Governor Darius Ishaku has promised not to relent in telling the truth on the security situation around the state. He also pulled his weight behind the recent statement made by a former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. TY Danjuma, where he accused the army of colluding with armed herdsmen and a call for self defense by citizens.
Ishaku made this statement Thursday in Jalingo, when he hosted the Probe Panel set up by the Chief of Army Staff to investigate the recent allegation made against the Nigerian Army by the elder statesman.
According to the governor, “we here in Taraba are fully behind what Gen. TY Danjuma said…as an ex army General with a high reputation, I think that call deserves to be looked into and not to be criticized..he spoke the minds of everyone in Taraba and indeed all Nigerians”.
Ishaku who disclosed that the state was taken unawares by Danjuma’s statement, stressed that “we have to decide whether we want a country because what.is.happening would not give us.a country”.
He described the coming of the committee as prompt and assured it of conducive working environment to make it succeed.
Gov. Ishaku, who spoke with conviction, stated that the frequent attacks by herdsmen led to the promulgation of the Anti-open Grazing Bill after consultations and Due Process was followed. He said ranching was the best solution to prevent the killings.
He decried the activities of soldiers in Taraba who went about mistreating citizens and disarming them of petty arms and ignoring those with lethal weapons.
Gov. Ishaku however debunked the claim by the media that his government did not complain about all that was happening. According to him, he had visited the President, the Vice President as well as written several letters on the alarming situation, and the claim couldn’t have been true.
Earlier on, while delivering his speech, the president of the panel, Maj. Gen JN Nimyel (Rtd), gave the reason for their coming and their mandate in Taraba state. While alluding to Danjuma’s statement, Nimyel acknowledged that such could impact negatively on the image of the Nigerian Army.
“Statements of this nature has indeed cut short the reputation of the armed forces of Nigeria which cannot be ignored if the Nigerian Army will continue to earn the trust and respect of the people of Taraba state in particular and Nigeria in general”.
“In line with the current Chief of Army Staff vision of having a responsive professional Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional role as well as it’s positive disposition towards respect for human rights, it is expedient to set up this independent panel to investigate this very serious allegations”, he further stated.
As part of its mandate, the committee would deal with various stakeholders which include government, traditional and religious leaders, NGOs, civil society groups, the military and others.
The panel is composed of the following: Maj. Gen JN Nimyel (Rtd)-President; Brig. Gen. Saka Abubakar (Rtd)-member, Brig. Gen. S. Mohammed-member; Brig. Gen. K. Olajide-member; Brig.Gen RJ Alexander-member; Brig. Gen SN Eze-member; Abdul Ibrahim, SAN-member; Comfort Davut (CSO)-member; Barr. Abdulrahman Yakubu (NHRC)-member; and Col. MJ Gambo, as Secretary.