Our world is in trouble, our nation is facing great challenges of insecurity and our State is in crises. At the global level, we are all experiencing and living through the devastating effects of the COVD-19 pandemic that has made nonsense of the meaning of national borders, crippling human activities in the process and holding every one captive. Today in Nigeria, armed banditry, the threat of so-called “unknown gunmen”, Boko Haram Terrorists, rape, unwanton murder etc. have become almost daily realities we wake up to hear and to behold. Back home, our dear State Taraba is almost suffocated by crises. Let us tell ourselves the truth; over the years and in recent times, almost every part of this State has had its own share of crises: from the Northern part of the State, through the Central section and now Southern Taraba.
It is either farmers/herders clash or arm banditry, kidnapping or ethnic clashes, to mention but a few. A State with great potentials and much prospects for income generation and development is reeling in poverty and under-development; many displaced, hundreds of human lives have been lost and peace has been elusive. It is sad to say that the negative effects of these crises on our State are better imagined than confessed. In Taraba State today, human life has become so cheap that it takes no second thought to be wasted. Even the rules of engagement in wars are no longer observed. Consequently, innocent children and defenceless women are today targets of murderous acts. Today, we cannot deny the fact that our social life is affected because an injury to one is an injury to all.
Our economic life has been destabilized since the people who are supposed to be the backbone of our internally generated revenue through their economic activities are never stable. Religiously, we have all become hypocrites. Otherwise how can we profess God as our common Father and the next moment we are on the throat of each other. If we do not do something about these crises, politically, in the not too distant future, we shall pay the price of fighting each other. Let us at this juncture recognize the effort of government so far. We know that there are designated IDP centres created by government and interventions towards the wellbeing of the people. We also salute certain steps taken towards dialogue and understanding. We acknowledge the efforts of many who, not only made material donations, but also preached, advocated and called for reconciliation and peace among warring parties.
Here, we appreciate the Catholic Bishop of Jalingo diocese, other individuals, social and religious groups unknown to us. Some level of success has been achieved but there is still a lot left for the much needed peaceful coexistence, judging from the recent escalation of the fighting with dire consequences on human life and all aspects of our life and work: as a mainly agragrian State, farming activities have been severely hampered; other aspects of economic life also adversely disrupted, to mention but a few. We are all losing, even the perpetrators are not spared the fear that menaces the ordinary and unprotected citizen. So what is the point to ask rhetorically? Moving forward, we must ask ourselves very pertinent questions. Is Taraba State Government comfortable with the incessant and continuous crises in the State? Are we comfortable with the image of IDPs moving or running helter skelter within the State during these clashes. Does it not disturb us that human lives are destroyed and trampled upon?
Of course, no sane human being will be comfortable with this scenario. It is in this light that we call the attention of the government and all the people of Taraba State to the following appeals: We call on the State Government under the leadership of Architect Darius Ishaku, with the support of the Federal Government, to invest more time and resources in the security of the State. As the chief security officer of the State we appeal to his good conscience and his paternal responsibility to constantly visit and ensure that adequate security personnel are deployed in the affected areas. In truth we believe that not much has been done and there is a feeling of abandonment of the common people by government. Bandits, militias are never beyond the military prowess of our security personnel. The government is the one in charge of the security apparatus to contain the situation. Consequently, we call for normal business as if we are not involved, does not speak good of us as a family of human beings. Remember, “what has not happened to you, has not passed you. Today it may be Tiv and Jukun. You never can tell who it will be tomorrow.