue.
In this regard, I wish to recommend to the forum to push for the removal of the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources from the exclusive list to the concurrent list.
For instance, control over mining is delegated by the central government to regional authorities in South Africa, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Columbia, Chile, Canada, and Australia just to mention but a few. The South African Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 is a good example of how this could be resolved for the benefit of central and regional governments.
Dear colleagues, the Federal Government’s Road for tax plan, which gives select corporations like Dangote and BUA groups relief on backlogs of unpaid taxes in exchange for road development, is praiseworthy. Though, some of us have no idea of the criteria used to choose which roads to construct. Therefore, we are calling the Dangote group to consider the construction of selected roads in Adamawa and Taraba States where it has huge investments.
Similarly, the Taraba State Government had earlier made submission to the North-East Development Commission on the construction and rehabilitation of the following roads; Mararaba-Baissa-Abong, Lau-Karim Lamido, and Jalingo-Zing-Mayo Belwa to Ngurore. Therefore, I wish to request the Commission to commence work on the said roads.
Finally, I respectfully request that this distinguished forum debate the topics on the agenda objectively and come up with constructive and helpful solutions to problems that impact not only our region but the entire country.
Once again, I extend the most sincere greetings of the good people of Taraba State and wish you a memorable stay in our lovely State.
Gunmen suspected to be bandits have killed four people in separate attacks carried out between Wednesday and Thursday in Taraba State.
The gunmen in their numbers first attacked Tor-Larshager a suburb community of Wukari Local Government Area killing a 70-year-old man and setting ablaze his residential apartment at about 9:00 P.M On Wednesday.
At about 2:00 A.M on Thursday the gunmen struck again at Rafinkada village killing three persons.
The chairman of the local government area, Daniel Grace confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a telephone interview.
Daniel disclosed that the trio killed includes an elderly Woman, her daughter-in-law, and a man who is said to have gotten married barely three months ago.
The police public relations officer of the state, David Misal who also confirmed the incident says efforts are on to unravel those behind the nefarious act.
He adds that calm has returned to the area, but operatives of the force are on ground to ensure the safety of lives and property.
The attack is coming barely one week after bandits killed three farmers in Assa village of Wukari local government area on the 7th of April and two Mobile police officers at a checkpoint in Takum LGA on the 6th of April.
The Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku has asked Nigerians to return to God in prayer as the country battles a myriad of security challenges.
According to him, peace is what the country and Taraba State, in particular, needs to progress in all spheres.
The governor made the appeal on Wednesday when he received the General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministry Apostle Johnson Suleiman, who visited Wukari, the worst-hit Local Government Area in the state, for prayers.
“We thank God for Apostle Johnson Suleiman, who came down to Taraba to put down the showers of blessing and to pray for the land,” the governor said.
“The bible teaches us that in times like this when we are been harassed by evil and devil, we should invite men of god to come and pray to heal the land.
“He has gone down to Wukari Local Government Area the worst-hit area for the Tiv vs Jukun crisis, he has prayed and we know that by the grace of God, peace will come back permanently to Taraba State and this is the peace that we so desire.
“Not only in Taraba; we desire this peace all over the country and quite frankly, we are overjoyed with his coming and we thank God for his life”.
The preacher said he was worried about the spate of insecurity in Nigeria, stressing that nothing can be given in exchange for human lives wasted on a daily basis in the country.
According to him, clergymen across the country are praying for the restoration of peace, insisting that posterity will not forgive any leadership that allows lives to be wasted.
”We are not just concerned, we are worried about it because there is nothing you can give in exchange for life,” Apostle Suleman said.
”Human life is very precious and we are praying as ministers of God, not only are we praying, we are also doing our best to speak to authorities and that is one of my reasons for being here in Taraba”
”The governor has been one of the most forceful voices in speaking through to authority at the level of wanton destruction of lives and property.
”We are praying, we are also calling on the government at the centre that posterity will never forgive any leadership that allow lives to be wasted daily, that in Nigeria now it is all about, who is next, but we are praying and believing God that to will soon come to an end.
”We went to Wukari LGA, we saw relative peace and calmness and that speaks of the composure of the man at the centre.
”I have interacted with the governor, right from where he became the governor and I discovered that he means well for the people and his heart bleeds when he sees this wanton destruction.
” I urge residents of the state to live in peace and keep praying for the whole country that god will make Nigeria the dream of every Nigerian”.
Mr Jediel had been abducted in the earlier hours of Sunday at his residence in Sunkani, the headquarters of Ardo-Kola Local Government Council of the state.
Confirming the incident to Channels Television in a telephone interview earlier, the younger brother of the NLC chairman, Boniface Stephen, revealed that the hoodlums shot sporadically into the air to scare residents before whisking Mr. Jediel away.
According to Stephen, they came in their numbers at about 12:00 am, broke the NLC chairman’s gate, and forced their way into his compound.
The Commissioner explained that the corp members were tested based on the directives by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that all members of the scheme should be tested on arrival at various orientation camps.
The 11 corps members were discovered with the virus in Taraba State on arrival at the camp.
”So as part of the guidelines of the presidential task force on COVID-19 on the control of COVID-19 in Nigeria, they asked every state to carry out mass testing of all corps members present in camps and in Taraba state eleven corps members tested positive, but all of them were asymptomatic, that is to say, they are not showing symptoms.
”Since they are positive, the onus lies on the health authorities to ensure that they were quarantined.
”Based on the information I have so far received, they are all doing well and will soon reunite with their family as the camp closes,” he said.
Vakkai, who is also the Chairman Taskforce committee on COVID-19 in the state expressed sadness with the lack of compliance to the safety measures by residents of the state to reduce community transmission.
He insisted that there is a waiting danger ahead if the negligence is not curtailed.
He called on residents to exercise restraint and caution, especially during this Yuletide season.