The Jukun Development Association of Nigeria (JDAN) and the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) on Tuesday, rejected the report of the Army Probe Panel that investigated allegations of collusion leveled against the Army by Gen. TY Danjuma retired.
National President of the Jukun Development Association, Chief. Benjamin Bako at a press conference in Lagos said the panel’s report falls short of expectations and can at best be described as a shoddy job fit for the waste bin.
According to him, rather than do a thorough job to cleanse the military of bad image and rekindle the hope of Nigerians and the international community in the service, the Army wasted an opportunity to cleanse itself. “The Nigerian Army yet again missed another opportunity to cleanse itself of allegations of gross abuse leveled against them not only by Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma but by a number of other human rights organisations including Amnesty International.
“The Nigerian army panel wasted the opportunity to scribble their names in gold when they absorbed themselves of any wrongdoing.
“The panel deliberately refused to use a single material out of the hundreds of documented paper works, audio and video recordings of eyewitnesses, community leaders and youth groups with shocking evidence of ethnic cleansing and genocide in more than 20 villages across southern Taraba.
“The report is therefore unacceptable to Jukun people and we reject the report in its entirety,” he said.
The Jukun group wondered why the principal actor, the Fulani herdsmen, accused of precipitating the crisis that gave birth to General Danjuma’s allegations were never mentioned in the report.
They lamented that the panel completely avoided the main subject of the matter which is attacks and killing of farmers and innocent villagers, but went about addressing past misunderstandings between brothers in the state in a deliberate attempt to stir up tempers and portray Jukuns as historically troublesome people.
On their part, Justice, Development and Peace Commission/Caritas of the Catholic Diocese of Jalingo, Taraba State said the allegations of military collusion with armed bandits to kill, maim and destroy people’s means of livelihood was true and called on the Army to set up an independent panel to investigate the allegations.
In a statement issued in Jalingo and made available to PUNCH in Jalingo, Coordinator of JDPC, Rev. Fr. Stephen Bakari said the military and other security agencies connived with the herdsmen in destroying people’s means of livelihood, thereby forcing them to leave their fatherland.
“Having visited and distributed relief materials to the IDPs in various communities in Taraba State, and based on the interaction with the vulnerable communities, JDPC can authoritatively say that the military and other security connive with the herdsmen in destroying their livelihood, thereby forcing them to leave their fatherland.
“Some of the places where such incidents were recorded include Muji in Takum LGA, Lande Jessi in Lau LGA, Gidin Dorowa in Wukari LGA/Gassol LGA,” the statement added.