Taraba APC Holds Congress Despite Court Restraining Order

Map of Taraba
A map of Taraba, a state in Nigeria’s North-East region.

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Taraba State has held its state congress despite an order from the Federal High Court in the state restraining it from conducting the exercise.

The state congress which took place at Ali Sani Kona event centre Jauro Yinu, Ardo-Kola Local Government Area of Taraba State saw the emergence of Ibrahim El-Sudi as the chairman of the party after his first tenure.

The emergence of Ibrahim El-Sudi was through a voice vote to affirm and elect those who will occupy various positions in the state.

Speaking during the exercise, Chairman of the APC Congress Committee for Taraba State, Tijani Tumsa said the exercise is to avoid the rigorous procedures of voting, counting and declaration.

“What is happening here is unprecedented in the state. After due consultation with all the critical stakeholders, we have arrived at an arrangement to guarantee the future of our party. I call on all those that indicated interest in running the affairs of our party to throw their weight behind the leadership for the overall good of the party,” he said.

“I appreciate the INEC and security agencies that have been very vigilant to ensure that we have a hitch free exercise.”

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In her remarks, Secretary of the Election Committee, Rachael Akpabio who read out the names of the officials called for the 100% support and was greeted with overwhelming affirmation from the party stakeholders who were present at the Congress.

A stakeholder of the party in Taraba and Senator representing the Central Zone of the state, Senator Yusuf Yusuf insisted that the party’s decision to go with affirmation rather than the tedious election process is with the consent of all critical stakeholders of the party.

“We are doing affirmation and not election because that is our collective decision. I assure you that as the leader of the party in the state, what we are doing here today is the only legitimate Congress of the APC in Taraba state and anything outside here is an illegality that should not be given a second thought,” he said.

The party chairman in the state Ibrahim El-Sudi appreciated stakeholders of the party for the confidence reposed in them, promising not to let any member down.

“My leadership will provide a level playing field for all members to participate actively for the general good of the party.

“Getting  re-elected to serve, entails that We must remain focus and stay united and forget our differences to make sure we deliver in 2023 and beyond ”

At the moment, other stakeholders of the party are awaiting the outcome of the Federal high Court judgment to determine the legality of the congress or otherwise.

Taraba Traditional Ruler Masa-Ibi Kuvyon Dies At 84

The supreme ruler of the Kwararafa Empire, Dr Shekarau Angyu Masa-Ibi Kuvyon, died on October 9, 2021.

 

The supreme ruler of the Kwararafa Empire, Dr Shekarau Angyu Masa-Ibi Kuvyon the second is dead.

He died late on Saturday night in his house after a brief illness at the age of 84.

The deceased was the 27th Aku-Uka of the Kwararafa Empire and 13th since the founding of the Wukari federation, a Jukun traditional state in Middle Belt Nigeria.

Family sources confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Sunday via a telephone interview.

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His Special Adviser on Media, Jolly Agbu Masa-IBI also said traditional rites in accordance with the Jukun tradition had since commenced.

“The Paramount and Supreme Ruler of the Jukun Race and Chairman Taraba State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Majesty, Dr Shekarau Angyu Masa Ibi, Kuvyo II CON has joined his ancestors,” he said.

“The final traditional rites for Aku Uka’s transition from the Palace to Puje would be announced in due course.”

Before his demise, he was also the Chairman of the Taraba State Council of Traditional Rulers and Chancellor, Federal University Dutse.

One Killed As Gunmen Storm Taraba Community, Abduct Many

A file photo of a man holding a gun.

 

Gunmen suspected to be bandits have attacked a border community between Taraba and Benue states, killing one person and abducting many.

The gunmen who stormed a border community in Benue State forced residents to flee to Koffai Ahmadu in Takum Local Government Area for safety on Saturday.

Confirming the incident to Channels Television via a phone conversation on Saturday, the Chairman of Takum council, Shiban Tikari said that security has been beefed up in the neighbouring communities to avert escalation.

He described the incident as an act of cowardice, stressing that efforts are in top gear to cater for the displaced and return them to their ancestral homes.

READ ALSO: Two Killed As Church Collapses In Taraba

“One person was killed in the attack and I recovered the corpse and many others were also said to have been kidnapped,” Tikari said.

“Where the bandits invaded, residents there all ran to Koffai Ahmadu for safety, but they were people from Benue State.

“People were also alleging that houses were burnt, but I can also confirm to you that no house was set ablaze as I went to the scene.’

“Actually, what really happened is that people are referring to Koffai Ahmadu as the center for the hostilities, but precisely where it took place is at the border between Taraba and Benue states.

“We have put security in place to restore normalcy in the border communities especially the operation whirl stroke [whose members] are now camping close to the affected community to avert any further breakdown of law and order.”

On efforts made to identify the culprits, the council boss added that no arrest had been made by security agencies so far.

Two Killed As Church Collapses In Taraba

The scene of the Holy Ghost church that collapsed in Taraba State, killing two persons and injuring others.

 

A church building has collapsed in Taraba State, killing two persons and injuring many worshippers. The church, Holy Ghost Church,  is located in Chanchanji community, Takum Local Government Area of the state.

Chairman of Takum council, Shiban Tikari confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a phone conversation on Saturday.

The victims – Demenege James and Mwueze Terzunwe – were said to be worshipping in the church in Peva village before the building caved in.

He disclosed that the injured are receiving treatment at a primary health care centre within the community.

READ ALSO: No More Amnesty For Bandits In Zamfara, Says Matawalle

 

 

Do Not Sell Lands To ‘Selfish Politicians’, Ishaku Warns Mambilla Residents

A file photo of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV
A file photo of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

 

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.

READ ALSO: Over 13,000 Projects Abandoned In Niger Delta – NDDC Audit Report

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.

Suspected Cholera Outbreak Leaves Seven Dead In Taraba

Map of Taraba
A map of Taraba, a state in Nigeria’s North-East region.

 

No fewer than seven persons died and many others hospitalized following a suspected outbreak of cholera in the Tella community of Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State.

The Taraba State Commissioner for Health, Dr Innocent Vakkai confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a telephone interview on Monday.

He said a team of medical experts from the state’s Ministry of Health have been sent to the community to investigate the reported cases and give feedback.

While corroborating the report, the Chairman of Gassol Local Government Area, Musa Chul revealed that 25 persons are on admission at the Tella maternity clinic.

READ ALSO: Police Confirm Five Killed, 50 Abducted In Zamfara Village Attack

“I received a report from Tella community last Saturday evening that three persons have died from vomiting and constant stooling, which prompted me to detail the local government health team to the village to find out,” he said.

“Before the arrival of the team on Sunday, four more persons were also said to have lost their lives.

He narrated that the worst hit community was Unguwan Kabawa, a suburb of Tella community where the suspected cases started.

The council chairman advised residents to always stick to proper hygiene practices to prevent such ailment and possible death.

The Devastating Flood That Left Taraba Residents In Distress

 

Solomon Simon woke up in the morning of Thursday, August 5, to a flooded house. In panic, the middle-aged man quickly moved his children out of the building before trying to salvage some of his properties.

But most – including precious livestock – were already submerged in the flood.

“Before I came back to recover the animals, the water had increased,” he said. “We just rushed out and left them there because I cannot predict what could happen.”

Simon’s was just one among many families affected by the recent flooding in Taraba State. Elvis Joseph’s was another.

“At exactly 6am, there was a heavy rainfall,” Joseph told Channels Television. “The whole place was flooded all of a sudden and there was a car parked here. Before we knew it, it was swept away.

“There is nothing we can do actually, and the destruction is enormous. It is something we never planned for, but we thank God that we still have shelter over our heads. This is the second time this is happening. Some of us are still counting our losses till now.”

 

 

Relocating To Higher Grounds

Parts of Taraba State – especially the river belt areas – are particularly prone to flooding. Residents of Jalingo – the state capital – were not left out of the tragedy.

The August 5 incident was the second time in less than one month that communities would be ravaged by high waters, with valuables worth millions of naira destroyed – buildings, farmlands, vehicles.

State authorities also confirmed the death of a teenager in the recent flooding.

According to the Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, the flooding is caused by people who have encroached on the river valleys in the state.

The way out of the problem, for him, is to discourage people from settling in the valleys and relocate to higher grounds.

But the government, in the meantime, is making efforts to ease the effect of the flooding on the people.

 

“The first thing is to immediately send food supplies to all these people because most of them, their houses have been completely damaged,” said Ishaku.

“We need to support them with what to eat immediately and the second stage will be how they can reconstruct their houses, but not in the same area because they are all in the low valley of the rivers.

“Any flooding again in the future will be worse. We had this issue in 2005 and this looks a bit worse than that.”

It, however, appears that the government’s effort is being sabotaged by officials responsible to distribute palliatives to the victims.

While some didn’t get any relief, the little received by others was as good as nothing.

 

An Avenue To Loot?

Yohanna Obidah, whose family was also affected, said, “We did not benefit from anything. We did not even see anything, nobody came to capture anything.

“But our (community) leader said some people came to the area and captured (documented) some (residents) but we were not around. So our names are not included on the list and we did not see anything.

“My neighbour later brought groundnut oil in a pet bottle (50cl) that they distributed to people and he brought for us, but we said we do not want it.”

 

Beyond the sad feeling of watching their properties soaked or swept away by the powerful torrent, some residents had other problems to deal with.

“Some of our properties that we were unable to move as a result of the flood, we saw some guys from nowhere entering the water to pick them,” Joseph lamented.

“And when we attempted to claim our properties, they claimed they were their valuables swept away by the flood. Others came from behind and entered some houses to pick some valuables.”

As the question of what was responsible for the flooding continued to beg for answers, Alfred had an opinion contrary to the position of the governor who blamed it on encroachment on river valleys.

 

The middle-aged man believes the erection of buildings on water channels contributes largely to the situation the people have found themselves in.

He advised the authorities not to add to the problem but embark on a campaign to discourage the people from obstructing the free flow of water by building structures on drainage channels.

“Our government is not helping matters; they need to sensitise people,” said Alfred. “They need to organise even if it is a seminar to create awareness and educate people not to settle here (on water channels).

“If we knew this would happen, we would not have settled here and I pray that Taraba State government and Nigerian Government will come to our aid.”

Thousands Defect To APC In Taraba

Court Nullifies Zamfara APC Governorship Primary
A file photo of APC flags.

 

Thousands of supporters of various political parties in Taraba State have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The supporters, drawn from the 52 political wards of the five local government and special development areas of southern Taraba, stormed the St. Mary Secondary School in Wukari on Friday to declare their allegiance into the APC fold.

They comprised members of the United Democratic Party (UDP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Young Progressives Party (YPP), and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

An APC chieftain, Dalhatu Sangari, who received the new members said the development was the first of its kind in the political history of southern Taraba.

“Well, about 50,000 supporters from different political parties across Taraba South senatorial district consisting of five LGAs and one special development area have defected to our party.

“In political systems, one of the characteristics is a division of opinions and it leads to crises within ranks and we in the APC have been doing all things possible to see that these crises are resolved preparatory to 2023,” he said at the event.

Sangari urged the party faithful to give 100 per cent support to whoever would emerge as the consensus candidate for the ward, local government, state, zonal and national congresses.

One of the new members and a staunch supporter of the late Aisha Alhassan who was fondly called Mama Taraba, Tubase Ibrahim, asked the supporters of the former minister to join the APC.

“Today we have left the PDP and are back to APC. We lost the 2019 elections due to disunity and many factions and at the end of the day, our candidate (Alhassan) could not scale through. The APC has returned solidified, united, and ready to face PDP in Taraba State come 2023.

“From our observations at the grassroots, we know Taraba shall be of APC come 2023. As it stands now, from the 168 wards and 16 local government areas of Taraba State, all those who were with Mama Taraba are now in the APC,” he said.

But the PDP has insisted that it remained the party to beat in Taraba, highlighting the efforts of the present administration to develop the state.

It called on its supporters not to be moved by the game of APC in gathering what it described as fake crowds to scare party stalwarts, stressing that the APC has lost many times in Taraba and would remain a loser.

Gunmen Kill One, Abduct Two Chinese In Taraba

A file photo of a man carrying a gun.

 

Gunmen suspected to be bandits have killed one person and kidnapped two nationals of the Republic of China in Taraba State.

The incident was said to have taken place on Monday night at a mining site at Arufu community in Wukari Local Government Area of the state.

Mr David Misal, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a telephone interview on Wednesday.

He gave an assurance that the police were on top of the situation and have already begun a manhunt for the fleeing bandits with a full-scale investigation ongoing.

The command spokesman noted that two abducted foreigners were staff of a mining company in the state.

He added that several others who sustained various degrees of injury while scampering for safety have been taken to various health facilities within the community for treatment.

The said community is a boundary town between Benue and Taraba States and has been in the news for attacks arising from mining activities in the area.

According to the Police Public Relations Officer, no contact has been established with the abductors to know what their demands are.

This incident comes after weeks of no reported case of kidnap or attack and counter-attack in the area.

Ishaku To Implement Financial Autonomy For Judiciary, Legislature In Taraba

A file photo of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV
A file photo of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

The Taraba state Governor Darius Ishaku has stressed that judicial and legislative autonomy is a necessity for a strong democracy in Nigeria to excel.

The Governor said he will not hesitate in joining his counterparts across the nation in implementing the financial autonomy of both arms of government in Taraba to provide justice for the common man.

He made the comment while inaugurating a new Grand Khadi of the state Dahiru Ahmad on Friday in Jalingo.

While appealing to JUSUN to suspend its ongoing strike action in the interest of justice especially those in detention, the Governor urged them to imbibe the virtues of equity, moral uprightness, live above board and fair.

”Permit me to use this rare opportunity to reiterate that I am not opposed to judicial and legislative autonomy, rather I believe that financially independence for judiciary and the legislature is essential for a strong democracy,” Ishaku said.

”Therefore we shall not hesitate to join other states of the federation in implementing the financial autonomy of both arms of government.

”Let me also reassure the judiciary of our determination to maintain and expand on the existing synergy to provide better justice to the common man.

”I will also like to take this opportunity to strongly urge JUSUN to suspend their ongoing strike action in the interest of justice even as the negotiations are ongoing.

”Hopefully, an amicable resolution to all of their demands will later be met.

“This call has become urgent in the light of the fact that many innocent people are languishing in detentions without trials and several law suits have been allowed to drag on unnecessarily.

”In the meantime, I urge the bar and the bench to imbibe the virtues of equity, moral uprightness and fairness, so that justice can be delivered to the masses in an effective, efficient and timely manner.”

He also encouraged serving judges to live above board as their actions and inactions have reaching consequences in the lives of others.

”They should see their jobs as a way to serve God and humanity,” he said.

While inaugurating the new Grand Khadi, Governor Ishaku said his appointment is based on merit following the demise of the former occupant of the office.

”The late Grand Khadi did not only serve faithfully, but was an epitome of justice and fairness,” he said.

”Government has always ensured that we have appointment of judges wherever the vacancy exists.

”As the new Grand Khadi you are expected to uphold the constitution by doing justice to all manner of people in order to reflect the tenets of the oath you have just taken as the judiciary is the last hope of the common man of which I Darius Ishaku standing here is a beneficiary.”

The Governor assured the new Grand Khadi of his support in all ramifications.

A minute silence was also observed in honour of the late Grand Khadi.

Gunmen Abduct University Lecturer In Taraba

Strike: Students Ask Taraba Govt Address Issues Raised By Lecturers
A file photo of fornt gate of the Taraba State University in Jalingo.

 

Gunmen have abducted a lecturer from the staff quarters of the Taraba State University in Jalingo, the state capital.

The lecturer, identified as Umar Buba and Head of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management (Faculty of Agriculture), was kidnapped in the early hours of Sunday, said Professor Vincent Ado-Tenebe who is the Vice-Chancellor of the university.

Ado-Tenebe, who visited the scene of the incident, told Channels Television that the assailants fired sporadic gunshots to displace the security officials attached to the staff quarters during the attack.

“This is a very sad story, and it has not happened in the past two to three years ago when we had our Director of Information kidnapped after which we put so many strategies on the ground to prevent ugly situations in the future.

“I am so surprised that this happened again, and I know that we have police personnel, that of NSCDC, our security outfit, and vigilante group members hired by the institution to keep the place safe and despite all of these, the former Dean of Students Affair has been kidnapped,” he said.

The vice-chancellor, however, gave an assurance that more efforts would be put in place for more security operatives to be deployed, and stressed the need for more arms and ammunition to fight the hoodlums.

He stated that staff and students living within the confines of the school cannot challenge armed men with bare hands, noting that the management would engage concerned authorities to grant licences for staff to have their guns for their protection and that of the students.

He said, “If you have a licensed gun and you are trained, then you will be able to defend your family and the immediate community of students.

“We have grown past this, and I don’t think there is going to be any other solution than for us to apply for licencing of arms so that these bandits will know that we are equal to the task to defend the defenceless.”

Narrating how her husband was abducted, Umar’s wife, Samira, explained that they had just switched off their generator at about 12:15am when they heard a noise which they believed was a windstorm.

“When I met one of them, he asked me where my husband was, and I understood immediately that they were kidnappers. After I understood their plan, I offered myself to be taken as their target instead of my husband and I pleaded that I have a little baby whom I needed to go with and they rejected my offer, insisting that my husband was the target.

“When they gained access … they struggled to go with him (the victim) because he resisted. We have never heard that kind of gunshot in our entire lives,” she recounted.

The victim’s wife added that shortly after the incident, some security operatives arrived at the scene and went after the kidnappers through the bush paths but found nothing but charms, alcoholic drinks, and some clothes abandoned by the gunmen.

She stated that the abductors of her husband have not made any contact with the family to know what their demands were.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in Taraba, David Misal, said the police were on the trail of the kidnappers to rescue the lecturer.

He also called on the residents to provide the police with useful information that would aid the rescue of the abducted lecturer.

Taraba Govt Lifts Embargo On Transfer Of Service

A file photo of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku.

 

The Taraba State Government has granted approval for the lifting of its embargo placed on the transfer of service into the state’s civil service.

Governor Darius Ishaku granted the approval on Monday during an Executive Council meeting in Jalingo, the state capital.

The move is to ensure that civil service in the state is sustained in view of the dire needs of certain categories of staff especially the senior staff.

Briefing journalists shortly after the approval, the Head of Service of the state, Suzy Nathan, disclosed that the transfer of service could be expected from tertiary institutions, the federal government and local government service.

“We observed that there is a huge shortage of senior civil servants in the state and so we want to fill in the vacant position,” she said. “This category of senior civil servants can be welcomed on the basis of transfer.”

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She explained that the criteria include those on grade levels 12, 13, 14 and 15.

The state government also approved the procurement of farming inputs for the

2021 farming season across the state to enhance food security.

Also in its quest to be the leading producer of rice across the country, the state government has given the approval to secure the services of consultants to enhance rice production in the state along river Donga basins.

Over One thousand farmers are expected to benefit from it.

According to the Commissioner for Agricultural Development and Natural Resources, David Ishaya, the state government will procure, listed improved varieties of maize, soya beans and rice faro 44 variety.

He said, “Usually when we get inputs, we distribute to local government areas and there are stakeholders in the sector to sieve true farmers from fake ones and that’s the criteria we will use.

“Despite the unprecedented shortage of rainfall last year we recorded bumper harvest last year. We are in fact feeding the entire northeast and so many parts of this country with our agricultural produce.”

He added that the gesture will be sustained to help nip in the bud issues of food scarcity.