By Henry Umoru
IMMEDIATE past Deputy Senate Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP, Taraba South), yesterday disclosed that as part of moves to nip in the bud, kidnapping and violent crimes in Taraba and Benue states, the government of the two states have resolved to collaborate to tackle the challenges.
Disclosing this in Abuja at a reception in his honour by his constituents after the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly, Bwacha said skirmishes in the state were “largely informed by the activities of criminal elements in the borders of Taraba and Benue,” noting that “government is working assiduously to get to the root of the matter.”
Bwacha said: “I want to call on all of us from the south to embrace peace. If there is anything we need in the south, it’s peace. The devil is using some individuals to create instability in the region and I want to say that we are simply one set of people, we are brothers and sisters, we don’t need to take up arms against one another; there is really no need for that.
“The devil is lurking around our neighbourhood to see where they can take advantage of any opening and see that we begin to fight. Whatever we do at the end of the day, we will still come and sit on the round table and dialogue. So, why can’t we explore those areas?
“I know the ongoing skirmishes are largely informed by the activities of criminal elements in the borders of Taraba and Benue. The criminals take advantage of this because they know when there is peace, they cannot perpetuate their criminal enterprise and so they want us to take arms against ourselves so that they have time to kidnap people and lay ransom on individuals to pay.
“So I want to encourage us, let us not be tired, let us explore all avenues that peace should reign.
“I want to inform you that I am collaborating with my colleague from Benue North West, Senator Gabriel Suswam, who is a one-time governor in the state. The two of us will meet our governors and they are also working out something to ensure that this crisis is brought to an end.
Senator Bwacha who hailed the youth organisations across the state, especially the Wukari Central Youth on their willingness to strike a peace deal, however, described his re-election into the 9th Senate for the third time as a challenge.
According to him, his priority was the provision of potable water to his constituents, just as he said that arrangements had been made for the importation of two brand new Indian reeds to ensure that the people had access to potable water.
Bwacha said, “ I have quite a lot I think I would do for my zone, by extension in collaboration with my colleague, Senator Larry, he is here. We are the two PDP senators in the National Assembly and even the APC Senator. Once in a while, we need him also to create an effective synergy with the state government because we are supposed to play a complementary role. Where the state cannot reach, we are supposed to reach on behalf of the state.”