A paramount traditional ruler in Taraba, the Aku Uka of Wukari and Chairman, Taraba State Council of Chiefs, Dr. Shekarau Angyu Masa Ibi has called on the military to do the needful and stop the back and forth argument on the accusations leveled against them by Rtd. General T. Y Danjuma.
Danjuma at the weekend during the maiden convocation ceremony of the Taraba State University Jalingo accused the Armed Forces of colluding with armed bandits to kill Nigerians and called on the people to defend themselves, the call which has since received mixed reactions from Nigerians.
The Ministry of Defence had on Monday said it has received complains on the misconduct of her personnel from other states, but none from Taraba.
Col. Tukur Gusau, spokesperson for the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, had on Monday said, “we have not received anything yet from Taraba State. We need to work on specific things. To my knowledge, we didn’t receive anything in respect of our operations in Taraba State.”
But the Aku Uka of Wukari who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Barr. Danjuma Aduma in an interview with journalists said the military authorities understood exactly what Gen. Danjuma said and that they should do the needful.
The Monarch’s media aide added that since the crisis in Wukari in 2014, the Aku Uka has been subjected to serial intimidation and harassment from the military and the police.
“The military have been harassing the people of Taraba. Just recently the G.O.C of Jos came to Jalingo and without seeing the governor went and stopped the training of marshals meant to help in the implementation of open grazing prohibition law in the state.
“We have complained to the governor about these harassments and the governor has personally written several letters to the President and the National Security Adviser over these harassments and threat to the security of the state, but to no avail,” he said.
However, contrary to claim by military that they have not received any complain from Taraba State about their operation in the state, more details have emerged indicating that the state governor Darius Ishaku has written several letters of complaints about the conduct of some officers and the security situation in the state.
In a document obtained by our correspondent in Jalingo, the state government had written letters of complaint against the Commanding Officer of 93 Battalion in Takum, Lt. Col. Ibrahim Gambari in which it highlighted series of bias and discriminatory conducts of the officer while discharging his duties.
In one of the letters, the state government alleged an act of misconduct against the CO in the release of 224 cows abandoned by herdsmen that attacked Takum and Ussa local government on 6th of May, 2017.
According to the letter, the Taraba state government took possession of the abandoned cows and handed them over to the Commanding Officer as ploy to get the attackers who would come to claim ownership of the cows, but the officer released the cows without arresting anybody.
The letter also accused the CO of leading soldiers to attack and brutalise people in Kashimbilla, leading to destruction of properties and injuring of innocent villagers.
In another letter dated 30th January, 2018, Governor Darius Ishaku signed a letter addressed to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo complaining about the conduct of the CO, Lt Col. Ibrahim Gambari.
In the letter, the governor complained that soldiers of 93 Battalion Ada Barracks Takum always look the other way each time herdsmen come to kill innocent people in the area.
The Governor in the letter lamented that though the security situation in the state demands all security officers to cooperate and take directives from him as the Chief Security Officer, that was not the case with the Commanding Officer.
Ishaku in the letter listed instances of security challenges in which the Army failed to live up to expectations one of which was the kidnap of a member of State House of Assembly, Hosea Ibi at a residence opposite the Army barracks on 30th of December, 2017 who was killed 15 days later.
Another instance raised in the governor’s letter was the attack on the vehicle of Takum Chairman along Takum-Wukari road on the 28th of January, 2018 which resulted in the death of a student of the State’s College of Health Technology, Takum as well as the kidnap of a business person, Chidiebere Okonwa on the 28th of January, 2018, which also happened in front of the Army barracks in Takum.
Sources in the governor’s inner circle revealed that the governor had written series of letters to the Army authorities with the aim of getting the military to act timely on intelligence reports to avert planned attacks in the state.
When contacted to confirm the truth or otherwise of the series of letters purportedly written by Governor Darius Ishaku, Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan-Abu confirmed the letters, but declined further comments on the Army’s allegations that the state government refused to cooperate with them in the Ex Ayem Akpatuma.
“The governor is so proactive when it comes to issues of security. As the Chief Security Officer of the state he has done a lot and he is ever ready to go extra miles to protect the lives and properties of the people of the state.
“So, he has actually written several letters to the Presidency and military authorities in the country on security situations in the state, but I cannot show the contents of the letters to you,” he said.