April 29, 2018

Mambilla crises: We’ll never fight again – Residents

Ile-Ife clash

The residents of the Mambilla Plateau, Sardauna Local Government  Area of Taraba, on Sunday expressed regret for taking up arms against one another.

The residents, at a town hall meeting with a high powered Assessment Committee set up by Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba, said their actions had delayed the development of their area.

The committee was set up to quantify the damage caused by recurrent crises with a view to rebuilding the affected areas.

Darius Ishaku

The Caretaker Chairman of the council, Rev Godwill Sol, noted that the people of the area had vowed never to allow any form of crisis to retard their development.

Sol explained that the people could not afford to toy with the peace needed for the take off of the 3,050 Mega Watts Mambilla Hydro Power Dam and other government’s projects earmarked for the area.

Alhaji Jibo Mbamga, Chairman of Fulani Chiefs (Ardos) Forum in the council, noted that all his members had assessed the situation and decided to oppose conflicts for the good of their subjects.

“The recurrent crises have been causing harm than good to all the tribes on the Mambilla Plateau.

“Our people have resolved to say no to anything that will breed crises in this community,” he said.

In his contributions, Alhaji Saleh Dulah, the Chairman of Village Chiefs (Jauros), explained that most of the crises that had occurred in the area could not be traced to any convincing reason.

Dulah pledged the chiefs’ commitment to ensure permanent peace on the plateau for rapid development.

Dr Shehu Baju, the Chief of Mambilla, had earlier told the committee at a courtesy call on him that the traditional council had gone round to take census of the damage caused by the crises.

Baju noted that many of his subjects, who were displaced by the June 2017 and March 2018 crises, had returned to their homes after getting assurances of restoration of peace by the government.

Earlier, the committee’s Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Njiwah, told the people that the mission of the 19-member body was to ascertain the correct number of deaths and houses burnt.

The committee, he said, would also ascertain the number of cows stolen or killed and other properties destroyed during the two crises.

Njiwah, a former Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon, explained that the report of the committee would be followed immediately with support from Ishaku for the rehabilitation of victims.

He promised the sub-technical committee, made up of Quantity Surveyors, Architects and Site Engineers, would do a thorough job in all the affected villages for accurate compensation.

Representatives of Mambilla, Fulani, Kambu, Kaka and Panso tribes, who spoke at the meeting, were unanimous on their resolve to keep permanent peace for rapid development.

The committee later proceeded on an assessment tour of affected villages, beginning from Yerimaru, Kasala saa, Nyiwa and Gimba.