Residents of Taraba State say they can now heave a sigh of relief following the reopening of roads linking Takum to Wukari and Takum to Katsina-Ala among others.
They believe the development will boost the economy and agricultural activities in the areas, following months of the failed seizure of hostilities between the Tivs and Jukuns.
Some motorists and residents of Southern Taraba said they can move freely on the roads unlike when they had to go through Garba-Chede and Mutum-Biyu routes to Wukari.
“If we must go through these roads, then we have to employ the services of security agencies to guide us all through. Sometimes, they kidnap our passengers too,” Adega Gumate, one of the residents, told Channels Television.
This comes as the Nigerian Army commences ‘Exercise Ayem Akpatuma II’ in Taraba to flush out and nip in the bud kidnapping, banditry, cattle rustling, ethno-religious, and communal clashes among other heinous crimes.
The residents have remained optimistic that there is light at the end of the tunnel as peace is gradually returning to the affected communities.
The crisis between the Tivs and Jukuns has been in the news since April 2019, with Southern Taraba in the eye of the storm.
This led to a situation where the Takum -Wukari, Takum – Katsina-Ala and Donga-Wukari roads became practically impassable.
Some miscreants also took advantage of the situation to kidnap, burn down houses, steal at gunpoint, and commit other crimes, such as the case of the slain Catholic Priest, David Tanko.
In a bid to restore peace in the affected areas, the army has launched Operation Ayem Akpatuma II in Kufai Ahmadu, Takum Local Government Area of the state.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Tukur Buratai, gave assurance that the army in conjunction with other sister agencies would continue to live up to its expectations.
The General Officer Commanding 3 Division, Jos, Major General Nuhu Angbazo, conveyed the assurances of the army chief at an event held over the weekend.
He explained that the aim of the exercise was to build the capacity of personnel to practically tackle internal security threats such as kidnappings, cattle rustling, banditry, communal clashes and restore peace to affected communities.
Angbazo says the exercise was also aimed at improving civil-military relationships in the state.
On his part, the state governor, Darius Ishaku, urged the security agencies to conduct joint training to promote inter-agency cooperation.
The governor, also represented by his deputy, Haruna Manu, insisted that the current security challenges in the state were dynamic in nature.
He was, however, optimistic that peace and tranquillity would surely return to the warring communities in Taraba, stressing that more needs to be done to effectively tackle the prevailing security threats bedevilling the state.